a peek inside the fishbowl

21 Mar, 2014

Ingredient du jour: black rice

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Recipes and Food

I was browsing the aisles at Bulk Barn when I noticed a barrel full of organic black rice, and I was intrigued.

I have eaten wild rice this colour (I confess I don’t like it that much) but never anything like this. I’m no grain aficionado. We usually stick to whiter varieties of regular rice, including jasmine and basmati, and our go-to rice is usually a stickier variety that I make when we’re having ginger chicken. (A Joy of Cooking recipe, and it’s delish.)

I decided to cook some black rice as part of a #dailylunches dish. And I’m glad I did. Isn’t it pretty?

March 20 #dailylunches - Black rice (!), kale, cranberry, avocado and apple salad.

It’s not exactly black, but it’s close. The rice has a very deep browny purple and gives this dish an unusual hue.

I like the flavour of black rice. Black rice is grainier, denser, and less flooffier than its cousin Uncle Ben, and it’s for these exact reasons I would opt to use it in a salad like this one. It’s mild and a bit nutty, and a bit chewy too, but not unpleasantly so.

Sidebar: this is why I like Bulk Barn! I can buy a cup of something to try it out. No commitment or wastage. Woot!

(Wondering how to cook black rice? It’s easy. Combine 1 3/4 cups of water and one cup of rice in a pot that has a snug-fitting lid. Add a bit of salt and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes. Let stand, covered, for a few minutes before fluffing and serving.)

The black rice salad recipe pictured above consists of:

  • 1 cup cooked black rice
  • a small splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  • 3 leaves of kale, washed and chopped
  • 1/2 avocado, diced and tossed with lime juice
  • a handful of cranberries
  • half an apple, chopped
  • a smattering of pecan pieces

I prepared the kale while the rice was cooking. I took the oil and vinegar and mixed them together in a bowl and added the chopped kale to that, tossing and squashing it down with my fork. (Remember what I said about kale massage in this recent recipe!) And then I let it sit.

I added the warm rice (not hot) to the kale, and gently tossed in the other ingredients. That’s it!

Here are a few other black rice recipes that look intriguing from around the WWW, in case you’d like to try it out for yourself in a different kind of dish:



6 Responses to "Ingredient du jour: black rice"

1 | Caroline (@CarolineCSeguin)

March 21st, 2014 at 10:36 am


I’m going to try this with my raspberry vinegar!

2 | andrea tomkins

March 21st, 2014 at 11:07 am


That sounds like a good flavour for this!

3 | Stacey K

March 21st, 2014 at 11:28 am


Black rice makes a really nice rice pudding, especially with coconut milk. A quick search will turn up tons of different recipes.

4 | Marc Savoie

March 21st, 2014 at 11:46 am


I love love love Black Rice!

For Wild Rice, I usually toss a half cup of wild rice with 1 cup of brown rice into my rice cooker and it comes out great! The wild rice gives the normally bland brown rice a bit of a kick. I couldn’t imagine eating JUST wild rice though!

5 | Jodie

March 21st, 2014 at 2:27 pm


Really like black rice as well, I need to try this recipe, it looks absolutely delicious!

6 | coffee with julie

March 21st, 2014 at 6:12 pm


I’ve never tried black rice! But your photo is making my stomach growl … looks yummy.

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  • andrea tomkins: Lisa, I just LOVE the idea of cheeseburgers for breakfast. Sounds like the perfect hot meal, especially for growing kids!
  • andrea tomkins: The amount of sugar in grocery store products is positively astounding. Caesar salad dressing! Pita crisps! Ketchup! Battered fish! I wish I had a bet
  • Amy: I've recently been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it's made me take a lot harder look at all the sugar in my diet. Even though I was trying to
  • Lisa from Iroqouis: I have no problem with ribs for breakfast. I love leftovers in the morning. No fuss no muss. Isn't that what leftover Chinese food and pizza is for
  • andrea tomkins: Food traditions are so interesting! I could continue to eat like this, but meat is my stumbling block. I would prefer to eat less of it, not more. I c
  • Claudette: I also prefer veg to fruit in the morning. The other day I was watching an episode of a cattle farmer and they don't eat anything until 10:30 am s
  • Misty Pratt: I read that NYT article (the one about reducing your sugar?) and went to check a few things in our cupboards. I was happy to see the Farm Boy pita cra

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our two daughters Emma (18) and Sarah (16). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger, and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999... which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which! The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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