I recently received a rice cooker as a gift and while I’m more than content to eat regular white and brown rice on a regular basis, I have often found myself wondering what else this device can do, and seeking the answers to questions like “can I cook black rice in the rice cooker?” (and for how long, and on what setting, and with how much water?).
Thankfully, preparing black rice in the rice cooker is easy. If you’re patient, your rice cooker can accommodate all sorts of different varieties of rice, as well as other grains and pseudograins like quinoa.
When it comes to black rice specifically, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Black rice would actually make an amazing natural purple dye for foods. However, because of this, it’s a bit like working with turmeric – be careful when handling it because it will stain all of your equipment. Avoid storing it in plastic containers, wash your kitchen tools shortly after using them to cook black rice, and don’t wear your fanciest attire when cooking.
- If you aren’t careful to wash black rice before cooking it in the rice cooker, you could end up with a gummy result, or worse – the excess starches could cause a volcano-like effect in your rice cooker and spill starchy purple goo all over your kitchen counter. Not good. So please follow my instructions on how to cook black rice in the rice cooker! Some resources suggest soaking black rice for multiple hours ahead of time. I don’t find this necessary at all, but you do need to carefully prep it before you are ready to cook. See the recipe for details.
Black rice has a higher anthocyanin content than other types of rice, and is also a great source of lysine, B vitamins, iron, zinc, and more. Even more importantly, it’s delicious! Nutty, chewy, and fragrant, it will add a beautiful flavor to your meals. Here I have paired it with a Moroccan roasted carrot soup. It provides a nice counterpart to Northern African, Middle Eastern, and Southern Asian flavor profiles, or wherever else you enjoy hearty flavorful rice. Aside from this soup I think it would also be lovely with my turmeric chickpea stew, African peanut stew, or roasted acorn squash soup. Enjoy!
Rice Cooker Black Rice
- 1 cup black rice
- 1 and 3/4 cups water or stock plus more water for rinsing
- salt to taste
Prepare the rice:
- Add the rice to a large bowl - preferably metal or glass, so that it doesn't stain. Add warm water until the rice is completely covered, and use your hands to mix around and generally agitate the rice. You will notice the water quickly becoming dark purple in color.
- Strain the water out of the bowl - I recommend using a mesh sieve so that you don't lose any rice kernels. Repeat the process 4 more times (yes, 4) of filling the bowl with water, agitating the rice, and straining out the water. This is important for removing excess starch from the black rice so that it cooks properly in the rice cooker.
- Drain the rice, and add it to your rice cooker. Add water or stock at a ratio of 1 and 3/4 cups per cup of black rice.
- If your rice cooker has a brown rice mode, start it. Otherwise, set the timer to 25 minutes.
- When the timer goes off, remove the lid to release excess steam.
- Cooked black rice can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days.