Names are everything, aren’t they? Doesn’t the name Forbidden Rice Salad just make you want to eat it?
O.k., well it does me so I guess that is just a testament to my rebellious nature.
Forbidden Rice is an heirloom, open pollinated variety of rice that gets its rich, black color from the bran. Once it is cooked, like black beans, takes on a more purplish hue but it is still beautiful. Because the rice retains the bran it has that chewy, nutty quality that brown rice has – but I think it has more flavor and has less of a tendency to be dry.
The theory is that Forbidden Rice got its name because only Chinese royalty were allowed to eat it due to the rarity of it. It makes sense to me because in ancient times almost every culture had foods that commoners were not allowed to eat.
Anyway, even though the rice is no longer forbidden it can be hard to find. You should be able to find it online or in the imported food section of your grocery store. It still is on the rare side, although it is gaining in popularity.
It is a fabulous ingredient because of the gorgeous color – it really makes a dish stand out.
I saw a recipe for this Forbidden Rice Salad in my Bon Appetit magazine. I knew I wanted to make it but I had a few tweaks I wanted to make – so I did. It was absolutely delicious – and I even took it to a potluck to see how it went over. Rave reviews, people, rave reviews.
It tastes best after it has had time for the flavors to blend so try to make it ahead.
If you can’t find it in your local store you can order it from Amazon. This is the brand I used.
Forbidden Rice Salad RecipePrint Add to Collection Go to Collections
For the Salad
- 2 cups Forbidden black rice
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 3 3/4 cups water
- 2 mangoes, , diced
- 3 oranges, , sectioned and membrane removed, then diced
- 1/2 cup onion, , chopped
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, , stems removed and chopped
- 3 jalapenos, , chopped small
- 1 cup pecans, , toasted
For the Dressing
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 3 - 4 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon balsamic
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil, (or olive oil but the sesame oil adds flavor)
- 2 teaspoons lime zest
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Whisk the dressing ingredients together and set aside for the flavors to develop
- Bring the water, vinegar and salt to a boil.
- Add the rice - stir, cover, and turn heat to simmer.
- Allow the rice to cook for 20 minutes.
- Turn heat off and leave the rice covered for 20 more minutes
- Turn rice out on a cookie sheet and spread it out so it cools quickly.
- Add the rice to a large bowl. Top with the remaining ingredients.
- Pour the dressing over the top and stir gently to blend.
Add grilled chicken or shrimp to make this a delicious main dish salad.