FORBIDDEN RICE OR BLACK RICE
There’s something you should know about Forbidden Rice: it’s not as forbidden as you might think. In fact, this rice is a staple in many diets around the world and has been for centuries! It comes from China, where it was once reserved only for royalty and nobility. Nowadays people of all backgrounds can enjoy it thanks to its versatility in cooking.
Forbidden rice or black rice is a type of rice that has been traditionally eaten in the East. It is also called “black” because of its dark color and not because it contains more iron than other types of rice.
There are many health benefits to this type of rice, such as higher levels of antioxidants and fiber, which can help with digestion and weight loss. This blog post will go into detail about why forbidden rice should be a part of your diet.
WHAT IS FORBIDDEN RICE OR BLACK RICE?
According to legend, it was first eaten by the Chinese Emperor Yao (2357-2255 BC). Forbidden Rice supposedly has many health benefits such as preventing cancer, increasing the immune system, and improving skin quality.
Forbidden Rice is said to have been stolen from heaven and brought down to earth where farmers cultivated this grain. Recently in China, there are people who have started eating Forbidden rice regularly as they believe it will promote longevity.
The forbidden rice in my family consists of mainly glutinous rice but sometimes normal long grained white rice if I don’t have enough glutinous rice home. It is different because of the color black and the smell.
WHY IT’S CALLED THE FORBIDDEN RICE?
The name comes from China’s ancient emperor Yao, who forbade his people to eat this special grain. Later on, he changed his mind and allowed the people to harvest it. For that reason, later generations held a great affection for forbidden rice.
The forbidden rice or black rice is a type of grain that has a long history in the East. It has been grown for over 1,500 years and originated in China. The forbidden rice was used as an offering to the Emperor of Ancient China during significant occasions such as weddings and funerals.
The name “Forbidden Rice” comes from its status as a food reserved only for royalty and not available to the general public until modern times.
Historically, this variety has also been called by many other names including Kao Niow (Kao meaning “grain” while Niow means “black”), Tien Tsai (“heaven’s treasure”) which translates into “Celestial Grain”, and Huang Hao Mo.
Nowadays, the Forbidden Rice is cultivated in many areas of China. The demand for this type of rice has increased significantly over the past several years, especially among people who want to have healthy food choices on a daily basis.
Regular white rice contains large amounts of starch since it is polished, removing the outer portions that contain nutrients such as vitamins and minerals needed by our bodies. Even brown rice remains a refined food because it still has its protective coat removed prior to processing.
This article will provide you with all the information you need regarding Forbidden Rice in hopes that you make an informed decision when shopping or ordering your next meal at a restaurant.
The forbidden rice was also recognized as one of China’s seven “super grains,” which are also known as The Mother Grains. These super grains were created by the ancient Chinese over 5,000 years ago and have not been changed since then.
For more than 2,000 years, these seven grains were used regularly for food as well as medicine in both China and Japan. Nowadays, many Chinese love eating this kind of rice because of its shape which is similar to those of puffed rice crackers….
Another legend about the black or forbidden rice in China states that when Buddha was teaching his disciples how to cook, he used two kinds of grains – white and red. Both were cooked with water and firewood under the burning sun; after six hours they became dark brown or black in color.
The white was called “Country Rice” and has long been used to feed the people; the red was called “Forbidden Rice” and reserved for use by monks. For that reason, many Chinese associate forbidden rice with sacredness and purity.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF FORBIDDEN RICE OR BLACK RICE
The Forbidden Rice or Black Rice is a whole grain, and its outer shell has not been removed, which keeps all the essential nutrients to benefit your health.
1. Contain Antioxidants
It contains large amounts of antioxidants to protect your body from free radicals, chemicals that can cause DNA damage resulting in damaged cells that may lead to heart disease, cancer and premature aging.
2. Powerful Food
The Forbidden Rice is a powerful food that will give you a lot of energy since it contains proteins and carbohydrates in the right proportion for the human body.
This rice helps you maintain a proper sleeping rhythm by eliminating tiredness. It will provide you with plenty of energy so that you feel refreshed in the morning when you get up.
Black rice is packed with nutrients that provide your body with vital energy which in turn improves your mood. In China, the forbidden grain is referred to as “happy” rice because there are many ways it can contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
3. Mineral Abundants
In addition, this kind of rice also provides important minerals such as iron, potassium and magnesium along with vitamins C, E and A. These vitamins play a critical role in protecting both your skin as well as cellular health – especially Vitamin C.
4. Contain Chonazin
Black rice contains chonazin, an antioxidant that can help reduce cholesterol levels and also has the ability to help remove toxic substances from your body. Chonazin also aids in healthy blood flow.
This powerful grain can make your skin look younger because chonazin works as an anti-aging agent, which prevents wrinkles and acne scars from forming while producing new elastic tissue thus making your skin softer. It may even help prevent the formation of cancer cells.
