Jobs Tears (Chinese Pearl Barley)
What are Job's Tears?Jobs Tears (Chinese Pearl Barley) is a type of grain native to East Asia that has long been appreciated as a nutritious food source as well as an ornament. The name refers to the tear drop shape of each grain and the biblical story of a man named Job who suffered greatly. Depending on where you live this grain may be called Christ's Tears, Mary's Tears or any number of people's tears but its most common name is Job's Tears.
This grain is often utilized as beads for rosaries and necklaces. They have very hard shells and polish easily. They also have a natural hole going through their center making them perfect for beading.
It is related to corn and grows on grassy plants standing 4-6 feet tall. Like corn, there are several varieties cultivated for different purposes. Some varieties can be boiled and eaten like rice or as cereal. Others are better for making flour. They all taste slightly sweet (like a mix of corn and white rice) and are high in protein.
Ways to Eat It
The most common way to eat Job's Tears is as a side-dish or in soups but it can also be used to make breads, pastas, and porridges. East Asian countries also use it for making drinks similar to coffee and tea.
Job's Tears are often mistakingly labeled
Chinese Pearled Barley in Asian markets. If you're not sure what you are buying then check the price. They are about five times the price of Barley. Second, check the size of the grains. If they are much larger and
rounder than Barley - they are not Barley. Here are
some pictures to help you tell the difference.
Combine 2 parts grain to 1 part liquid. Bring to a boil then simmer, uncovered, 50-60 minutes or until water has evaporated. Fluff with fork and let stand 5 minutes.
How To Cook?
Note: Job's Tears can be substituted for Barley in any Barley recipe.
Chinese Chicken SoupThis is an adapted version of a recipe found on the back of a package of Job's Tears from Ethnic Food Co.
Clean and wash the whole chicken then place in a stockpot with the water. Bring to a rolling boil then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2 hours or until the chicken is tender and cooked.
Remove the chicken. Pull the chicken from the bones. Discard the bones and return the shredded chicken to the stockpot.
Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
Job's Tears SaladThis recipe comes from
Namu Organics. They have many recipes for this exotic whole grain.
Ingredients (Serves 4-6)
Soak Job's Tears for at least 30 minutes in water. Then rinse them, pouring off any hulls until the water is clear. Then combine them with salt and water in a pot and bring to a boil. After it comes to a full boil, turn heat down and simmer for 2 more minutes or until the grains are tender yet firm. Remove from heat, drain but do not rinse. Let stand until warm.
While the grain is cooking, lightly toast pine nuts in a dry frying pan. Chop and measure all other ingredients into a mixing bowl.
Finally, add warm Job's Tears to mixing bowl with the other ingredients. Enjoy!
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