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Black "forbidden" rice

Has anyone ever used this in a recipe? I picked up a package last week and was wondering if it is interchangeable with white or brown rice in recipes.

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  1. I've used this before. Personally I like it alot. I would only serve it alone, not in a recipe, as there is some color transfer. Just cook up a half cup or so and try the taste and texture, it will give you ideas of where and how you might want to use it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Quine

      Agree with Q...I use Lundberg Japonica Black rice blend ...it's great...I usually add brown rice to it...VERY healthy stuff, Dr. Oz featured it on one of his shows in 2010...and then our Whole Foods ran out of it! Tons of phyto-nutrients just in case you care...any natural food with deep or vibrant colors offers better nutrition.

    2. It's very tasty, I love it, but it can be a bit much. I apologize for not having a better explanation as to what a bit much is. I've been told to mix it with white rice, 3-4 parts white to one black. I just got some so I think I'll try that. Write back when you taste it.

      2 Replies
      1. re: EWSflash

        What exactly is forbidden about it?

        1. re: Sam Salmon

          Legend tells us that this ancient grain was once eaten exclusively by the Emperors of China supposedly for increased health and longevity. All others were forbidden to eat it.

      2. I really love black rice for its nutty taste. You should rinse and soak the black rice for a couple of hours first to soften it up, then cook it as you would white rice. The soaking water will turn a deep purple, that's normal. You can discard the water, or just reserve it as a natural food dye. I like to use the water for bread and pastries to turn them purple.

        Supposedly, the name "forbidden" comes from the fact that in ancient China, only royalty (ie. the emperor) could consume black rice. Commoners were forbidden to eat black rice.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Cheeryvisage

          My family used it from time to time. Most notably in the infamous "black death paella incident)

          One warning though, that water really will turn into a dye. It will stain cloth and more importanty will stain the inside of the pot if it's at all scrached. I will also dye any other food you cook in there the same color. That paella i mnetioned came out the color of blueberry pie filling and that included the shrimp, the chicken and the water chesnuts.

          1. re: jumpingmonk

            LOL! I am glad to see that my initial warning of color transfer, is something others have seen.

          2. re: Cheeryvisage

            I did not need to soak the rice like that. I recognized it was a whole grain as well as a short. But YMMV. De nada.

            1. re: Quine

              Some people find unsoaked black rice unpalatable because the grains are so firm. When I introduced black rice to my family, they overwhelmingly disliked it unsoaked, but loved it soaked. Probably a good idea to try it both soaked and unsoaked and see which you like better.

              1. re: Cheeryvisage

                Yes, I very much like that texture, so I like it. But I am less fond of soft rice. It is a good point. I really do think that OP show taste trial and see how it plain and textured suits. Lots of option offered here. It is a good thing. Thank you.

            2. re: Cheeryvisage

              My wife would love the natural dye since she is into fiber arts but I wonder by tossing the soaking water you wouldn't be tossing a lot of micronutrients

              1. re: scubadoo97

                Good point. I'm sure it's fine to just cook the rice using the soaking water if you're concerned about losing nutrients.

            3. Thank you all so much. Looks like I have some very good ideas to try!

              1. I think that pre-soaking would make it more popular around here. I cooked some and we found it okay but chewy. Which reminds me: I made my Armenian pilaf with brown rice, and it came out a good bit underdone. Just for grins I put the leftovers (quite a lot!) with some more broth added into a Ziplock, squoze out as much air as was possible, then did the sous vide number with my older Crock-Pot. This took some close monitoring, since the steady 190ยบ I wanted was not really available, but after a couple of hours the pilaf was edible and not overdone. Sorry for the diversion there, but chewy rice is chewy rice.

                1. I used to eat at a Thai place in Tampa that had a dessert called black sticky rice. It was a kind of rice pudding with coconut in the rice layer and a layer of coconut cream on top. The rice was a bit chewy. My favorite dessert and I always ordered it even if I was stuffed.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: LisaPA

                    That's a different rice - essentially the 'brown rice' version of sticky or glutinous rice. The rice is soaked, then steamed, and finally mixed with coconut milk and sugar.

                    1. re: paulj

                      No...I'm pretty sure that's forbidden rice. I've used forbidden rice in that recipe and it turned out exactly like the way I've had it in Borneo. Also, I use coconut cream (or just coconut milk in a can, unshaken, and using the thick cream off the top).

                      There's another "brown rice" version of sticky rice that my mom can sometimes get in LA which turns out purple but that's not used for Pulut Hitam (black rice pudding).

                  2. I've used forbidden rice before in a recipe I got from the "Lotus Foods" website. Black Rice Salad with sweet potatoes, red & yellow peppers, green onions, and a simple sesame oil & tamari dressing. I've never bothered to pre-soak the rice - takes about 45 min. to cook, and tastes great.
                    It will definitely colour the other foods it's cooked with, so works well as a salad ingredient.

                      1. Brew some jasmine tea and use that instead of water to cook the rice. Adds to the exotic flavor!