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Why we ALL should be eating Forbidden Black Rice! Plus 3 healthy ways to cook black rice: Stovetop, Instant Pot & Pilaf! A healthy, vegan, gluten-free side dish full of powerful health benefits: Black rice the most nutritious rice you can get- the highest protein, the lowest carbs, and the lowest calories compared to other rice! Video.
Forbidden Black Rice is slowly gaining in popularity here in the states and I wanted to share why and give you three easy ways to cook this nutritional powerhouse. If you are curious about what Forbidden Black Rice tastes like, to me it has a nutty, earthy flavor from the bran (outer husk) and a very subtle, slightly sweet interior. In a nutshell, it tastes delicious!
A little history…
Why is it called Forbidden Black Rice?
It is believed that in Ancient China, black rice, was discovered as being “superior” to other types of rice due to its rich health benefits and powerful medicinal properties. It is said that a handful of noble Chinese men, saw an opportunity in this and scoured the country and took every grain of black rice and withheld it from the public, controlling its production, severely limiting the quantities and selling it strickly to royalty, creating a huge demand. The common people were forbidden from growing or eating it, earning its very popular label – forbidden black rice.
Health Benefits of Forbidden Black Rice:
- Powerful Antioxidant: Some studies show even more powerful than blueberries! The deep black or purple color of black rice’s outer layer – the bran and hull- contains a powerful antioxidant called anthocyanin. The level of anthocyanin contained in black rice is higher than any other grain, including brown rice, red rice, red quinoa, or other colored whole grain varieties.
- Lowers Cholesterol: Studies show that the phytochemicals found in black rice reduce the LDL cholesterol (aka bad cholesterol) which is a common contributor to cardiovascular diseases, and also lowers overall cholesterol.
- Fights Cancer: A study conducted in China found that an anthocyanin-rich extract of black rice suppressed tumor growth and spread of breast cancer cells in mice. More studies are in the works.
- Anti-inflammatory: A study in Korea found that black rice helped reduce edema and skin allergies- an indicator of the potential of black rice in treating diseases that are associated with chronic inflammation.
- Promotes Healthy Weight Management: lower in calories, lower in carbohydrates, and higher in protein and fiber than white or brown rice, black rice is a lower calorie powerhouse.
- Promotes Healthy Brain Function: A study conducted in Bulgaria found anthocyanins to improve learning and memory functioning with current studies underway on Alzheimer’s prevention.
Black Rice Pilaf | 60-sec video
Nutritional Values of 1 cup cooked Black Rice compared to white and brown rice:
- White rice – 236 calories | 45 g carbs | 3 grams protein |
- Brown rice – 222 calories | 45 g carbs | 4.5 g protein |
- Black rice – 200 calories | 34 g carbs| 6 grams protein |
In a nutshell, forbidden black rice is lower in calories, higher in protein and lower in carbs.
How to cook Black Rice:
- Stovetop method: Cook like pasta in ample salted water, drain and fluff. (20 minutes!)
- Instantpot: Cook with equal parts water, one to one, 18 mins on high. Naturally, release for 10 minutes. (38 mins total)
- Pilaf: Simmer gently in veggie or stock with aromatics, covered -1 cup rice to 2 1/2 cups stock. (45 minutes)
The verdict: STOVETOP! The easiest and fastest way!
- Cook like you would pasta in ample salted water, no need to measure! Simmer until tender about 20- 25 minutes. Drain and fluff.
How to Cook Black Rice in an Instant Pot!
- Cook with equal parts water, one to one, 18 mins on high.
- Naturally, release for 10 minutes. (38 mins total)
- Just 5 mins of hands-on time.
- Feel free to increase quantity using the same times.
How to Make Black Rice Pilaf!
- Saute onion or shallot, add aromatics and stock, cover and simmer gently for 25-30 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
- Tastiest, but more steps.
Where to find Forbidden Black Rice:
- The bulk section of a higher-end grocery store.
- Asian markets!
- Online- Lotus Forbidden Black Rice.
Other Rice Recipes you may like:
- Strawberry Salad with Basil, Arugula and Black Rice
- Kale Salad with Fresh Cherries, Black Rice, Haloumi and Mint
- Seasoned Japanese Rice with Furikake
- How to Cook FLUFFY Basmati Rice!
- Cilantro Lime Rice
- How to Make Cauliflower Rice
- Everyday Quinoa with Lemon, Shallots and Herbs
- Vegan and Vegetarian Side Dishes
Forbidden Black Rice Recipes
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Category: side, vegan side dish, vegan side
- Method: stovetop, instant pot, pilaf
- Cuisine: Northwest
3 healthy ways to cook forbidden black rice– stovetop, Instant Pot & Pilaf! A healthy vegan gluten-free side dish full of powerful health benefits. The most nutritious rice you can find!
- 1 cup forbidden black rice
- 6 cups water
- generous pinch salt
- 1 cup forbidden black rice, rinsed
- 1 cup water
- pinch salt
Black Rice Pilaf:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil ( or butter)
- 1 shallot – chopped
- 1 1/2 cups forbidden black rice
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme ( or 1 teaspoon dry)
- 2 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon broth or stock ( veggie or chicken)
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- 1 bay leaf
- pinch salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds ( save 2 tablespoons for garnish)
- Garnish: 1-2 tablespoons Italian parsley
Stove Top Method: Cook like pasta! Bring water and rice to a boil, let simmer uncovered until tender about 25-40 mintues. Drain and fluff. Season!
