Published on January 12th, 2013 | by Mary Gerush


Eat More Whole Grains: Try Black Japonica Rice

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Black Rice

In my quest to eat more whole grains in 2013, I’ve discovered a new favorite — black japonica rice.

This dark, long-grained rice was first cultivated in ancient China. It was thought to be the finest of grains, allowed only for the Emporer’s enjoyment, earning it the nickname forbidden rice. The grains turn a dark, shiny purple when cooked and taste nutty and slightly sweet with a hint of mushroom flavor. And they have a hearty chew. My family and I thought the black rice was a fabulous change of pace from the standard brown rice we normally cook.

This rice is also gluten-free and nutritious, boasting 3 grams of fiber and a host of important amino acids.

Toasted Black Japonica Rice

Makes 4 to 6 3/4 cup servings.


  • 1 cup black rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)

How To Cook It

Rinse the rice in a strainer under cool water. Shake to drain the excess liquid.

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the rice and stir frequently to toast the grains — about 5 minutes. Add the broth or water and the butter. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat until the rice is at a simmer. Cover and cook for 40 minutes. Remove from heat (leave lid on), and let the rice steam for about 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and enjoy!

Other Ways To Use It

We ate the rice solo alongside a main dish. You can also use it as a delightful ingredient in numerous ways. A few to try…

Check out a recent post on one of our sister sites for three more great recipe ideas! Have you tried black rice? What do you think of it?

Got a healthy recipe that you’d like to share? Head over to our Submit a Recipe page!

Image Credit: Wikipedia

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About the Author

Hi all! I'm Mary Gerush - a recovering corporate worker bee turned good-farm-real-food advocate and writer who wants to help people understand what they're eating. I tend a tiny urban farm in Dallas, TX, and hope to scale up one day soon. Omnivore through-and-through, there's not much I love to eat more than a butter-basted grass fed steak fresh from a searing hot cast iron skillet. Follow me on , , and !

2 Responses to Eat More Whole Grains: Try Black Japonica Rice

  1. AEM says:

    Were you able to find this at your local grocery store?

  2. Mary Gerush says:

    We got it at Sprouts in their bulk bin area. Sprouts is a smaller, less expensive version of Whole Foods. If you have them in your area, check ’em out. Also, Lundberg is a popular brand: Store finder here: Lotus Foods is another brand, but they don’t have a store finder on their web site that I can find. Happy hunting and cooking! Let me know what you think.

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