This is barley with all the bran removed, giving the round, shiny grains a pearlescent white colour. It can be used in soups and stews as a thickener, or to add texture rather than flavour. Barley water is often made by boiling, cooling and sweetening pearl barley, and flavouring it with orange or lemon. However, these days it is more likely to be bought commercially. Pearl barley is widely used in Japan and countries with cool climates.
Pearl barley does not need to be soaked before use.
Article by Sejal Sukhadwala