This week I decided to cook forbidden rice because I have long been intrigued by the name and felt it was time to acquire some knowledge on the subject. In ancient China, black rice was considered the finest grain, and its consumption was reserved for the Emperor, hence the name, forbidden rice. Today Forbidden rice is a registered trademark of Lotus Foods.
Black rice gets its dark color from its high concentration of anthocyanins. Like brown rice, black rice is high in fiber and has a nutty flavor. However, black rice has a chewier texture than white or brown rice. Black rice can be substituted for other types of rice. Though several of the food blogs I read recommended black rice for salads and desserts.
Because it is still gaining popularity in the United States, my Google search did not return a plethora of black rice recipes. I opted to make Ellie’s Krieger’s black rice risotto because I was looking for something to pair with salmon; Whole Foods had a great deal on wild salmon over the weekend.
Black Rice Risotto
3/4 cup black rice
3 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tbp fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tbp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
Begin by chopping the onion and basil.
Next, heat the chicken broth in one saucepot, low heat. In another saucepot, heat the olive oil, medium heat, and cook the onions until soft. Once the onions are soft, add the rice and cook for one minute, stirring continuously.
Once the minute has elapsed, reduce the heat to medium low and add the white wine. Stir until the wine has been absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Once absorbed, add a ladle of the warm chicken broth and continue stirring until mostly absorbed. Repeat this process until all the broth has been added. This will take roughly an hour. Con someone into helping you stir the pot; your arm will get tired.
While Dave took a turn stirring, I prepared the salmon. I opted for a simple preparation, salt, pepper, butter, and lemon slices. I always cover my salmon to keep it nice and moist while baking.
Once the last of the chicken broth has absorbed, stir in the salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Plate the rice and garnish it with additional parmesan and chopped basil.
The risotto was pretty delicious. The rice was chewier than regular rice, but the chewiness wasn’t unpleasant. I thought the rice had a slightly earthy flavor which was nicely complimented by the sweet and anise (licorice) flavor of the basil. The risotto would be a nice accompaniment for scallops or chicken, but I don’t see it pairing well with pork or beef.
Overall grade: B+.