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November 21, 2012

Forbidden Rice

by Anne Paddock

While dining at the Veritable Quandary in Portland, Oregon last month, Wild Grilled Salmon over Forbidden Rice was served for dinner and I couldn’t decide which was better – the medium rare grilled salmon or the dark moist flavorful rice that was underneath the fish. Rice is normally a bland food that requires butter, salt, or spices to enhance the flavor but Forbidden Rice is different.  A delicious rice with a a nutty taste , Forbidden Rice looks like a black rice but is in reality, a deep dark purple color when cooked and although the expectation is for the rice to be hard and nutty like a wild rice, Forbidden Rice is soft and nutty. Folklore has it this rice was reserved for the emperors of China and therefore forbidden to all others; hence its name.

399146_10151420992566635_559619725_nGrown in the Black Dragon River region of China’s northeast provinces, Forbidden Rice is a whole grain rice high in anthocyanins (antioxidants), fiber, iron and protein (with a whopping 6 grams of protein for a 1/3 cup serving) and yet low in sugar, sodium, and fat. But, the best attribute of Forbidden Rice is the taste – unlike any other rice on the market – with the texture of a white rice but the flavor of a whole grain rice. Easy to cook with just water and a pinch of salt, 1 cup of dried rice will yield 3 cups of cooked rice.

Superior taste, good nutritional value, and easy to cook (30 minutes) make Forbidden Rice a must for those who don’t want to compromise taste or nutritional value in a rice dish. Available through Lotus Foods on-line at for $4.49 for a 15-ounce bag or 6 15-ounce bags for $24.54 plus shipping or at for $3.79 for a 15-ounce bag with free shipping for orders of $49 and over. Also available through and at fine grocery stores including The Fresh Market.

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