How to Cook Forbidden Rice

Forbidden rice, also known as black rice or Emperor’s rice, is a unique and nutritious variety of rice with a deep purple-black color when cooked. It has a slightly nutty flavor and a chewy texture, making it an excellent choice for a variety of dishes. This step-by-step guide will walk you through cooking forbidden rice to perfection.


  • 1 cup of forbidden rice
  • 2 cups of water (for cooking)
  • A pinch of salt (optional)


  • Fine-mesh strainer (for rinsing, optional)
  • Medium-sized saucepan with a lid
  • Measuring cup
  • Wooden spoon or fork


Measure the Rice

Start by measuring 1 cup of forbidden rice. You can adjust the quantity based on your needs, but this measurement is a good starting point.

Rinse the Rice (Optional)

While rinsing forbidden rice is optional, it can help remove excess starch and improve the final texture. Place the rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse it under cold running water until it runs clear.

Combine Rice and Water

Add the rinsed or unrinsed rice and 2 cups of water in a medium-sized saucepan. If you prefer, you can add a pinch of salt at this stage for added flavor. The salt is optional but can enhance the taste of the rice.

Bring to a Boil

Place the saucepan over high heat and bring the water to a rolling boil. Stir the rice occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Reduce to a Simmer

Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover the saucepan with a tight-fitting lid.

Cook the Rice

Allow the forbidden rice to simmer, covered, for approximately 30-35 minutes. The exact cooking time may vary depending on your stove, the age of the rice, and your desired texture.

Check for Doneness

  • After 30-35 minutes of simmering, turn off the heat and let the rice sit, covered, for 5-10 minutes. This steaming step helps ensure the rice is fully cooked and the grains are tender.
  • After the steaming time, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork or wooden spoon. Check for doneness by tasting a few grains. The forbidden rice should be tender but slightly chewy.


Your cooked forbidden rice is now ready to serve. It has a rich, deep color and a slightly nutty flavor that pairs well with various dishes. Enjoy it as a side dish, in salads, or as a base for stir-fries.

Tips for Cooking Perfect Forbidden Rice

  • Rinsing: Rinsing forbidden rice is optional but can help improve the final texture. It also removes excess starch, which can cause the rice to become sticky.
  • Salt: Adding a pinch of salt to the cooking water is optional but can enhance the flavor of the rice. Adjust the amount to your taste preference.
  • Simmering Time: The cooking time for forbidden rice may vary, so checking for doneness is essential. The rice should be tender with a slight chewiness. If it’s still undercooked after the initial simmering, add more water and continue simmering until it reaches the desired texture.
  • Steaming: After turning off the heat, the steaming step is crucial for ensuring that the rice is fully cooked and the grains are tender. Take advantage of this step.
  • Storage: If you have leftover cooked forbidden rice, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can be reheated later in the microwave or on the stovetop.


Cooking forbidden rice is straightforward and rewarding. With a few simple steps and attention to detail, you can enjoy this unique and nutritious rice variety with its distinct colour and flavour. Whether you use it as a side dish or a base for various culinary creations, forbidden rice adds a touch of elegance and nutrition to your meals. Enjoy your perfectly cooked forbidden rice!

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