Forbidden Rice Pilaf

Black Rice was reserved for the Emperor of China and his family and thus the name “forbidden” was applied to it.  Now we can enjoy this chewy and tasty rice as a side with grilled chicken, teriyaki salmon or glazed tofu.  Add leftovers to a salad, omelet or soup for a fabulous flavor.

Serves 4-5


2-3 shitaki mushrooms

1/4 cup hot water

2 tablespoon EVOO

1 small onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 stalks celery, minced

1 cup black rice, rinsed and drained

3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1 cup water or broth

1/4 cup white wine, optional

1/4 cup pecans, chopped and toasted

  1. Soak shitaki mushrooms in 1/4 cup hot water for 8 minutes. Drain and reserve water. Mince mushrooms and set aside.

  2. Warm olive oil in large sauté pan. Add onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and celery, stirring and adding EVOO as needed.

  3. Add rice and stir for 1 minute. Add broth or water and mushroom water.  Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is soft but chewy.  When liquid is absorbed add wine. Remove lid. Turn heat to medium high for 3-4 minutes or until wine is absorbed. Add pecans. Turn off heat and keep lid on for 10 more minutes.


  1. Allium free. Omit onions and garlic. Use 1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced.

  2. Add some other veggies:  Add 1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, minced, 1 small zucchini, chopped or additional mushrooms, chopped.

  3. Nut free:  Omit pecans and use pine nuts.

  4. Color contrast:  Use 1/2 cup white rice and 1/2 cup black rice for a contrast.

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