Veggie Fried Barley

A spin on fried rice, this Veggie Fried Barley is filling, delicious and perfect as a side or the center stage as a meal!

A plate holds a serving of Veggie Fried Barley

Ever since I was a little girl, my family has loved one particular hibachi restaurant in Memphis. It might not be the prettiest of places to eat, but their food sure is good. In fact, during most visits to my hometown, I end up there one evening, eating until I’m gloriously full and leave smelling of the grill.

We haven’t found a place like this in Dallas, though we certainly know they exist, and one evening when I was participating in Nicole’s 30 Day Sugar Detox, I had a craving. Since it was the actual detox week of the program, I had a lot of vegetables, meats, dairy, etc. that I could eat (but not a lot of grains), so I randomly whipped up a rendition of this recipe, wanting to use the remaining miscellaneous vegetables in the fridge, as well as wanting to eat something carb-y that was on my approved list.

The barley in this dish sounds odd at first, but it adds delightful texture, and I’ve found in making this several times since its inception, the barley never gets mushy like rice sometimes does. (Let’s be real: We’ve all had rice be mushy, and it’s just sad.)

The soy sauce (which I didn’t initially incorporate in this dish) adds great flavor, and this dish reminds me of my favorite hibachi restaurant. While this Veggie Fried Barley wasn’t made on a hibachi grill, it’s certainly got the melding of flavors that dishes on one have, and it’s a fantastic go-to simple dish for any evening of the week.

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    Other side dishes we love: Pineapple Fried RiceWild Rice Salad with Dried Fruit and AlmondsCurried Veggie Rice BowlsTomato Rice

    Collage of two different views of Veggie Fried Barley on a plate

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    Veggie Fried Barley // The Speckled Palate
    Yield: 6 servings

    Veggie Fried Barley

    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes
    Total Time: 40 minutes

    A spin on fried rice, this Veggie Fried Barley is filling, delicious and perfect as a side or the center stage as a meal!


    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
    • 2 ½ cups barley, cooked
    • ½ onion, diced finely
    • ¼ green bell pepper, diced (or any other color of bell pepper)
    • 1 zucchini, diced
    • 1 yellow squash, diced
    • 2 eggs
    • Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
    • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted


    1. In a large skillet, heat the oils over medium-high heat.
    2. Add the onion, zucchini, squash and bell pepper to the pan, seasoning with salt, and cooking through. (This should take 5-10 minutes, depending on your stove.)
    3. Once vegetables are soft, crack the two eggs in the skillet, breaking up immediately with your spatula/wooden spoon, and cooking until the egg is completely cooked. Season with pepper.
    4. Add the barley, mixing in to the vegetables and egg and lowering the heat to medium-low.
    5. Once everything is combined, add the soy sauce slowly, stirring until mixed in, then remove the pan from the heat.
    6. Top with toasted sesame seeds, season more with pepper (if need be) and serve warm.

    Nutrition Information:



    Serving Size:


    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 200Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 410mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 6g

    Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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      1. Thanks, Joy! I love barley, too, and the attempt at adding it to a traditional fried rice definitely turned out nicely, so I’m gonna be adding it to various other dishes, as well! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

      1. I totally agree with you, Kelly. It’s one of my favorites… and like you, I oftentimes mess up rice at home. Luckily, barley’s pretty challenging to ruin, so anything with it works nicely for me, haha.

    1. Yes that soup they give you omg I can’t recreate it for nothing in this world. I love hibachi and so do my kids we have a spot tucked in a corner around here that looks horrible on the outside but their food is good and they have a score of 100 looks can be deceiving.

      1. I know, Kita. I totally agree, and I don’t even think I would know where to begin with that miso soup… it’s just divine. And, for what it’s worth, most of the hibachi places I’ve loved in my life have been just as you described, so there’s gotta be something to that! Thanks for stopping by!

      1. Thanks, Krystal! It makes me smile that you love the plate… I picked it up on SUPER sale at an outlet last year, and I love using it for various food photos!

      1. Thanks, Desiree! It’s pretty delicious, if I do say so myself, and my husband agrees… We’ve made this several times since its inception in July.

    2. I love Hibachi, but I’m not the best one for trying new recipes. I’ve never made any Hibachi inspired recipe of my own, but this one looks so darn good, it’s tempting to try!


      1. Thanks, Whitney! This is a pretty simple and delicious one that’s hibachi-inspired, so I totally recommend it, especially if you’re not one to try new recipes that often. (I’m like this, too, which makes running a food blog, ahem, interesting.) Thanks for stopping by!

    3. Holy yum!
      This is most certainly going to be one of the try it out recipes that I do next week. Im totally going to add you on blog lovin! You are so cute and full of energy! I am SO excited to see what else you come up with!

      1. Thanks, Jacqueline. I cannot wait to hear what you think about this recipe. When you make it, please shoot me a line. 🙂

        And you’re too sweet. Thank you so much! I’m excited to check out your blog now, too!

    4. I love all the harvest fresh veggies in this recipe, what a great recipe! Thanks for sharing such a delicious one!

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