The phrase forbidden rice sounds extremely exciting and mysterious. It sounds like some highly illegal actions are taken in order to acquire this delicacy. Anytime the word "forbidden" is mentioned, curiosity is sparked. Why is it forbidden? How can I get my hands on forbidden rice? Why do I care so much about acquiring something I just heard of an hour ago?

Well this article is here to answer all of your recently formulated questions.

A Handful of Forbidden Rice

What is Forbidden Rice?

Forbidden rice is just another name for the black rice that is making its way through trendy food dishes lately. Even though it's also called black rice, it actually looks a lot more like purple rice. This color came about because of its richness in anthocyanins, which is an antioxidant pigment. This pigment is also evident in blueberries and blackberries.

The rice got its name because of ancient Chinese emperors from the Ching and Ming dynasties. They saw the nutritional value in this specific grain of rice and declared it forbidden to the people, only for the use of the emperor, which is why it's also called "Emperor's Rice."

So if this rice is so trendy and hip, what does it even taste like? The black rice on its own has a mild and nutty, almost slightly sweet taste to it, which gives it lots of versatility in what you can make with it.

A Black Rice Dinner

Forbidden Rice Recipes

Because of forbidden rice's unique flavor, there are an endless combinations of forbidden rice recipes that you can include the dark and mysterious looking rice into. These recipe combos spread across dinners, salads, breakfasts, and even desserts (like this rice pudding).

How To Cook Forbidden Rice

To begin cooking forbidden rice, you must follow the ratio of 2:1. That means for every cup of rice that you prepare, 2 cups of water are required in order for it to reach the proper consistency. Some people soak the rice in water before cooking it, but that's just a personal preference that can reduce the cooking time.

Now for the recipe combinations: essentially everything you can find with rice in it, you can substitute forbidden rice in lieu of non black rice. These are a few of my favorites.

Forbidden Rice Nutrition

Is there a verified reasoning for these ancient emperors to be hoarding all of this rice to themselves? It turns out, the nutritional aspect of this rice does make it very desirable, along with its extreme Instagram-ability.

Forbidden rice is higher in fiber and protein as well as being lower in calories than your traditional brown rice. Because the emperor's rice is whole grain, it is also much healthier than white rice. It is also gluten free for those wanting to live that lifestyle.

The anthocyanins that make the rice dark in complexion also have complex nutritional benefits. It has been scientifically proven that these anthocyanins can prevent cancer and heart disease. Forbidden black rice actually has more of this group of antioxidants than blueberries, which are seen as a big time health food. The rice has also been proven to control blood sugar and to block the absorption of cholesterol as well. Lastly, it also contains different groups of antioxidants which are beneficial for healthy eyes.

A Barrel of Black Rice

Where Can You Buy Forbidden Rice

Forbidden Rice used to only be available at gourmet grocery stores and Asian supermarkets, but now it can be found at Whole Foods, Target, Walmart, and online as well. You can get 2 15 oz bags on Amazon right here. However, since the harvesting of black rice only yields roughly 10 percent of the overall rice total, the prices might be more expensive than normal. Now that you're familiar with all of the names involved with this trendy food, you can identify it at any restaurant menu to show off how informed you really are.

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