There are many types of rice, each with its own unique flavor, texture, water ratio, and cooking method. Figuring out the tricks and nuances of cooking rice has a prominent learning curve. This is particularly true for less common varieties such as black rice, but it does not have to be that complicated.
For perfectly cooked boiled black rice follow the general 1:2 rule water ratio applicable to most rice variants. For example, you would require approximately two cups of water per cup of black rice. Of course, this would have slight variations, depending on the texture you prefer.
But there is more to consider than just the black rice to water ratio when cooking it. Here are two different preparation methods that are proven to give you the best result.
What Is Black Rice?
Black rice—also known as forbidden rice—is an exquisite whole grain variant with a beautiful purple hue that looks almost black. It originated in China, and its name comes from its forbidden consumption in the country, as it was reserved exclusively for the emperor and other nobility .
Part of black rice’s exclusivity comes from its difficult cultivation and harvesting process, making it more expensive than other rice varieties. However, the benefits make it worth it.
Beyond its delicious nutty flavor with sweet undertones, black rice is also rich in anthocyanins, pigments that give the rice its distinctive color and are a valuable help for your cells against damage. Black rice also boasts anti-inflammatory benefits and assists against cardiovascular conditions. Likewise, it is also rich in fatty acids, amino acids, antioxidants, flavonoids, and vitamins and minerals such as B2, B3, calcium, potassium, iron, and more .
How Do You Cook Black Rice?
Cooking black rice can be a little intimidating, but it is not as complicated as you may think.
Black rice does not require pre-soaking before cooking, and you also do not need to wash or rinse it, as it can make the rice lose some of its nutrients and starch for a more sticky texture. After that, you can follow two preparation methods—traditional or straining.
The traditional method is the ideal way of cooking rice. You will require twice as much water, broth, or bouillon as you have rice—for example, two cups of water per single cup of rice. In addition, you can add ¼ teaspoon of salt per cup of rice.
Pour the water and rice into the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the salt once the water starts boiling, then reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Let the rice cook for half an hour to 45 minutes, depending on the quantities you’re making.
Straining Method – “Cook It Like Pasta” Method
Although the aforementioned rice-to-water ratio is perfect for cooking black rice, it is not the only cooking method available. The ‘pasta method’, although disputable, is often used to cook whole grain rice such as black rice.
The method of straining off the excess water, similar to the way you cook pasta, can produce perfect cooked grains if done right.
Start cooking the rice in cold, abundant water and checking the grain for consistency once the water starts boiling. Keep boiling on medium heat and once the grains have reached the desired texture, discard the rest of the liquid through a strainer.
By following this method, you do not need to concern yourself with the water-to-rice ratio, which allows for more freedom regarding the cooking process, and you only need to judge for doneness according to your taste. However, you risk losing essential nutrients in the strained water, and you may need to keep a close eye on the rice to make sure it won’t get smushy and overcooked.
Read Also: How To Flavor Rice With Spices – (5 Easy Ways To Jazz Up The Taste And Color).
Conclusion? Not as hard as it looks!
There is nothing forbidden about black rice anymore, so don’t feel guilty when cooking and eating it. Its rice-water ratio is standard and easy to remember. It is also high in fiber, naturally gluten-free, and it’s a rich source of nutrients.
-  Rotkovitz, Miri (2020) Black or Forbidden Rice. Retrieved from https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-is-forbidden-rice-1664717
-  Brennan, Dan (2020). Black Rice: Health Benefits, Nutrition, and Uses. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-black-rice