The “Forbidden Rice” Reserved For The Emperors: How To Cook The Black Rice

Although all rice originates from Asia, it has become such a common occurrence in every western kitchen that it has lost its exotic appeal. However, not all of the people know that there are thousands of rice varieties, some being rare even in the East.

We have also discovered black rice only recently but grew to love it at first sight. It not only looks exotic and mysterious but also tastes that way. You can eat it in many different ways- as a main dish, side dish or a dessert- but you will first have to learn how to cook the black rice properly!

A Few Facts About The Black Rice

Facts about the black rice

The black rice has been known in Ancient time but was considered a rarity even then. It was a food reserved for the ruling class. The black rice prohibition went so far that people could have ended up sentenced to death only for eating it without the permission of the strict authorities. Therefore it was proclaimed as a „forbidden rice“ and has stayed known by that name to this day.

Why was it deemed so highly? Well, black rice has an amazing array of health benefits, but in ancient times it was also considered to be an aphrodisiac. It is then no wonder that the mighty emperors wanted to keep it all for themselves…ok, maybe not all, they must have shared it at least with their consorts or concubines as well.It is much harder to grow than regular white rice and gives a far lesser yield. In numbers, you can get about 10 percent of what you would yield if you were cultivating other rice varieties.

For this reason, even when it became available to common people, it still remained a rarity as few were rich enough to actually afford it. It stayed a delicacy to this day. Nowadays, you can find it in the menu of the high-end restaurant, and it is usually still listed as an “emperor’s ” or “forbidden rice,” but you can also try and prepare it on your own as most stores sell it as well.

Health Benefits Of Black Rice

Benefits of black rice

You must have already heard the term superfood, and black rice is best explained as a member of this group – the food which is highly nutritious and offers numerous health benefits as well. When you add up all these benefits that reflect to your well-being, you will surely realize why this food was reserved for the ruling class.
Its natural healing power has been recognized as early as the Ancient times, but some newly confirmed research suggests that there is even more to this incredible grain. It is loaded with antioxidants, even more than blueberries which are actually famous for that reason.

Besides the antioxidants, black rice is also rich in Vitamin E, which is responsible for the youthful appearance and therefore very sought for. All these properties place the black rice to another popular food group- the anti-aging one!

If beauty is not your only concern, black rice will also lower the risk for dangerous diseases that can threaten your life. It has anti-cancerogenic properties but also fights off heart diseases by keeping your blood pressure and circulation in check. Your digestive system will be thankful as well, as it will benefit from the fibers and valuable anti-inflammatory properties. There are claims that Black rice can help you avoid the Alzheimer’s disease as well, and the list does not stop there either.

The newest research mentions that Black rice might prevent diabetes too, and scientists hope that they will discover even more health benefits in the future! Do not wait for that though; current findings are more than enough of a reason to learn how to cook Black rice the right away!

How To Cook Black Rice

How to cook black rice

Everyone is talking about Black rice nowadays it has become the newest “it” organic food! You must follow the trends too and learn how to cook the black rice! As usual, we will help you. Soon enough you will enjoy the wonderful nutty taste this grain delivers!

The Procedure

1. Rinse the Black rice thoroughly: Pour the rice into a large bowl and run it under cold water rubbing it with your hands during the process. Strain the Black rice and then repeat the process at least two more times. In this way, you will remove the starches that are on the surface of the rice grains and prevent clumping when you cook it.
2. Soak the Black rice overnight: Pour cold water over it, cover the bowl and leave it on the kitchen counter overnight. This might be time-consuming but will keep your rice from clumping as well.
3. Boil the Black rice: Select a large pot, measure your rice with cups so that you will know how much water you should add later on. Namely, per every cup of rice, you must add two cups of water- that is the safest method to make sure that your rice cooks to perfection. When you add enough water, turn the stovetop to the medium heat and bring the Black rice to a boil.
Reduce the heat, and leave it to simmer for about half an hour (or until all the water is absorbed).
4. Leave the Black rice to sit: It is important to remember not to stir the rice at this point, simply cover the pan and let it sit for fifteen minutes.
5. Fluff the Black rice and serve it: now you are allowed to stir the rice, so use the fork and fluff it before you serve it.

Extra Tips

● It is possible to cook the black rice in stock (vegetable, chicken, beef- whichever you prefer). The amount of stock equals the amount of water you would normally add- two cups of stock per every cup of Black rice. The taste will be saltier and have a more prominent aroma.
● The color of the cooked rice is one of its assets as it makes it rather interesting, especially when used as a side dish/ it gives a pop of dark purple color! However, the color might be the problem for your ceramic or enamel cookware as it will likely stain it and be rather difficult to wash off afterward. For this reason, choose your cookware wisely!

The Best Recipe With Black Rice

Once your black rice is cooked, you can use it to make delicious meals that will not only be a gift for your palate but also a highly nutritious source of energy you need to get through the day!

Black Rice With Eggs

Black rice with eggs


  • 2 – 3 cups of black rice (cook the rice as instructed)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 of chopped onion
  • Salt
  • Red pepper
  • 3/4 cup organic extra-firm tofu, (dice it into small cubes)
  • 1 small chopped garlic clove
  • 2 – 3 cups of Spinach ( you can substitute the spinach with turnip greens)
  • 4 eggs

How To Make

  • Cook the rice using the instructions we have already provided.
  • Use a large frying pan to warm the olive oil, set the stovetop to the medium heat. Fry the onions seasoned with salt and red pepper to your taste. When the onions are done (soft and glassy) add the tofu and keep stirring until it browns.
  • Next, add the spinach and garlic and cook until they become soft as well.
  • Finally, stir in the rice, let it heat evenly and remove from the stovetop.
  • Use a small saucepan to simmer some water, crack the eggs into it and poach them. The eggs are done when they turn white. Use the straining utensil to take them out and serve them on top of the prepared Black rice.
  • Enjoy the meal! It is a great choice for breakfast or dinner!


If you are trying to live a healthy life- a healthy diet is a must! It does not have to do with how much you eat but rather with what you eat so choose your food wisely! Black rice is definitely a great choice- a real „emperor’s“ food and you should make it your daily habit!

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