Lemongrass and Ginger-Infused Forbidden Rice

Lemongrass and Ginger-Infused Forbidden Rice


Okay, what’s with the name: Forbidden rice? Right? Well, many moons ago in China, legend has it — this ancient grain was only consumed by their emperors and royalty. The masses were pretty much “forbidden” to eat it due to its superior nutrition, therefore ensuring longevity and enriching health. Well thank God, those days are over!

Forbidden rice is a type of heirloom black rice. Besides its gorgeous deep purple color when cooked, it gives wonderfully nutty flavor and many, many health benefits. Check ‘em out:

1. High in antioxidants

2. Higher level of vitamins, minerals like iron and zinc, and fiber of any bran rice

3. Contributes to heart health

4. Improves digestive health

5. It’s naturally gluten free


Lemongrass & Ginger-Infused Forbidden Rice


So, it was not so crazy that the Ming Dynasty Emperors and the elites try to hog them all 🙂 But friends, fret not, you can find the forbidden rice at many organic food stores and some Asian markets.


Lemongrass & Ginger-Infused Forbidden Rice


The way I cook this rice is by gently infusing the flavor of lemongrass and ginger. I like the rice to have a little bite to it. Not mushy. Al dente, you call it 😉 This rice is super nimble. It can go with pretty much any type of protein. As you may notice, from my previous post, I paired it with Baked Salmon Smothered in Sake Soaked Shiitake Sauce.


Lemongrass & Ginger-Infused Forbidden Rice


It’s a new year, a new month and in fact almost a Chinese lunar new year. So, try NEW things. Break out from your old repertoire friends. Make Lemongrass & Ginger-Infused Forbidden Rice.


Lemongrass and Ginger Infused Forbidden Rice


Adapted from Fast Food, Good Food by Andrew Weil, MD


Lemongrass and Ginger-Infused Forbidden Rice
Makes 6 Servings
  • 4 (½-inch) slices unpeeled ginger
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, cut into thirds and smashed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 15 ounce forbidden rice
  1. In a small-size Dutch oven, bring 4 cups of water, ginger, lemongrass and salt to a boil. Add in rice.
  2. Cover, lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Turn the heat off and let stand with a lid on for another 10 minutes to steam. Check if the rice is tender enough or al dente.
  3. Remove ginger slices and lemongrass before serving.
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