Meals in a bowl are a great way to use up any leftovers you've got kicking around in your fridge. This forbidden rice bowl recipe came about as a way for me to experiment with my new favorite ingredient, black rice or forbidden rice. I was first introduced to forbidden rice at a sushi restaurant in Scottsdale. Not only is forbidden rice beautiful, but it contains more antioxidants and protein than brown rice. So I made a forbidden rice bowl full of raw and cooked vegetables to highlight this tremendous black rice.
As it turns out, this heirloom rice, grown in China, is also naturally high in iron—it contains more than three times as much iron as regular brown rice and sixteen times as much as glutinous white rice. As a whole grain, it is also high in fiber. Its flavor is slightly nutty. However, its texture is smooth and firm—not sticky like glutinous rice.
Also called purple rice, black rice has a vibrant dark purple hue when cooked. So, if you're looking for a way to create a stunningly beautiful bowl, you may want to include black rice on your grocery list this week.
Is black rice healthier than brown or white rice?
Believe it or not, black rice is a rock star compared to other rice. How does it compare?
- Black rice – 200 calories; 34 g carbs; 6 grams protein
- Brown rice – 222 calories; 45 g carbs; 4.5 g protein
- White rice – 236 calories; 45 g carbs ;3 grams protein
What are the health benefits of black rice?
- High in Antioxidants: Research shows that black rice contains over 23 antioxidants and has the highest antioxidant activity of all rice varieties.
- Anthocyanin: This is a pigment responsible for the black-purple color of forbidden rice. It's also been found to have potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer effects.
- Heart Health: Black rice contains antioxidants that have been shown to help protect against heart disease. However, more research is needed to understand black rice's effects on heart disease.
- Gluten-Free: Black rice is naturally gluten-free and can be a good option for celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
How to make a forbidden rice bowl
Begin with a variety of cooked and raw vegetables. For this forbidden rice bowl, I wanted a lot of colors and texture.
- Watermelon radishes
- Yellow baby bell peppers
- Pea shoot sprouts
- Boy Choy
- Snap Peas
- Forbidden Rice
- Pickled Cabbage
How to cook black rice
Although many people suggest rinsing or soaking rice before cooking, this step isn't necessary. Instead, boil 2 ¼ cups of water with a small amount of salt for each cup of black rice. Then, add the black rice, stir, cover, and reduce to simmer for 30-35 minutes.
Another suggestion is to fluff the rice once cooked and return the cover to the pan to allow any extra moisture to soak into the rice. Then, the rice stays warm while the rest of the forbidden rice bowl recipe is prepared.
Quick and easy pickled cabbage
Even though many people think pickling vegetables is a long, complicated process, there is a quick and easy way to pickle any vegetables.
- Pint-sized mason jar
- Purple cabbage
- White vinegar
- Agave or maple syrup
- Rosemary or other any herbs and flavors desired
Regardless of the flavors, you choose to infuse into your cabbage; rosemary is my preference. I love rosemary, but basil or hot peppers can change the taste drastically and enhance the flavors you are trying to match with a recipe.
- In a small saucepan, stir together vinegar, agave, and salt.
- Add additional optional flavorings as desired.
- Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
- Pour mixture over chopped cabbage in a jar until full.
- Place the lid on and let cool to room temperature.
- Place the lid on to seal and refrigerate.
- Wait overnight and use your favorite recipes.
- Will last sealed in the refrigerator for 7-10 days
What sauce is used in the forbidden rice bowl recipe?
Since I chose Asian vegetables, I decided to make my favorite miso stir fry sauce to drizzle over my rice bowl.
- Miso paste (yellow or white)
- Mushroom powder also called umami seasoning
- Soy sauce (or tamari for a gluten-free option)
- Chili sauce
- Warm water
- Maple syrup or date syrup
- Sriracha (optional for a bit of heat)
- If you can't find black rice, substitute brown rice or rice of choice
- Serve this forbidden rice bowl with raw and cooked vegetables, or sauce all the vegetables and add to the rice, and drizzle with the sauce.
- Choose vegetables based on preference
- Make Pickled Red Onions, instead of cabbage for a different option
- Add Crispy Kung Pao Tofu Recipe for an added protein option.
Are you looking for healthy vegan bowl recipes?
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