Black, or Forbidden Rice is a nutritional powerhouse. It has been dubbed the “healthiest rice in the world ” due to its high levels of iron, vitamin E, and antioxidants. The deep purple colour comes from anthocyanin, which is the same anti-inflammatory antioxidant found in berries, the skin of aubergines, grapes and red cabbage to name a few. It is called Forbidden Rice because during the days of the Ching and Ming dynasties, Forbidden Rice was exclusively reserved for the Chinese Emperors to ensure their longevity and good health. Eventually everyone was allowed to eat the rice. and since it has become a nourishing staple that is reputed to promote long life and good health.
This recipe makes a wonderful breakfast as much as a comforting dinner. Ingredients such as avocado, poached eggs, greens and tomatoes are my all time favourite breakfast ingredients, especially with a little homemade aged sriracha to spice things up a bit. If I am cooking rice in the evening I often double the rice quantities so I can make the recipe quickly as a weekend brunch treat. I have used black forbidden rice due to its excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but if you don’t have this you can use brown, red, wild rice or a mixture instead.
Black Rice Bowl
Serves 1, easily multiplied. 45 mins prep and cooking time (or if you have pre-cooked rice, 10-15 minutes prep and cooking time).
- 100g/½ cup Black Forbidden Rice
- 250ml/ 1½ cups water
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- ½ Onion
- 1 Clove Garlic
- Big Handful Leafy Greens (I used kale and spinach)
- Handful Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 Organic Egg
- Splash cider or white wine vinegar (optional)
- ½ Avocado
- Sea salt and Black Pepper
- Fresh Chives or Coriander (optional)
- Chilli Flakes (optional)
- Sriracha (optional)
To cook the black rice:
- Wash the rice in 2-3 changes of water. This is important to wash some of the starches out of the rice.
- Heat 450ml water in a saucepan and add the washed rice, along with a little salt.
- Do not stir, this will cause the starches to come out and make the rice stick together.
- Cover and gently boil for 35-45 minutes, or until all of the water has absorbed and the rice is soft.
To create the dish:
- Fill a saucepan with 3-4 inches of water and bring to a simmer, adding a little cider or white wine vinegar (I find it gives a neater poached egg when I use vinegar).
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Finely chop the onion and add to the pan, stirring occasionally until softening, about 3-4 minutes.
- Crush the garlic and add to the pan, along with the tomatoes and greens and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened. Stir in the rice and heat through. Check seasoning.
- Meanwhile, gently crack the egg into a ramekin and lower into the simmering water. Let it simmer for about 3 and a half minutes, or until the white has just become opaque.
- Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and place on some kitchen paper to drain off the excess water.
- Place the rice in a serving bowl, top with the egg and sliced avocado.
- Top with a little sea salt, black pepper, herbs, chilli and sriracha, if using.