5. Good For Losing Weight
The Forbidden Rice or Black Rice is very good for people who want to lose weight because it encourages both fat burning and muscle growth, especially when combined with regular exercise.
This type of rice also helps you lose weight naturally by regulating hunger pangs and increasing metabolism so that you don’t feel tired and hungry at the same time. By taking frequent meals, especially those high in protein, your body will not only burn fat but also build muscle since the two processes go hand-in-hand when combined with exercise.
Nutritional Facts (per 100g):
Energy: 456 Kcal
Carbohydrates: 76 g
Protein: 14.3 g
Fiber: 1.5 g
Sodium: 9 mg
Potassium: 422 mg
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Omega 3 Fatty Acid: 633mg* (* Black Rice have more Omega-3 than any other rice, containing over 300mg per 100g).
Black rice is not just for Chinese people, but it can also be enjoyed by everybody else, especially those who are health conscious and want to keep a healthy lifestyle.
HOW TO COOK FORBIDDEN RICE OR BLACK RICE
First, wash the forbidden rice or black rice in a bowl with cold water two times.
Then put into other large bowl and add enough water to cover the rice. In this stage, it’s better to use hot water than cold water.
Now soak for about 10~15 minutes (It depends on how much you want). After soaking the Forbidden Rice or Black Rice, take out as much of the liquid as possible from each grain using your spoons or hands.
You can do this step several times until all of the liquid is gone… I mean few drops left 😉
You can use the liquid to water your plants, but I don’t really recommend… poor plant.
Then put a pot on medium heat with 2~3 tablespoons of cooking oil (or butter). After 5~6 minutes you’ll smell the nice aroma.
Add all of the forbidden rice or black rice into it…. and stir until all of them are coated by the oil. This step is optional but highly recommended if you want to enjoy its flavor 😉 Keep stirring! Seriously, YOU NEED TO STIR THEM FREQUENTLY until they’re ready to be served (~30 ~ 40 mins), every 5 minutes. I told you this is very time consuming!!
If you are using an electric stove, set at 250°F/120°C and using a wooden spoon, stir them frequently.
You can use the rice cooker or a pan on your stove top to cook forbidden rice or black rice. The most important part is to STIR FREQUENTLY.
If you don’t use an electric stove, keep checking every 10~15 minutes if there’s any water left in the pot. If not, that means it’s done 🙂
After cooked for about 30 ~ 40 mins, they should be like this…
Then shut off the heat and let it cool down for 5~10 minutes (no longer!). And VOILA! You can enjoy with chopsticks later 😉
Now this is seriously the world’s stickiest food I’ve ever seen. You have to use chopsticks to remove them from the pot or rice cooker. But it’s totally worthy of all your efforts.
If you don’t want to use a lot of oil, I recommend using butter instead.
TIPS ON COOKING WITH FORBIDDEN RICE OR BLACK RICE
Do Not Cook It With Other Rice
Forbidden rice or black rice is not sticky. It becomes sticky only when it is cooked with another kind of rice, such as white, red and black rice. Therefore, don’t cook it with other types of rice.
We think that the reason for the difference in taste and stickiness between forbidden rice and other kinds of rice lies in their different protein contents and amino acid compositions.
As you know, proteins are insoluble at molecular level except for glutamic acid compounds (which functions positively on human health), so we suggest just eating it without cooking when you first buy this type of rice. Forbidden koji may also be a good choice to make many meals from its long-term process.
When using forbidden rice or black rice to make stew, try not to use a pot because it is going to be stuck. It’s better to use a wok because you can turn the food over every time when doing so and avoid making any food sticking onto your cooking utensils.
Also, keep stirring frequently while cooking as often as possible. We suggest that you drain some of the water from the stew before eating, leading to a more delicious dish with plenty of vegetables (such as broccoli) in it.
STORAGE INSTRUCTION FOR FORBIDDEN RICE OR BLACK RICE
1. Forbidden rice is less sticky than other types of rice (especially red rice), which makes it suitable for a variety of dishes, such as stir-fried rice, chips and even for making breakfast cereal. The best way to store this kind of rice is at room temperature, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap or in a suitable container with a lid.
2. If you think that it has become stale, feel free to make tea breads (because it can be used without any prior cooking preparation) using forbidden rice and black koji. Also, you can add the long grain type into porridge since its texture tends to turn soft when cooked with other types of rice (especially red rice).
3. Forbidden koji may also be put into your refrigerator because its proteins tend to settle down during storage. However, if you find that it has gotten too hard, feel free to put it into a container and then steam it for 10 minutes. It will soften after removing the lid.
4. Although forbidden rice or black rice is not as sticky as other types of rice (especially red rice), we suggest that you do not make flour from this type of grain because the flour tends to become too hard when used in bread making purpose.
WHERE CAN YOU BUY BLACK RICE?
