I like the Let’s Lunch group. An international group of Kitchen Junkies who come up with amazing dishes to fit into the theme of the monthly Lets Lunch. This month we are honoring Cheryl Tan‘s new book Singapore Noir, a short story collection focusing on the darker side of Singapore.

To fit with the theme we could…

    “…be inspired by anything noir, either the color black or anything related to moody and atmospheric noir stories in film or tv!”

I went with BLACK. I wasn’t sure if I would even be able to participate this month since BLACK really isn’t my color but then I found some FORBIDDEN Rice in the pantry and I was all in. Interesting rice. According to legend

    “…Chinese black rice got its name because it was so nutritionally beneficial that only the emperors were allowed to eat it.”

So it was FORBIDDEN to anybody else.

I had never heard of it before so of course when I saw some I had to buy it, even though I had no idea how to cook it or what to do with it. And then Lets Lunch came along……


How about Black Fried Rice?

    2 cups Black Rice, cooked and cooled
    4 – 6 ounces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
    1/4 – 1/2 cup frozen peas
    1 – 2 eggs
    1/2 chopped onion
    3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    2 -inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
    3 whole green onions, thinly sliced on the bias, white and green separated
    1/2 cup chopped sweet peppers {Red, yellow, orange add lots of color to the rice}
    sesame oil to taste

Heat a large heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet over high heat until hot, then add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the shrimp and cook until almost opaque. Add the onions to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until onion is soft. Add the garlic, ginger, and green onion whites and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the frozen peas. Cook until just defrosted but still crisp. Transfer contents of the skillet to a large bowl.

Return the pan to the heat and add 1 1/2 more tablespoons of oil and the sesame oil {I used about 3 tsp}. Add the eggs and season with salt and pepper. Scramble eggs until almost set but still moist, then transfer egg to the bowl. Break the eggs up with a wooden spoon or spatula.

Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining oil. Add the rice to the pan and use a spoon to break up any clumps. Season with salt and pepper and stir-fry the rice to coat evenly with oil. Stop stirring. Cook rice until its gets a little crispy, about 2 minutes. Stir the rice again, breaking up any new clumps. Add the scallion greens. Transfer to the bowl. Mix everything together with the rice, taste, add salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve. {Original recipe}

I have made fried rice lots of times but never with FORBIDDEN RICE. I felt rather thankful to the Emperors!!

How to cook BLACK RICE:

    1 cup Black Rice
    2 1/4 cups water
    1/2 tsp salt

…in the microwave

Place all ingredients in a large microwave safe bowl. cook on high for 10 minutes. Decrease power to 1/2 and cook an additional 25 minutes. {I actually had to increase the water and add about 10 minutes cooking time.}

…on the stove.

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add rice and salt. Cook 45 minutes until rice is tender.

For the other Lets Lunch NOIR dishes you can

    visit our HOSTESS Monica
    check out the dishes on the NOIR Pinterest Board.
    follow us on Twitter using the hashtag #LetsLunch
    Check back later for listings of other fabulous NOIR dishes.

The Grifters Grinder
Black and White Ice Cream
Paksing Demonyu
Kimchee Fried Rice

Pinot Noir Mulled Wine
Dark Sauce Pork Noodles