Why Black Rice was “Forbidden” to Poor Peasants

Black rice is a staple food of many cultures, especially in many parts of Asia. It was very popular and desired in ancient China, as it was attainable only by nobility and consumption was banned to the poor. “Forbidden Rice”, as it is also known today or as Emperor’s rice, was reserved for the Emperor in ancient China and used as a tribute food.

Black rice is widely used by chefs of world cuisine, especially in Asia, to adorn and decorate their dishes such as sushi, noodles, and desserts. Black rice has nutty aroma, it has a wrinkled texture and when cooked acquires a purple hue that makes it very attractive and simultaneously adds an extravagant touch.

In addition to its uses in the culinary arts, black rice has been discovered to have antioxidant properties which helps control blood cholesterol levels and fight heart disease – this, of course is what the nobles of Asia already knew.

The Health Benefits of Black Rice

Black rice has a rich-source of anthocyanin antioxidants (pigment color of many fruits and dark vegetables such as eggplant, beets, grapes and blueberries, a substance that helps fight against cancer, heart disease and a myriad of other human diseases.

According to Zhimin Xu, Associate Professor at the Department of Food Science at Louisiana State University Agricultural Center: “Just a spoonful of black rice bran contains more health promoting anthocyanin antioxidants than are found in a spoonful of blueberries, but with less sugar and more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants.”

Nutritional Value of Rice Black. It Contains:
Protein
Carbohydrates
Vitamins B and E
Minerals include: Calcium, Selenium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, Copper

How to Cook Forbidden Rice

1.) Take two cups of black rice in a colander and rinse with cold water. Then pour the black rice to a medium saucepan and cover with cold water and let soak overnight.

2.) Drain the water and add four and half cups of water and a teaspoon of salt.

3.) Bring the rice to a boil over high heat. Cover the pan with a fitted lid and reduce to a simmer.

4.) Simmer for 20 minutes and then check the texture. It should be soft but consistent. If the rice is too hard, cover with lid cook 5 to 10 minutes until soft.

5.) Stir the rice with a fork and serve.