Meatless Monday – Forbidden Rice Salad with Edamame and Sesame

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It’s called “forbidden rice,” and because of that name, I want to eat it. This black rice, also known “emperor’s rice,” is particularly high in a powerful antioxidant called anthocyanin, which lends its health benefits and dark purplish hued plants like blueberries, acai berries, concord grapes, blood oranges, and eggplant. Along with high levels of anthocyanin, black rice is also difficult to grow compared to other varieties of rice and for these reasons, only the richest could afford such a delicacy – hence the name “emperor’s rice.” Black rice is now readily available at most grocery stores but is still prized for it’s color, health benefits, and chewy texture.

This Forbidden Rice Salad with Edamame and Sesame is a great summer side dish that’s full of Asian flavors and crisp vegetables.

Ingredients
1 cup dry forbidden black rice
1¾ cups water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 carrot, peeled and cut into julienne
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
8 ounces (about 2 cups) frozen or fresh shelled edamame
1, 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained and roughly chopped
3 scallions, sliced into thin rounds
½ jalapeno, minced
¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves, loosely packed

Directions
In a small sauce pot, combine the black rice, water, soy sauce, minced garlic, and grated ginger. Set the pot over medium heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Stir the rice then immediately cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to low. Steam the rice for 30 minutes or according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, add all other ingredients to a large bowl; stir to combine. Once rice is done, turn off the heat and carefully slide the lid off center so that one inch of the opening is exposed. Allow the rice to rest for 5 additional minutes.

Fluff the rice with a fork and add it to the dressed vegetables. Fold all ingredients together and serve warm. Alternatively, refrigerate the salad for at least 90 minutes and serve cold. This will allow the flavors to marry together.

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