Thai Chicken Barley Risotto

Yield: 4 servings (1 1/4 C per serving)
Source: Cooking Light, March 2002, p. 170
Comments from everyone who has tried it: This was just great--complex but delicate mix of tastes and textures. Who would ever believe this was diet friendly?


1 T sesame oil, divided
1 1/2 C chopped green onions, divided
2 T minced garlic, divided
1/2 C uncooked pearl barley
1/2 C chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1/2 t salt
1/8 t black pepper
1 (14 1/2 oz) can ff less sodium chicken broth
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1/4 C fresh lime juice
1 T brown sugar
1 T water
1 1/2 t rice vinegar
1 t low sodium soy sauce
1/2 t red curry paste
1 T chopped peeled fresh lemongrass
1 t grated peeled fresh ginger
3 C shredded cooked chicken breast (about 1 pd)
1 1/4 C red bell pepper strips
1 C sugar snap peas, trimmed
1 C light coconut milk
4 t chopped peanuts


  1. Heat 1 1/2 t oil in a medium sauce pan over med high heat. Add 1/2 C onions and 1 T garlic' sauté 1 minute. Stir in barley, 1/4 C cilantro, salt, black pepper, 1/2 C broth, and jalapenos, bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining broth, 1/2 C at a time, stirring constantly until each portion is absorbed before adding the next (about 15 minutes).
  2. Combine juice and next 5 ingredients (juice thru curry paste) set aside.
  3. Heat 1 1/2 t oil in a large non stick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 C onions, 1 T garlic, lemon grass, and ginger; sauté 1 minute. Add chicken, bell pepper and peas; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in barley mix, juice mix and milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer 5 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. stir in 1/4 C cilantro. Sprinkle each serving with 1 t nuts.


Healthy Units: 9 per serving
Cal 434, Fat 12.4g, Pro 41.6g, Carb 37.4g, Fiber 7.8g, Chol 96mg, Iron 3 mg, Sodium 691mg, Calc 65mg

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