Here in Japan rice is a staple food source, with white rice and brown rice (genmai) being the favored choices in most homes. In many restaurants however you can find black rice (kokumai). Black rice has been around for centuries, but it has only recently started gaining popularity in the West.
For added fiber and higher levels of essential vitamins and minerals (specifically niacin, thiamin, and magnesium), choose black rice over brown and white. Black rice also contains anthocyanin, a flavanoid antioxidant that has potential anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer benefits.
You can eat black rice on it’s own, or you can use it to create some flavorful meals such as the following black rice salad (I used whatever vegetables I had on hand and you can too; this recipe is very versatile).
2 or 3 cups of cooked black rice
1 can reduced-sodium black beans
1 can corn kernels
1/4 cup chopped parsley
handful of cherry tomatoes
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 large carrot, sliced
1 avocado, chopped
2 tbsps olive oil
Juice of 2 limes
1 tbsp hot sauce (any kind)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp honey
Dash of sea salt
Stir together all of the salad ingredients. Combine and whisk together all of the dressing ingredients then pour over the salad and mix well.