Instant Pot: Place equal parts water and black rice in the instant pot. Add a pinch of salt. Set pressure to 18 minutes on high. Let naturally release for at least 10 minutes.
Black Rice Pilaf: heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat and add the shallots, stirring until golden and fragrant, about 4 -5 minutes. Add rice and thyme and saute 3-4 minutes. Add stock, garlic, bay leaf, salt and pepper and 1/2 the almonds. Bring to a simmer, stirring. Cover, turn heat to low and cook 25-30 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated and rice is tender. Garnish with remaining almonds and parsley.
The stovetop method is fastest.
The instant pot is the least hands-on time.
The Pilaf has the Most flavor!
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 200
- Carbohydrates: 34 grams
- Protein: 6 grams
Keywords: how to cook black rice, forbidden black rice, black rice recipes, black rice health benefits, low carb rice, forbidden black rice recipes
I tried the black rice pilaf and loved every bite! Followed exactly what you said to do.
So happy you enjoyed this!
Very undercooked & unpleasantly chewy. Bump up that stove-top boil time to 40-45 min, which is what commercial bagged rice recommends, add more water.
Hi Reimi- the Stove top method calls for cooking it like you would pasta. So cook the rice in a big pot of salted water, and cook it until tender, then drain. 🙂
Absolutely delicious! We likr rice, but black rice is another type all its own. Wonderul!
Thanks Pam! Glad you gave this a go!
I just discovered Forbidden Rice and it is exceptionally tasty with wonderful texture. Wild rice always tasted like sticks to me. But except for the color (and the tastier taste) it is as wonderful as white rice. I have put southern gravy on it, black eyed peas, and today I’m going to make this stir fry with what little I have left. I adore white rice and this is a super substitute!
Awesome Dorie- glad you are enjoying it!
Forbidden rice is the best. My favorite type of rice for flavor and ease of cooking too. This time I made the pilaf to go with fish as suggested in the fish recipe. ( fish and tomato) Was a wonderful side dish. I did add more stock ( maybe almost a cup more) to get the rice cooked. I think since doing it in a skillet it may evaporate more even with a lid, plus I kept looking at it and stirring! May use some leftovers in salads as well. I like instructions to cook rice like you would pasta and then drain it at the end when it is consistency that you want. Good idea. A favorite.
Thanks Frances- glad you enjoyed this!
Thank you for this. I bought black rice and was disappointed with the results after cooking it in a rice cooker (with no seasoning, I admit). I will be going back to the drawing board and giving the black rice pilaf a try.
Yes, the pilaf is tasty!
I have to say, the only black rice that I LOVE is the one sold at Whole Foods, I was very disappointed by the one that Shop Rite sells…it was not good at all.
Have made this pilaf a number of times and it is always a hit. It’s on the menu for company this weekend!
Awesome- great to hear!
Rice can be unexpectedly delicate to cook, and the last thing any of us need is another thing to keep track of.
I’m not sure what you mean? Did this recipe/tips not work?
I’ll be trying this recipe with my new favorite, red rice! Do you have any recipes using red rice? I love it!
How fun Christine! Sounds lovely! No red rice recipes yet… 😉
I always eat white rice but never tried black rice. I am so interested in this.
Give it a try!
I bought some black rice and cooked it according to package instructions. It came out with a texture of almost being uncooked. I gave it an extra 10 minutes and it was still hard. It almost put me off but now I’ve seen your page and comments I am going to give it a second chance. Your pilaf sounds amazing.
thanks Claire, give it a try and see what you think.
You have to put more water when you cook black rice. If you use 1 cup of uncooked black rice, then put 1 1/3 or 1 1/2 water. Black rice absorbs more water than white rice. We eat black rice everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner so take it from me 🙂
Bring it to a boil, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.
Essentially you are boiling rice like pasta- so lots of water, to remove starch, then drain.
Yes, that is the fastest way.
RE: “5. Promotes healthy loss and management”
I assume you just left out the word, “weight” in this title. As written, however, you seem to be claiming a healthy method for managing death. Is there really a HEALTHY way to die? Funny!
Oops! thanks, will fix. 🙂
Absolutely excellent flavor and texture. I made the pilaf, wow!
Thank you for the wonderful recipe.
I made black rice pilaf in my tiger rice cooker and it was amazing!!
I made the black rice pilaf. Easy & delicious-so healthy as well. Give it a go
For the stovetop method, your instructions say 1:6 forbidden rice to water or broth. The pilaf recipe has it 1-1/2: 2-1/2. One to six seems a bit off, just looking at the instructions in writing so I will look for other instructions somewhere else before deciding if 6 to 1 is correct.
The pilaf recipe seems simple and like it would highlight the flavor of forbidden rice, so I will try that.
Hi Karen, the 1:6 ratio is for the “Pasta cooking” method. You actually. drain the water here after the rice is cooked. Fastest!
Can’t wait to try it. Where can I buy it? I have never seen it in the grocery stores where I live. Could you give me a link to buy it by mail? (the best one)
Hi Nancy -there are a couple links in the recipe, and in the bottom of the post.
I made the stove top method. Drained it; let it rest. I’m gonna make a stir fried rice with it with almonds, veggies and chicken. Perfect…..crunchy…..nutty……….. forbidden.