Black rice, also known as forbidden rice, is an ancient variety of whole grain rice native to Asian countries, including China and the Philippines. Gaining popularity worldwide for its nutty, rich flavor, and dark purple color, black rice gets its distinct hue from a high concentration of anthocyanins, which possess powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Ideal for savory dishes, salads, and even desserts, black rice cooks similarly to brown rice and typically takes around 35 minutes to prepare. Its unique texture and visual appeal make it an excellent choice for home cooks seeking to elevate their culinary creations while taking advantage of its exceptional health benefits.
Black rice, commonly known as forbidden rice, is primarily valued for its nutritional profile and unique taste. However, determining the correct cooking time and the water-to-rice ratio can often trip up home cooks. It is common to undercook or overcook black rice – the former results in a hard grain and the latter results in a mushy texture.
To get the most out of black rice, you need to properly rinse the grains prior to cooking to remove excess starch that can cause clumping. Then, use a 1:2 ratio (rice to water) for cooking. Using a rice cooker can significantly simplify the process. It's important to note that due to the black rice's high fiber content, its cooking time may be slightly longer than that of white or brown rice.
Black rice is versatile, and can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. You might want to try using it in salads, risottos or paired with grilled vegetables or meat. A little-known tip about black rice is that its rich anthocyanin content can dye other foods, which can be leveraged to make visually appealing dishes.
Why is it called forbidden rice?
Do I need to soak black rice before cooking?
Can black rice be cooked in a rice cooker?
Why is my black rice coming out hard or mushy?
What does black rice taste like?
Can I substitute black rice for white rice in recipes?
How much water do I need to cook black rice?
Is black rice healthier than brown or white rice?
Can I use black rice in a dessert?
Does black rice cook faster than brown rice?
Expiration & Storage Tips
When does black rice expire?
Unopened black rice can last up to 2 years if stored correctly. If unopened but past the printed expiry date, use your judgement and observe it's appearance and scent once opened, because black rice can hold up well past its expiry date. Once opened and stored correctly, it can stay good for about 6-8 months. As for cooked black rice, it should be consumed within 5-7 days when kept in the refrigerator, and can be frozen for up to 6 months.
How do you tell if black rice is bad?
To determine if black rice has gone bad, the first thing to do is to smell it. A strong, unpleasant odor is a clear sign of spoilage. You also need to look at the rice; if you can see any signs of mold, or if it has a wet, damp appearance, don't consume it. Cooked black rice that has gone bad will have a sour smell and could have visible mold. If you're in doubt, it's always better to throw it away.
Tips for storing black rice to extend shelf life
• Black rice, like all grains, should be stored in a cool, dark place. A pantry cupboard is ideal.
• Use an airtight container for opened packages of black rice to prevent it from absorbing moisture and odors from other foods.
• Keep cooked black rice in the fridge in an airtight container. Make sure to cool it as quickly as possible before refrigerating to reduce the risk of bacteria growth.
• If you need to store cooked black rice for a long period, freezing is a good option. Just ensure it is cooled and sealed in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags before being put in the freezer.
• For thawing frozen rice, you can either place it in the fridge overnight or simply microwave it using the 'defrost' setting.