Black rice can be found at big stores like Watsons, Guardian and Cold Storage. It is also available online.
The packaging of black rice is not different from the white rice. The only difference is that it has a brownish color.
WHY IS THE TASTE SO UNIQUE?
1. Firstly: The method of cooking.
It takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes for one cup of water to get boiled with 3 cups of rice. You may think why it takes so long time but actually, you only need to turn on your stove at 8pm then cook your dinner with this kind of method (slow cooking). The secret behind this slow cooking is that the taste of the rice will become very unique, and it would be better to have a nice smell.
2. Secondly: The taste
The taste of cooking home-made black rice is quite different from the one that you bought from Watsons etc. Even when there is no difference in methods of cooking, they do not taste the same.
3. Thirdly: The packaging method
The packaging method of black rice that you buy at supermarkets use heat vacuum technology to keep the freshness so that it can survive for long time even if you are going to store it for many months. That’s why when you cook this kind of black rice (the one that has been bought), it tastes a little bit bland compared with the home-made one because some nutrients in this food have been lost.
4. Fourthly: The rice is ground
The rice is ground into powder then it is cooked in order to retain the nutrients that has been lost, so the final product will taste better than the one you bought from supermarkets. This food is also used for cosmetic purposes such as skin care products.
RECIPES FOR COOKING FORBIDDEN RICE OR BLACK RICE
From the information provided above, you may think “Why don’t I give a try for this kind of exclusive cooking method? – It’s always better to do something than nothing” or “It might be a little bit troublesome, but I will manage somehow.” After all of these benefits, how could you let go such kind of opportunity?
1. Simmered Rice (Wok-fried)
Ingredients: Forbidden rice, water, salt, cooking wine and pork bones or you may add other ingredients such as meat.
Wash the forbidden rice in clean water at least 3 times and then soak it in water for over 24 hours. When soaking the forbidden rice, make sure that the water is over 10-times of volume of forbidden grain. Add some vegetables into the mix if desired (such as carrot).
Next day before going to work or school, start by preheating the wok with oil and stir fry minced garlics till aromatic to flavor your fried rice or black rice a little bit later when it’s ready to serve. Add your soaked forbidden rice and continue stir frying until the yellow grains start to turn white (this process can help remove all the water from forbidden grain).
Stir fry minced pork or whatever other ingredients you add earlier into the mix inside the wok. In some local regions, people added deep fried tofu and eggs instead of meat when cooking this dish. Some modern families adjust saltiness with soy sauce towards the end of stir-frying session.
2. Steamed Rice
Ingredients: Forbidden rice, water, salt, eggs and sliced meat / sliced fish (optional)
Wash your forbidden rice thoroughly by soaking it in clean water for over 24 hours before preheating a steam pot with water. When the steam pot is hot enough, transfer your soaked forbidden rice into a steaming bowl which is placed inside the steam pot and cover it with a lid. (Note: Do not forget to add some salt and eggs into the mix.)
After 1 to 2 hours of steaming, remove the bowl from the steam pot and serve your rice on a plate while garnishing it with sliced meat or fish slices.
- Add yellow food coloring powder if desired
- Some regions added water chestnuts and shrimp shells into this dish as cooking ingredients to enrich the different flavors of foods.
- Some local people steam the forbidden rice with its husk removed and then milled it into powder.
3. Roasted Rice (Baked)
Ingredients: Forbidden rice, water, salt, eggs and slices pork fat or meat
Wash your forbidden rice thoroughly by soaking it in clean water for over 24 hours before roasting it in a clay stove until crispy brown color. Do not forget to add some salt and eggs into the mix before roasting in a clay stove.
The volume of roasted rice is enough to serve 2 adults in many regions. Just like steamed forbidden grain as side dishes or snacks eaten by humans on normal days.
4. Fried Rice Balls
Ingredients: Freshly baked steamed rice ball, 2 eggs or 1 egg yolk (optional), minced pork or fish slices (optional), vegetable oil for frying
Prepare two or one bowl of fried rice according to your choice and cooking needs before preparing another bowl full of roasted rice balls in different sizes and shapes using different methods.
Add sliced pork/fish into the mix for better taste if desired. Use a deep pan like wok to fry these freshly baked rice balls.
LET’S TRY AND ENJOY THIS HEALTHY RICE
Forbidden Rice or Black Rice is a type of rice that has been around for centuries. It was one of the first cultivated grains in China and it’s grown all over Southeast Asia, India, Japan, and parts of Africa.
The most common use for this grain outside of food is as a dye because it produces an indigo hue when ground down into powder. You can also find many variations on how to cook this tasty treat including everything from steaming to fried rice recipes!
If you want to try some black rice yourself there are plenty of places where you can buy online or at your local grocery store. We hope you enjoy exploring new flavors with us next time we blog about forbidden rice!