I knew it wouldn’t be long for black rice to be on my dinner table after seeing it at Trader Joe’s. I had seen this rice posted on a visual menu of a Spanish arrocería (restaurant specializing in rice dishes), and I was curious to try it. The question became, what to do with it? A couple of dishes caught my attention on Pinterest. What caught my eye was the use of an orange colored food against the purple black color of the rice. Considering the time of the year, and for my taste, I decided it could be none other than black rice with BBQ mango shrimp.
Black rice is also know as “forbidden rice” because it was reserved for the Chinese Emperor, in the belief that the rice promoted health and longevity. What it has in common with brown rice is a similar chewiness and nutty flavor, and the nutritional benefits from the bran. Both types of rice are also effective for controlling weight, as compared to white rice (Nutrition Research).
What black offers that brown rice lacks are anthocyanin pigments that give the grain its purplish color. One very good thing to know about that is that you’ll have a lower risk of atherosclerosis by eating this food and other foods with the purplish hue like blueberries, beets, grapes, eggplant, and acai berries.
And if you’d like to hear a fun fact about black rice, you might be interested in knowing that you can use the rice as a natural dark purple dye. You might keep that in mind next time you want to color Easter eggs.
The mango shrimp marinade is delicious and it is loosely inspired by a marinated shrimp recipe by Emeril LaGasse. For my recipe, the shrimp is cooked on the bbq, but you can pan fry it if you prefer. Wipe of some of the marinade off the shrimp and cook it in about 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil.
Now it’s your turn to try this healthy food. The rice is easy to make and it cooks up in about 35-40 minutes, even though the package indicated 30 minutes. What do you think about the black-purplish color? Be sure to let me know how you like it.
- Black Rice with Mango Shrimp
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- ¾ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 Serrano chile, minced
- 1/3 cup mango puree
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 cups black rice
- 3 cups water
- 1-1/2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 green onions, chopped into thirds and then shredded lengthwise
- 1/3 cup cilantro leaves
- In a 10-inch casserole pan, sauté the onions in 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil and cook them until they are translucent.
- Place 2 cups black rice in a sieve and rinse under cold water.
- Add the rice to the onions along with the bay leaf, the salt, and 4 cups of water.
- Bring the water to a simmer and cook on medium-low for 30-40 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.
- Place the peeled and deveined shrimp in a bowl with all the ingredients for the marinade and allow it to sit 30 minutes in the fridge.
- You can start to cook the rice while the shrimp is marinating.
- When your are ready to grill the shrimp heat the grill for 10 minutes on high (propane grill) and cook the shrimp about 3 minutes one each side. They will turn a shrink up and turn a whitish color when they are done. Be careful not to over cook them or they will be too dry.
- To Serve:
- Spoon the rice onto a platter, top with the shrimp, and cover with the cilantro and green onion garnish.