Are you looking for superfood? Black is the new brown! Check out how to cook black rice like in a Chinese restaurant and unfold its secrets.
The Dark Secrets
Comfortable living in the olden times was meant only for the royalties, and this includes food.
In ancient China, only the Emperor has all the rights to eat black rice.
Kind of scary, coz it will get you into big trouble when you get caught sneaking a handful of this grain.
Maybe, the production was challenging or the taste is excellent which may have led the emperor to consume the grains exclusively.
Black rice is also called, the “Emperor’s rice” and “Forbidden rice” because only the Emperor and his family can eat this grain.
Although the records are not clear as to when did black rice came into the picture, shreds of evidence note that it was already growing in Asia, particularly in regions of China.
Black rice is an heirloom type of rice. So you can find it in mostly in gourmet sections or authentic Asian stores.
Its rarity was due to how tricky it is to grow and yield. It has a fragrant aroma and texture like that of the brown and red rice which is a bit nutty and chewy.
Black rice is usually made into deserts, salads, and also a part of the main dish. However, black rice contains a high level of anthocyanin, these are water-soluble vacuolar pigments, which fight off free radicals.
Because of its unusual color, it was revered to as an extremely healthy food in China.
Apart from being rich on antioxidants, black rice also helps in preventing diseases linked with chronic inflammation, such as the following:
- Slows down the absorption of sugar into the blood
- Rich in Fiber
- Reduces dangerous atherosclerotic plaque formation
- Lesser risk of obesity
- Natural Detoxifier
The main components of black rice is broken into:
- 0.7-milligram of iron
- 32 grams of carbohydrates
- 4 grams of protein
- 0.8-gram of sugar
- 2.3 grams of fiber
- Contains the highest amount of antioxidants among the rice varieties
Uses in Traditional Medicine
Not only does black rice benefit our health but, it also has a significant contribution in traditional medicine.
Ancient Chinese medicine believed in the powers of black rice.
They considered that black rice can treat various conditions as complexes like liver problems, hypertension, diarrhea, pyrexia, liver disorders, and, dysentery.
Other ailments such as urinary problems including kidney stones, common cold, and urinary tract infections or UTI.
Some ancient Chinese medical records indicated that black rice has great contributions to improvements in vision and blood circulation.
Black Rice, an Ancient Aphrodisiac
Apart from the healing and nutritious characteristics of black rice, it would seem that it was also thought to be slightly of an aphrodisiac.
The emperors were thought to be eating black rice with their consorts or concubines at some points in history.
How to Store Black Rice
As much as possible, purchase only the exact amount of black rice your recipe calls. But, if you have purchased it in volume, you can store it properly to ensure its longevity.
Storing black rice is almost the same as the rest of the rice varieties. You can keep it inside the refrigerator and must be sealed. Black Rice will last for 6 months to one year in an airtight container.
Cooked black rice stays about 4-7 days inside the refrigerator but it is best to use it within 2 days. Fried rice will be the best recipe to try! 😛
How to Cook Black Rice like in Chinese Restaurant
Remember that washing and soaking the rice before cooking reduces cooking time. For the correct water ratio, the general rule is 2 cups of water to a cup of black rice.
This will cook for about 30 minutes, but if you cook unsoaked black rice, it will go for about an hour.
- Wash and rinse black rice at least three times. Soak it for about 30 minutes to an hour.
- Drain the rice and place it inside a cooking pot. Measure 2 cups of water and pour over the rice.
- Place the pot on medium-high heat and let it boil. At this point, turn the heat to its lowest and cover the lid. Let it simmer until all water is absorbed.
- Turn off the heat and keep the rice covered for another ten minutes.
Black Rice in a Rice Cooker
If you prefer using a rice cooker, the only tip you need to remember is the water ratio. You don’t want your rice to be very hard or very mushy either.
However, if you have modern rice cooker types, you can simply use the brown rice setting and add the correct water ratio as per instruction.
- Rinse the black rice under running water. Drain and place inside the cooker inner pot
- Measure rice to water ratio provided by the rice cooker. Note: not all rice cooker measuring cups have the same size so better to follow the instructions. But of course, the default rule is 2 cups water to one cup of rice.
- Plug in the rice cooker and turn on to cook. For conventional cookers, simply turn it on to Cook. For modern cookers, use the brown rice cooking setting.
- Wait until the rice cooker switches to automatic keep warm. Let it rest for about 10 minutes more.
- Fluff the rice with a spatula or fork.
Heirloom Black Rice Chinese Recipe
Black rice is best for several recipes too, it can be anything you crave for like fried rice, salad, and more. Check out this video on how Chef Sang Yoon made this awesome black rice.
It is so amazing to discover ancient secrets such as the history of black rice. Now that we have learned how to cook black rice like in Chinese restaurant, it makes me feel proud. Proud that we know something about the food we eat and prepare.
For me, eating black rice actually reminds yourself that you are consuming something specially reserved for kings. Have you tried eating black rice? Make sure to comment us below your recipes and cooking experience.