Barley Arancini with Shiitake Mushrooms & Seaweed

Three Golden balls of Barley Arancini with Shiitake Mushrooms & Seaweed on a square plate.

These Vegan Shiitake Mushroom Barley Arancini are a Japanese twist on an Italian favourite. This recipe uses nutritional yeast and seaweed to replicate the umami flavour of traditional Parmesan cheese. 

Better Late Than Never

During our late August summer holidays there were a few projects that got away from me. I had every intention of keeping to a strict schedule of posting and completing projects this summer but our week of holidays at the farm ended up lasting much longer than intended due to so many circumstances.
 
These Vegan Shiitake Mushroom Barley Arancini are a Japanese twist on an Italian favourite. This recipe uses nutritional yeast and seaweed to replicate the umami flavour of traditional Parmesan cheese. #barley #arancini #umami #appetizer #vegan #vegetarian

Cooking for Foodie Friends

One of the projects that got away from me during my internet-free farm visit was the Mushrooms Canada appetizer contest. I had just arrived back home in Calgary began checking through emails (yay internet!) right away. Another reminder for this contest popped up and the deadline was at midnight that same day!  I absolutely love cooking with mushrooms so I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity.  The thought of possibly having my fellow food bloggers try my appetizer at the Food Bloggers of Canada conference was inspiring. Turns out that I was in a bit of a creative state of mind because I hadn’t cooked in my kitchen for a while.  I decided to go for it.
 
These Vegan Shiitake Mushroom Barley Arancini are a Japanese twist on an Italian favourite. This recipe uses nutritional yeast and seaweed to replicate the umami flavour of traditional Parmesan cheese. #barley #arancini #umami #appetizer #vegan #vegetarian
 

My Vegan Mushroom Creation

It didn’t take me too long to settle on a theme. I love how well mushrooms and barley go together in a risotto.  My family really loves arancini and I had wanted to develop a vegan arancini recipe especially for my daughter. My original arancini recipe is definitely not vegan because it includes smoked salmon and it has cheese in the risotto.
 
These Vegan Shiitake Mushroom Barley Arancini are a Japanese twist on an Italian favourite. This recipe uses nutritional yeast and seaweed to replicate the umami flavour of traditional Parmesan cheese. #barley #arancini #umami #appetizer #vegan #vegetarian
 
How could I change up the recipe to create a vegan version but I still have that great umami flavour that a good Parmesan would provide? Nutritional yeast flakes are the most common vegan Parmesan cheese subsitute. Another common ingredient that brings bags of umami flavour to Japanese cuisine is seaweed. In this case, they both went really nicely with the shiitake mushrooms to create these vegan Barley Risotto.
 
These Vegan Shiitake Mushroom Barley Arancini are a Japanese twist on an Italian favourite. This recipe uses nutritional yeast and seaweed to replicate the umami flavour of traditional Parmesan cheese. #barley #arancini #umami #appetizer #vegan #vegetarian
 

Tips for Making Great Barley Arancini

  • If you find the mixture quite sticky it helps to have slightly damp hands.
  • Deep fry in a large pot or deep fryer until golden. 
  • Serve with a dab of kewpie mayonnaise and a dash of furikake which is usually used to season rice.

These Vegan Shiitake Mushroom Barley Arancini are a Japanese twist on an Italian favourite. This recipe uses nutritional yeast and seaweed to replicate the umami flavour of traditional Parmesan cheese. #barley #arancini #umami #appetizer #vegan #vegetarian

Pin Barley Arancini with Shiitake Mushrooms & Seaweed HERE.

These Vegan Shiitake Mushroom Barley Arancini are a Japanese twist on an Italian favourite. This recipe uses nutritional yeast and seaweed to replicate the umami flavour of traditional Parmesan cheese. #barley #arancini #umami #appetizer #vegan #vegetarian

More Mushroom Goodness from Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen

Mushroom Handpies

Instant Pot Pork Medallions with Herbs and Mushrooms

 
Yield: 6 servings

Barley Arancini with Shiitake Mushrooms & Seaweed

Golden balls of Barley Arancini with Shiitake Mushrooms & Seaweed in paper towel.
These Vegan Shiitake Mushroom Barley Arancini are a Japanese twist on an Italian favourite. This recipe uses nutritional yeast and seaweed to replicate the umami flavour of traditional Parmesan cheese.

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Additional Time 5 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup finely diced onions
  • 2 garlic cloves; minced
  • olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
  • 1 cup pearled pot barley
  • 1 cup shittake mushrooms (or 1/2 cup dried mushrooms; reconstituted and chopped)
  • 3 cups mushroom stock
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
  • 3/4 cup fine seaweed stems; reconstituted in boiling water, then drained, and chopped (if desired)
  • salt and pepper
  • panko crumbs (or regular bread crumbs)
  • canola oil for frying

Instructions

    1. Add two tablespoons of olive oil in a medium pot on medium to high heat.
    2. Heat up mushroom stock in a separate pan. Add finely diced onion and sauté until translucent before adding the minced garlic.
    3. Continue to sauté for another minute or two.
    4. Add pearled pot barley and stir, coating the grains in olive oil. If the contents of your pan are sticking, it may require additional olive oil.
    5. Pour in wine and reduce so that the alcohol has a chance to burn off.
    6. Add heated mushroom stock, a 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until the liquid has absorbed into the barley in between each addition.
    7. In the meantime, finely dice the shiitake mushrooms and sauté in a separate pan until soft. Set aside.
    8. To tell if your barley is cooked, taste a grain and if you can chew it (but it still sticks to your teeth) it is finished.  
    9. Stir in the mushrooms, nutritional yeast, and reconstituted seaweed stems.
    10. Allow to cool thoroughly, ideally overnight.
    11. After the barley risotto has cooled, roll into balls and coat with panko.
    12. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven. Test oil by dropping a few panko crumbs in the hot oil. If they are ready they will slowly begin to turn golden brown. Ideal frying temperature is between 360 F – 375 F.
    13. Carefully put six balls in the oil and move them around so they brown evenly. It takes roughly about 8 minutes.
    14. Remove carefully allowing oil to drain from the ball before putting it down on paper towel.

Notes

  • Use an infrared thermometer or a stationery clip on. Ideal frying temperature is between 360 F – 375 F.
  • Keep an eye on your temperature while your oil is heating up. Use an oil with a higher smoke point than your cooking temperature.
  • Never leave your hot oil unattended/make sure you have all your ingredients and utensils ready before you start.
  • Never fill your pot more than 1/3 way full. This allows for oil displacement and splatter containment.
  • Be aware that wet food is prone to heavy splattering during deep frying.
  • Allow the pot and oil to cool down before moving or draining.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 174Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 153mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 8g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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9 comments

    1. dishnthekitchen

      Thank you Lenny. I think my brain works better on a tight schedule LOL

      Reply

  1. janet @ the taste space

    Love it. I am thrilled you tried to make your appetizer inclusive!

    Reply

  2. Mel @ The Refreshanista

    Looks delicious! I love that they’re vegan too 🙂 I find food gets more interesting when you have to use different ingredients like seaweed and nutritional yeast to get that flavour you’re looking for.

    Reply

  3. Amanda | The Cinnamon Scrolls

    These look fab! I haven’t tried arancini before, but it’s definitely on my list. I’ll have to give these a go!

    Reply

  4. savorthebestcooks

    Well this is a winning recipe in my book! You have my vote!

    Reply

    1. dishnthekitchen

      Thank you! Wow, I need to have a look at my spam folder more often. Thank you so much for commenting on my Aranchini post!

      Reply

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