Food & Culture

Recipe of the Week: Barley Porridge

Cook like Canlis chef Brady Williams, who's nominated for a James Beard award

By Chelsea Lin April 25, 2017


We’re officially less than a week out from the prestigious James Beard Awards Gala—essentially the restaurant world’s answer to the Academy Awards—which takes place May 1 in Chicago. Seattle is representing in a number of categories, but perhaps most notable this year is that Canlis chef Brady Williams has been nominated for the Rising Star Chef of the Year (presented by S.Pellegrino).

Williams shared with us a signature dish, now on the menu at Canlis, of barley porridge with geoduck, green strawberries, sorrel, and shiso. Chances are you have questions about the origins of more than one of those ingredients. But trust Williams when he says: “This dish is the perfect snapshot of who [Canlis is]—an iconic Pacific Northwest restaurant, combined with Japanese influence, and a focus on the best ingredients our area has to offer.” 

Judging by the lengthy recipe below, we say go have Williams make it for you at the restaurant, and wish him good luck. But if you’re an ambitious home cook who wants to aim for the pros, try this out and let us know how it goes: 

Barley Porridge

– Barley porridge – ​creamy barley porridge with garlic paste, butter, shio shoyu, lemon juice
– Geoduck – ​thinly sliced and dressed in shio shoyu and lemon juice
– Green strawberries – ​thinly sliced and dressed in a muscatell vinegar and honey
– Sorrel – ​wood sorrel garnish
– Shiso – ​grapeseed oil infused with shiso

500 g barley
1000 g water
Rinse the barley well. Be sure there are no hulls still attached to the barley. Groats with the hull still attached will usually float when soaked in water. Add 1000 g of water, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender.

Barley Milk
200 g barley
400 g water
Place barley and water in a blender and spin until smooth. Strain through chinois. The barley starch will settle out and must be mixed thoroughly before every use.

Barley Risotto – One Portion
100 g barley, cooked
30 g barley milk
15 g shiro shoyu
30 g butter
To taste: salt, lemon juice, garlic paste
Combine barley, barley milk, and soy sauce in a small pan and bring to a boil to activate barley milk starches. Add garlic paste and lemon juice and then emulsify in butter. Season.

Green Strawberries
500 g Muscatell vinegar
500 g honey
Mix two ingredients together with a pinch of salt. Thinly slice green strawberries and compress in liquid until translucent (about three cycles).

Shiso Oil
1 part shiso
1.5 parts grapeseed oil
Add to a blender and blend until steaming (about 5 minutes). Strain through a coffee filter

Join The Must List

Sign up and get Seattle's best events delivered to your inbox every week.

Follow Us

Decolonizing dining in Seattle

Decolonizing dining in Seattle

Hillel Echo-Hawk is at the forefront of Seattle’s Indigenous food movement

In 2022, an Indigenous-owned restaurant serving a precolonial menu — Owamni, in Minneapolis — earned a James Beard Award as the best restaurant in the country. Names like Sean Sherman and Crystal Wahpepah (respectively, a Beard award finalist for best emerging chef, and the first Native American chef to compete on the Food Network’s Chopped)…

Pastry: An Affair to Remember

Pastry: An Affair to Remember

Chef Ewald Notter of Dote Coffee Bar makes it easy to fall in love with pastry and chocolate

Most romances unfold in predictable ways. An invitation for lunch, where you share sandwiches in a loud café, silently wishing your bread was crisper, but never giving up on the idea that one day it might be. An awkward laugh as your fingers touch while you both reach across the table for sugar in that…

Mix It Up. Try old-school cocktails this holiday season

Mix It Up. Try old-school cocktails this holiday season

These 10 drinks may not be on the menu at your local bar, but all pack a punch as well as some colorful history

Editor’s note: A version of this story previously appeared in “Seattle” magazine. Impress your guests this holiday season with these 10 concoctions from a vintage bar guide from Glenn Shaw Creations – supposedly from the 1950s – found in an antique shop in Olympia a few years back. Keep in mind that these drinks may…

Sip, Slurp, Celebrate at Frank's Oyster House

Sip, Slurp, Celebrate at Frank’s Oyster House

Let’s be Frank about Champagne

The best bubbles in Washington state may very well be found at an East Coast-style restaurant in Seattle’s Ravenna neighborhood. That, at least, is the opinion of The Champagne Bureau, USA, which has named Frank’s Oyster House and Champagne Parlor as one of the top 10 bars and restaurants in the nation for the quality…