How to Cook Forbidden Black Rice and Its Nutrition Benefits

When it comes to eating healthy, green tends to be the color that first comes to mind. However, we must stop and remind ourselves that a healthy plate implies a colorful plate! In fact, I’ll go out on a limb here and assume you didn’t give consideration to the color black when contemplating the colors of a nutritious meal. Nevertheless, I’m here to tell you why black rice ought to become your latest pantry staple.

What is forbidden rice?

From a nutritional standpoint, black rice is packed with antioxidants and rich in vitamin E. Just the outer hull alone has one of the highest amounts of anthocyanin found in foods around the world. In fact, black rice contains more anthocyanin antioxidants than blueberries, according to a study from the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center. In addition, it contains iron, which can provide vegans and vegetarians with yet another way to ensure they’re consuming adequate amounts of the mineral.

While brown rice continues to be a smart carbohydrate option, black rice should not be overlooked since it is practically bursting at the seams with antioxidants. White rice, on the other hand, happens to be processed, meaning the grain’s fiber-rich hull has been removed. A general rule of thumb is to make more than half of your grains whole, so why not practice this tip by experimenting with black rice? Think of it this way: black is the new brown!

Where can I buy forbidden black rice?

Interestingly enough, black rice was once such a rarity in China that only emperors enjoyed the privilege of eating it, hence the nickname “forbidden rice”. Nowadays, it is sold in most specialty food stores and supermarkets. 

cooked forbidden black rice
CourseSide Dish
DietGluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian


  • 4-quart heavy saucepan


  • 2 cups Chinese black rice dry
  • 4 cups water or vegetable or chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • Bring 2 cups black rice, the water or broth and salt to a boil in a 4-quart heavy saucepan, uncovered, over medium-high heat.
  • When the water begins to boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook rice until tender and most of the water has been absorbed, 45-55 minutes.
  • When done, remove from heat and let stand, covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
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Other recipes using forbidden rice or black rice

forbidden black rice with vegetables to add in for how to cook forbidden black rice

Fried Black Rice

Black Rice Coconut Milk Pudding

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