Pearl barley, or pearled barley, is barley that has been processed to remove it's outer fibrous hull and polished to remove some of the bran layer. Pearl Barley is high in fibre, and has a slightly chewy nuttiness to it which brings depth to stews and soups.
To cook, rinse first under running water, place in a pan with a generous amount of water, bring to the boil and cook for about 30 - 40 minutes. The grain becomes soft with a slight chewiness.
Alternatively, add to stews and soups about 40 minutes before finished cooking.