The Chinese black short-grain non-glutinous rice also called forbidden rice is becoming more popular and now available in most supermarkets in my area, along with the red variety from Bhutan. A 15-oz package of the LOTUS brand black rice is $2.75 at my grocery, online it's $4.50. The uncooked rice is very fragrant, and when cooked is nutty and chewy. I boiled the rice according to the package directions with 1 teaspoon of salt and half a tablespoon of butter. It took a little over 30 minutes to cook and I don't recommend making it into paella because it cooks longer than ordinary rice and because everything, meats and vegetables, will turn purple. It's better to cook this rice separately and mix with the other cooked ingredients just before serving.
I paired the simply boiled black rice with Chinese-style spicy prawns. It's yummy, but then again I love Chinese cuisine for its simplicity, ease of preparation, and great flavor and the prepared dish always looks beautiful.
Spicy Stir-fried Prawns
1½ pounds large prawns, peeled with tails on
3 tablespoons light olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon chopped scallions
1 teaspoon hot bean paste
1 tablespoon fermented rice wine or plain rice wine
4 tablespoons ketchup
½ teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small wok and stir-fry prawns for 2 minutes. Transfer prawns into a plate and set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon oil in the same wok and stir fry the garlic, ginger, and scallions until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the bean paste, rice wine, and ketchup and stir fry for half a minute.
- Mix the salt, sugar, water, and cornstarch and add to the wok along with the prawns. When the mixture begins to boil, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and toss lightly to mix all the ingredients and to coat the prawns with the sauce. Transfer into a serving platter and serve while hot.
I will prepare the rest of the uncooked black rice into Spanish Rice and Beans (Moros y Cristianos) with left-over cooked flageolets but in reverse, black rice instead of white and white beans instead of red or black beans.