Serve as an inspired appetizer, or prepare the night before, wrap the lettuce leaves separately and enjoy a fresh flavour-packed… packed lunch!


  • 1 cup (250 mL) pot or pearl barley
  • 3 cups (750 mL) water
  • 2 green onions, finely sliced
  • 1 avocado, cut into small cubes
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) diced red sweet pepper
  • 1 ½ cups (375 mL) small cooked shrimp or diced cooked large shrimp
  • 1 cup (250 mL) fresh bean sprouts, rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) fish sauce or sodium reduced soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) lime juice
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) grated ginger root
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) Asian hot pepper sauce, such as Sriracha
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) granulated sugar or honey
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) sesame oil
  • 8 lettuce leaves

In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring barley and water to boil; cover pan and reduce heat. Simmer until barley is tender, about 40 minutes. Cool cooked barley.

In a salad bowl, toss cooled barley with green onions, avocado, sweet pepper, shrimp and bean sprouts.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk garlic, fish sauce, lime juice, ginger, hot pepper sauce, sugar and sesame oil. This will make a thick dressing.

Pour dressing over barley mixture and toss until combined. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavours to blend.

Spoon about ¼ cup (60 mL) mixture onto the centre of each lettuce leaf; fold over and enjoy eating out of hand.

Makes 8 lettuce wraps.

Nutritional Information (per wrap): Calories: 161; Protein: 8 g; Carbohydrate: 25 g; Fibre: 6 g; Sugars: 2 g; Fat: 4 g; Saturated Fat: 0.5 g; Trans Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 44 mg; Sodium: 239 mg; Potassium: 264 mg