Black Rice with Sweet Potatoes

At the store last week I noticed, for the first time, black rice. I can honestly say I’ve never seen this before and it struck me as such an unusual thing. But, after doing a little research I learned so much about this versatile and HEALTHY rice. I was so intrigued by what I learned about black rice…

Black Rice, also known as forbidden rice is considered to be both food and medicine in China. It is black in color and turns deep purple when cooked because it is rich in antioxidants. It contains 18 different amino acids, iron, zinc, copper, carotene and many other important vitamins. In China, black rice is claimed to be good for the kidney, stomach and liver (these claims have not been verified), as well as provide many health benefits – prevention of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and heart attacks. I am sure this grain will become very popular soon in the US; it’ll be the next ”big thing” in the near future. We went from white rice to brown rice and now to black rice? It could happen.

I was so fascinated by all I had just read and I started searching for recipes, and found so many that looked interesting! Next weekend for my graduation party I plan on making Cumin-Scented Quinoa and Black Rice or Black Rice Salad with Ginger Dressing. Tonight I decided on Black Rice with Sweet Potatoes.

Black rice has a mild but distinct flavor. I found it to be somewhat nutty and sweet at the same time, and slightly chewier than brown rice, but very tasty.
Basic rule for cooking black rice, 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice.

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

  • 3/4 cups Chinese Black Rice
  • 1.5 cups Water
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt (optional)
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup Scallions, (1 bunch)
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Ginger, Peeled & Minced (or ginger powder if you realize you forgot to buy fresh ginger)
  • 1 Sweet Potato, Large (12-14 oz), diced

Recipe

  1. Rinse rice under cold water before cooking.
  2. In a sauce pan, bring rice, water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook rice, covered  until tender and most of the water is absorbed (about 35 minutes).
  3. Let rice stand, covered, off the heat for 10 minutes. 
  4. While the rice is cooking, heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Saute scallions, ginger, and sweet potato, stirring until well coated (about 2 minutes). Reduce heat to medium/medium-low and add the rest of the salt (if using, I omit salt, always) and pepper to taste.
  5. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the potato is tender, about 12 minutes.
  6. Add the rice and toss gently to combine

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