If you have not yet dived into a steaming bowl of this peerless black rice you have a real treat ahead. Its name is no accident. According to legend, as far back as the Ming Dynasty, this ancient grain was eaten exclusively by Emperors of China. It was forbidden to anyone else. It is a medium-sized organic heirloom food treasured for its roasted nutty flavor, gentle texture, deep purple color and rich mineral and vitamin content. According to traditional Chinese medicine, it is said to tonify the blood. Recent research into its nutritional value shows it has a comprehensive collection of amino acids as well as proteins, vegetable fats and essential trace elements. It even boasts the antioxidants present in blueberries. High in anthocyanins—potent antioxidants reputed to prevent degenerative conditions including cancer—it is gluten free to boot.
My son Aaron and I have fallen in love with this dark treasure, more than worthy of its name. We use it every week, in salads, curries and any other way we can think of, we love it so much. Lotus Foods have brought this wonderful rice to the West. It is available worldwide through iHerb.com. Meanwhile Mitch Madoff, Whole Foods Market, NYC Commissary/Deli, has created their best selling salad using it. Here is his recipe:
Forbidden Black Rice Salad
Recipe by Mitch Madoff, Whole Foods Market, NYC Commissary/Deli. This is Whole Foods Market, New York City’s best selling salad!
- 2 cups Organic Forbidden Rice® or Forbidden Rice®
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 2 Tbls Tamari
- 3 Tbls Sesame Oil
- 1 pound roasted diced sweet potatoes
- 3/4 cup diced red peppers
- 3/4 cup diced yellow peppers
- 1/2 bunch sliced scallions
Bring rice, water and pinch of salt to a quick bowl, cover and lower heat to a simmer for 30 minutes. Let rice sit while you whisk together sesame oil and tamari. While rice is still warm, toss in the sesame oil and tamari mixture. Let cool, then add sweet potatoes, red peppers, yellow peppers, scallions, and salt, pepper to taste.
Organic Forbidden Rice is the same heirloom rice that was once grown exclusively for the Emperors of China, but now certified organic.
Legend tells us that Forbidden Rice enriches health & ensures longevity. It is prized for its fragrant aroma, nutty taste, deep purple color and high nutritional value. Pairs beautifully with all cuisines; use as steamed plain, in a pilaf, stir-fry, salad or pudding.