Monday, May 21, 2012
Every other day there's a new super food that we're supposed to be eating so that we can become more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Those aren't quite my life goals, but I figured that I'd give forbidden rice (black rice) a try anyway. This ancient grain was supposedly once eaten exclusively by the Emperors of China. I think I qualify! Forbidden rice is chock full o' good stuff like anthocyanins (an antioxidant also found in blueberries) iron, 18 amino acids and a bunch of other nutrients. It also tastes great and looks pretty cool too. Check out my before and after pictures below.
Forbidden Rice - Dry
Forbidden Rice - Cooked
Since summer is officially approaching with Memorial Day weekend bearing down on us, I thought a cold rice salad might be a good way to sample this super rice (and is an excellent grill-and-chill side dish). Sticking with my Emperors of China theme, I made a toasted sesame oil and tamari (soy sauce) dressing, added in some extra color with snow peas and mango and finished with cashews for crunch. Delish. I may not exactly feel like donning a cape, but I will be making this again.
Emperors of China Forbidden Rice Salad
1 cup Forbidden Rice®
1 3/4 cups water
8 ounces snow peas
1 mango, diced (see photos below)
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon tamari
2 scallions, chopped
3/4 cup chopped roasted and salted cashews
1. Cook the rice: Bring the rice, water and a pinch of salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover and reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed. Remove to a large bowl to cool to room temperature.
2. Prepare the snow peas: In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Add the snow peas and cook (blanch) for one minute. Drain into a colander and rinse under cold water until the snow peas are cool. Remove to a cutting board and roughly chop.
3. Prepare the mango: Stand the mango on a cutting board stem end down. Cut through the mango just off center down one side of the pit. Repeat on the other side. Take one half and use a knife to make a cross hatch pattern, without cutting through the skin.
Turn the mango piece inside out and, using a pairing knife, run it along to skin to remove the pieces.
4. Make the salad: In a small bowl whisk together the sesame oil and tamari. Add to the rice followed by the snow peas, mango and scallions. Add the cashews only if serving immediately. Toss thoroughly. (For make ahead salads, do not add the cashews until just before serving to avoid softening.) Serves 4 as a side dish or appetizer. (Recipe can easily be doubled to serve more.)