• Einar Sveinn Westlund

009 - Barley-Otto

Updated: Apr 2

Barley-Otto AKA the lost cousin of risotto. Pearl barley was used in this dish. It does take two pots to make it properly. You can mitigate that by having a thermos for the boiling water. Barley-Otto and Risotto are great to make for group of people. It is a bitof a work for just one person. It’s worth it non the less.

This Barley-Otto comes pre-packaged into a full portion in Iceland. Check out Móðir Jörð, they also sell fermented product, have a small café and B&B. I have met the owners in person and they are great people that like to make great products.



Barley-Otto Mix OR about 120g pearl barley, dried garlic, dried onion and dried blueberries (or other flavour blend of your choice)

Vegetable stock cube


Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese OR Grana Padano cheese - Grated




Either thermos with hot water and vegetable stock in it OR another pot and another stove



1. Boil water with vegetable stock – About 1l, you might need to top it up

a. Put water into a thermos and put the pot back on the stove

b. Turn the stove to low and turn the other stove on with a pot

2. Add the barley into the pot which is already on the stove. The pot should be dry before adding the barley mixture (It’s ok if there is a bit of the stock water in the pot).

3. Pour a little bit of water over the barley. Not enough to cover the barley.

4. Stir they barley until it almost dry

5. Repeat steps 3-4 for about 20 minutes. Taste occationally

6. When the rye is not hard anymore it is ready.

7. Add parmiggiano cheese and mix into the food and turn off the stove

8. Add a bit more parmiggiano cheese on top of your meal

9. Time to eat

Time to Cook


Prep Before Trip

Measure and pack Barley. Add some spices. OR Use a pre-mixed one

Pack vegetable stock cube.

Grate cheese OR take a piece with you with a mini cheese grater - Link below


This video was filmed in Portrait mode as it was made for Instagram Saved Stories. It is still there under Barley-Otto I re-uploaded on YouTube.

Additional Tips

· You will need to stir many times to prevent the barley to stick to the bottom of your pot

· Just add a little bit of water at a time. This technique almost steams the barley. Which makes it very creamy.

· No need to add extra salt, the stock is already salty and so is the cheese.

· This is the same technique as you would use with a risotto

· If you add the cheese while cooking the dish it tends to stick to the bottom and be a waste. Also, it is very hard to clean.

· You might need to top up the water in the vegetable stock pot.

Affiliate Links

If you buy these products with the affiliate links, I will get a small percentage without making the price higher for you Win-Win. I only recommend items that I use AND would recommend in real life.

(Blog post made 30.Jul.19)

Einar Sveinn Westlund

Expert in Outdoor Food

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