I don’t know about any of you, but I have a tendency to grab unusual grains, noodles and so forth from the Asian Market when I go shopping. On one of my more recent excursions I picked up a massive bag of “glutinous black rice” thinking that it might be a really good whole grain rice to make sushi with.
The sushi experiment was an utter disaster due to the fact that the rice is quite sweet and much more glutinous than I was expecting. So, I now have a lot of this rice, and really have no idea what to use it for other than as a breakfast grain. So, I’m going to do some research (in this case I’ll be posting my research and, later the resulting dish/es) and figure out how to use this baffling, but very nourishing grain.
According to http://www.blackrice.com :
What is Black Rice exactly?
‘Black Rice’ is actually more purplish in color than black; although when uncooked it is very dark in appearance. This type of rice is usually sold ‘un-milled’, with the husk intact. Up until modern times, Black Rice was not easy to come by; it had been highly treasured and protected in Asia for many centuries. It is also commonly used as a condiment, dressing, or as a decoration for different types of desserts in many countries around the world.High in nutritional value, black rice is rich in iron and high in fiber.
According to http://www.cnn.com :
Like brown rice, black rice is full of antioxidant-rich bran, which is found in the outer layer that gets removed during the milling process to make white rice. But only black-rice bran contains the antioxidants known as anthocyanins, purple and reddish pigments — also found in blueberries, grapes, and acai — that have been linked to a decreased risk of heart disease and cancer, improvements in memory, and other health benefits.
So, as you can see black rice has some pretty distinct nutritional benifts and it’s well worth learning how to prepare it and integrate it into one’s diet. I’m sure I’ll be playing with this ingredient for a while as I think it has the potential to be used in whole grain baked goods, and a number of other unconventional applications.
My first recipe attempt will be this “Steamed Black Rice Pudding” recipe from www.netplaces.com because, frankly I have the ingredients on hand and it’s a nice, simple and tasty-sounding recipe. With my budget, it’s always best to experiment with inexpensive ingredients, before I get too fancy and wind up wasting money.
Steamed Black Rice Pudding
A popular Asian sweet dessert soup made from glutinous black rice is called Pulut Hitam. This is a pudding version of that dish.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 3 OR 4
1 cup black glutinous rice, rinsed clean and soaked overnight
6 cups water
2 tablespoons honey, divided use
¼ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons coconut milk
Honey, for drizzling
Add rinsed rice and the water to the rice cooker pot, cover, and set to Cook. Allow to come to a boil and continue to boil for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. When boiling vigorously, tilt rice cooker lid slightly to vent built-up steam, and simmer until rice splits open and becomes fairly soft.
With about 5 to 10 minutes to go before draining the rice, stir in 1 tablespoon honey.
Drain the rice, place in a bowl, and then mix with salt and remaining honey. Spoon the rice mixture into cups or molds and set aside on a plate that will fit in the steamer insert or basket.
Clean out the rice cooker. Fill the pot with water to about the 4-cup mark, cover, and set to Cook. When the water in the rice cooker boils, place the steamer insert or basket that holds the cups over the boiling water. Cover the rice cooker and steam for 1 hour.
Remove steamed rice from molds (turn the mold upside down above the plate; with the help of a spoon to lift the rice from the edges of the molds, the rice may just drop gently on the plate) and place on serving plates. Drizzle coconut milk and honey over the steamed rice pudding.
Whole Food, Whole Person Note:
Of course, as I do my best to eat a primarily plant-based diet, I will be substituting the honey in this recipe with agave nectar. Even if you aren’t practicing a 100% vegan diet, I would strongly suggest trying to avoid using honey, as our world bee population is in serious trouble currently, and supporting the exploitation of troubled species is never a good idea.
Tomorrow I will post the result of my black rice experiment, and will review the recipe.