An Emperor’s Dinner – Ancient Black Rice

From what I hear, this great super food, once upon a time, was reserved only for the Emperor and the royal families in China. Black medium grain rice, slightly glutinous was called “forbidden rice” since the royals wanted the commoners to not have any of it. Just a week ago I heard about the fabulous health benefits of black rice from a good friend of mine and decided to give it a try.

In my opinion, it’s delicious, easy to cook and not as chewy as brown rice. It has a nutty flavour, it is slightly sticky when cooked and cooks very well in about 20 minutes on the stove top. When the rice starts cooking, the bran coating on the grain starts turning purple, like purple yam or ube. Today was my first attempt at creating a flavoursome bowl of this rice. Like always I’m never someone who looks up a recipe online, but creates something with ingredients readily available on hand.

If you’re looking to buy black rice, most grocery stores have the long grain and the short grain kind, but Asian grocery stores always carry the medium grain black rice. Whole foods, Walmart and Amazon might be other choices of retailers. I bought a small bag of organic non GMO and Amazon delivered it the day after purchase, yay prime, of course!

Before I actually cooked it I’ve been studying various health benefits of the rice or the Internet and in the library. I’ll tell you more about this wonder food very soon, but in a nutshell, here’s what I found: 

  • Great source of iron and protein
  • Anthocyanin antioxidants three times as much as in blueberries
  • Rich in fibre, twice the amount of fibre than brown rice
  • Vitamin C antioxidants powerful enough to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
  • Helps increase memory power and reduce inflammation

My recipe was simple. It served as a side for Instant Pot Lemony Stewed Chicken. The boys loved it and the cook, yours truly, received sufficient praise. 






Spiced Black Rice
Serves 4
Whats good for the Chinese Emperor works great for us!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
  1. 1 cup Black Rice
  2. 2 cups of Water
  3. 1 Onion
  4. 1 Bell Pepper chopped
  5. 1 Tomato chopped
  6. 6 Chinese Flower Mushrooms chopped
  7. Salt and Pepper to taste
  8. 1 tbsp Butter
  9. 1tsp grated Ginger
  10. 1tsp grated Garlic
  11. 1tsp chopped Cilantro
  1. Wash and cook rice in 2 cups of water, add salt, pepper and the butter while it's cooking. Set aside once the water has disappeared.
  2. Chop the onion, fry it in a little butter, add the bell pepper, mushrooms, ginger and garlic.
  3. Turn in the cooked rice and add the tomato. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Garnish with cilantro and serve with a meat of your choice!
I Heart Soul Food //