Looking for a hearty side dish for this Thanksgiving? Try this vegan Forbidden Rice dish.
Forbidden Rice gets its name from a Chinese legend that says it was only grown for consumption by Emperors and not to be consumed by the general population. Don’t know if the legend is true but it is interesting. The rice is also interesting.
Unlike the familiar California long grain rice we usually see on our dinner plates, this is a short, black rice. The black color is attributed to high amounts of melanin in the bran. When you cook it, Forbidden Rice turns a dark purple and has a nutty taste and aroma similar to wild rice.
Because pomegranates are in season I added them to this recipe. Good time to buy one and use the colorful seeds as garnish for this sweet-hot Forbidden Rice Salad.
2 cups Forbidden Rice (I buy mine at Rainbow Bridge)
4 cups water
½ cup agave nectar (room temperature )
½ cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
½ cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup grated carrots
1 yellow bell pepper (seeded and diced)
1 cup cucumber (thinly sliced)
¾ cup roasted pecans (chopped)
½ cup thinly sliced green onions
Pomegranate seeds (garnish)
Place rice and water in a medium pot, cover with a tight-fitting lid, bring quickly to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer. Don’t peek. Cook for 50 minutes. Stir cooked rice to break up clumps, then set aside to cool in a large bowl.
Make the dressing by whisking together the next 9 ingredients, then drizzle in the ½ cup of oil, stirring constantly to blend. Set aside. Combine the carrots, pepper, cucumber and half of the dressing in a medium bowl. Set aside. Just before serving, add vegetable mixture to cooled rice and stir gently, adding more dressing as needed. Mix in toasted pecans and green onions. Chill for 1 hour prior to serving. To serve, garnish with pomegranate seeds.