Today is the start of a new little series on Vibrant Wellness Journal- What do you do with… that? There are lots of foods that might fill-in-that-blank in your heads, so please send me suggestions for foods you’ve never been quite sure how to cook! Upcoming posts in this series include yuba (tofu skin), amaranth, and seaweeds.
Today we are going to talk about black rice, or Forbidden Black Rice as it’s often labeled. This is a gorgeous, dark indigo rice that was apparently only fed to emperors in early China. Lucky for us, some peasants stole some grains and made it available in our stores. Lotus Foods brand offers lots of fun rice products (pink, black, green, and brown), and their little bags are available online or at natural food stores.
Black rice can be cooked in the same way as brown rice, with the same ratio (1 cup rice to 1 1/2 cups water or broth) and a few minutes extra cooking time. I like to soak my rice for at least a few hours, up to overnight, to give it a better texture. Drain off the deep indigo colored water, and add fresh water and a pinch of sea salt. Boil, then cover and simmer for 35 minutes. It’s a richer, nuttier flavored rice and you can serve anyway you would serve brown rice. But here are three great ways to amp up the flavor and make even better use of this gorgeous grain: Black Rice with Mushrooms and Cilantro, Nori Rolls with Edamame Hummus, and Indonesian Black Rice Pudding.
Black Rice with Mushrooms and Cilantro
2 cups Forbidden Black Rice, soaked two hours
4 cups water or broth, or combination
sea salt, to taste
¼ cup coconut oil
2 cups chopped, fresh mushrooms (any variety)
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup thinly sliced carrot
2 cups fresh chopped cilantro
- Drain rice. Add to a stockpot with water/broth and bring to a boil. Cover, season with a few generous pinches of salt. Lower heat, and simmer for 40 minutes, or until rice is very soft.
- In another stockpot, heat coconut oil until warm. Add mushrooms, onions, and carrots, and cook until onions are soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add cooked rice in batches, being sure to coat rice with mushroom mixture. Cook for just a few minutes, then toss in cilantro. Stir to combine. Divide into serving bowls. Enjoy with steamed vegetables, tofu, tempeh or anything!
Black Rice Nori Rolls with Edamame Hummus
Edamame Hummus (from Down to Earth Hawaii)
2 cups packaged shelled edamame (young soybeans)
2-3 garlic cloves
¼ cup lemon juice
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
10 Nori seaweed sheets
2 cups shredded carrots
2 cups cooked black rice
1 cucumber, seeded and sliced into thin strips
- Cook edamame according to package directions. Drain, rinse and pat dry.
- Place cooked edamame along with garlic, lemon, sesame oil, olive oil, and salt in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Let stand for at least an hour for flavors to meld.
- To make sushi rolls, spread ¼ cup Edamame Hummus onto edge of nori. Add carrots, rice, and cucumber strips. Rolls gently but firmly. Cut into halves or thirds, and serve with a dipping sauce of soy sauce and sesame oil. Makes 10 rolls.
Indonesian Black Rice Pudding (bubur injin)
1 cup Forbidden Black Rice
½ cup short grain brown rice
1¼ cups coconut milk
1 cup water
¼ – ½ cup palm sugar
¼ cup coconut cream (see note)
- Soak black rice and brown rice for four hours in warm water. Drain water, and proceed with recipe.
- Heat coconut milk, water, and salt in medium-sized sauce pan. Add soaked rice, bring to a boil, and cover. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 40 minutes, until rice is tender.
- While still hot, stir in palm sugar and let stand 15 minutes.
- Serve in small bowls with a drizzle of coconut cream. Enjoy warm or cold.
Note: Coconut cream can be reserved from the coconut milk can. Simply let a can of coconut milk sit overnight in the fridge. Do not shake the can. Carefully open and scoop cream off top; use remaining liquid for cooking rice. Coconut cream is also be purchase, usually in the baking aisle.
Yields: 3-4 Servings
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