Chinese Black Rice
Chinese black rice (aka Forbidden Rice, Emperor’s Rice) is a glutinous medium-grained rice that is highly nutritious and at one time in China was considered an aphrodisiac. It may have been reserved for the exclusive consumption of the Chinese royal family.
Traditionally this rice has been used in China and Taiwan as a dessert rice, but it can actually be used in almost any sweet or savory dish where you would use plain rice. While it’s pitch black when raw, it actually turns a beautiful, shiny indigo when cooked. Its flavor is richer and sweeter than white rice, and its texture is slightly sticky.
This rice has been par-boiled (actually steamed), an ancient rice milling technique that soaks and then steam cooks the rice while it’s still in the hull. This technique results in rice that is firmer, less sticky and more nutritious. Read What is Parboiled/Converted Rice? for more info.
Store Chinese black rice in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place.
Twelve months or more.
RECIPES & TIPS
Chinese black rice can be used similarly to white rice in a large range of recipes as long as its different flavor, cooking time, and texture are taken into account. Professional chefs love using black rice to bring striking colors to the plate…it’s a great way to give old favorites a new and exciting look.
This rice is likely to color ingredients it is cooked or mixed with purple. Rinsing it before cooking until the water runs clear may make it less likely to do this (and will also likely make it less sticky).
Because this forbidden rice has been parboiled, it may take longer to cook than other black rice varieties.
Basic Cooking Method:
To cook Chinese black rice, use 2 ¼ cups of water for every cup of rice.
Combine water and black rice in a pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover the pot, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 30-35 minutes until tender. Uncover the pot, fluff the rice with a fork, and serve.