Forbidden Rice

by Susan on April 28, 2011

Black Rice and Veggies with Sweet and Sour Sauce from Transitional Raw Foods

On Sunday, I posted one of my new favorite recipes for Kabobs. They are a delicious alternative to kabobs on the grill. As the comments came in, people weren’t asking about the kabobs, they were asking about the Forbidden Rice that I pictured the kabobs with. I received many emails and questions about the rice. Mostly just asking for more information. So here you go.

Forbidden or Black Rice got it’s name because centuries ago in China, only the Emperor was allowed to eat it. It was forbidden to all others, thus the name. Before it is cooked, the rice is black. As it cooks, it turns a deep purple. It’s color comes from the high anthocyanin content.

Anthocyains are very important to us. They protect us from cancer, inflammation, and are also considered to be neuro-protective which means that they help protect your nervous system from degeneration. Anthocyains are what give fruits and veggies (and flowers) their color. They are part of the flavonoid family.

Forbidden Rice actually has more anthocyains that blueberries. It is also high in fiber, iron, vitamin E and other antioxidants. It is one of the super healthy, non-raw foods that I gladly include in my diet. You can find Forbidden Rice at many markets, or online.


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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Krista April 28, 2011 at 4:07 pm

I recently discovered forbidden rice in the bulk bins of my favorite grocery store. We love it!


Katie April 28, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Hi there-
I’ve recently been following your blog and love it. I’m not raw, but am inspired what you do and make. Question on the Forbidden rice- do you rinse before you cook?



Sam [Low Carbon Diet] April 28, 2011 at 9:51 pm

I have NEVER heard of forbidden rice but I am SO intrigued! Where did you get it??


Susan April 28, 2011 at 9:53 pm

You can get it at many markets or order it online.


Susan April 29, 2011 at 10:13 am

Can’t wait to hear about your online classes – that sounds great!


villarosa April 29, 2011 at 11:00 am

Do you mind sharing how you prepare the forbidden rice? Soak? & sprout?? I too am interested in your online classes! Thank you for your lovely recipes. I own both of your books and your card calendar.


Susan April 29, 2011 at 11:10 am

I cook it as you would rice. This is not something that I even try to use raw.


Gracie April 29, 2011 at 11:54 am

Just wondering if there is a place to order organic or if some black rice is better than others? Any pointers? Can’t wait for the on-line classes!!


Susan April 29, 2011 at 4:53 pm
Eco Mama April 29, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Sexy post Susan! Love the little history bits. Maybe I should start putting the word forbidden before other foods….forbidden salad…forbidden broccoli…etc.
Eco Mama


Chris April 30, 2011 at 2:09 am

I can’t wait to try something forbidden! *wink*


Lindsay May 1, 2011 at 6:26 am

I live in Taiwan, and bought some forbidden rice over the weekend. It is super cheap 58 nt for a bag. The Taiwanese cook this rice a lot in vegetarian restaurants. Do you have any other recipes in which we can use this rice-as it is absolutely delicious.


Renee May 2, 2011 at 11:46 am

I found black rice at the new Asian grocery store that opened up last week by my house. It took forever to cook though! Maybe it was old? Tasted great once it was finally done though. Made me wish I had a rice cooker.


cricket jackie finger May 8, 2011 at 2:06 pm

what is everyone saying about classes i am so interested in this may i get a heads up on this if classes occur thankful and hopeful jackie finger


Susan May 8, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Jackie, have you subscribed to the site? I will be making more announcements there.


Carol May 9, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Just found your website; so glad!


ben May 12, 2011 at 5:56 pm

I love black rice. I eat 90% raw, but will make an Indian-style pilaf using black rice.


Paul May 19, 2011 at 8:54 pm

You can also get black barley which is also higher in nutrients and protein than regular barley.


Tiffany July 14, 2011 at 7:32 am

Try putting in dehydrator covered with water in a glass dish before you go to bed, wake to soft rice! It’s Rawmazing!!! Susan I love your site and books!


Susan July 14, 2011 at 8:13 am

I have not yet come to a conclusion about eating rice raw…if there is actually a nutritional benefit to it. Much rice needs to be parched at high temperatures to remove the outer chaff so even in it’s uncooked form, it isn’t raw.


Andrea August 10, 2011 at 11:30 pm


I have never heard of forbidden rice. I wonder if we can get it here in Australia. I will research the internet. I am eating brown rice for the moment since I was not aware of this forbidden rice.



Candace February 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I soak Forbidden rice in water at room temp for 8 hours and then rinse and eat, it is delicious!!


Irina March 5, 2012 at 12:50 am

I love black forbidden rice and experimenting with it in sweets and crackers as I write now ;-). I eat it raw already 6 month. As I’ve been playing with sprouting all rices from Whole Foods… I only succeeded with Wild and this one. I did not tried Red Bhutanese rice… as it was infested by insects (lol) before I tried. Black forbidded I place with 1.5 portions of water, so it is covered. It is overnighting in the dehydrator but at 134 F. When I stick my finger inside… it is not hot… so the air is hot but not the rice. I will try it in the slow cooker on the lowest… must work too. Same goes for Wild rice… but it is not as evenly blooms. I am interested in the crackers and sweet s recipes with such rices and also with dehydrated and milled after sprouting. Does anyone has an experience? Thanks


Susan March 5, 2012 at 10:06 am

Wild rice will “bloom” but it will not sprout because it can’t. It has to be parched over high heat to remove the chaff. After going through that, I honestly don’t see a reason not to cook it as I think at this point you are not protecting nutrients.


Julie April 18, 2012 at 11:29 am

Sprout it! Tastes amazing and is raw!


Wendy November 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm

I also enjoy forbidden rice raw. Just soak overnight and rinse and drain it. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy in salads or puddings


Ken Gallagher December 8, 2012 at 1:06 am

Is this a true rice in the sense that it is free of gluten?????????


Susan December 8, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Yes, it is rice.


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