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Deeply empurpled

Dudes, did you know there’s black rice? Holy cow.

I grabbed a sushi for lunch the other day, and lo, it had black rice! Well, deep, deep purple if you want to get pedantic about it — that’s apparently anthocyanin, the same stuff that makes blueberries blue, and makes both blueberries and black rice very very good for you. So there we go. But the reason I liked it was that it was novel and cool and, hey, purple food! Right?

I found some in a particularly well-stocked pan-Asian grocer, and made some to go with my New Year’s Day Hoppin’ John. It’s delicious! If you love the nuttiness of brown rice, you’ll probably love black rice: I cooked it in some veggie broth, and it’s probably the loveliest rice I’ve ever had. Nutty, smoky, savoury flavours, and light, separate grains.

Today I girded my loins and whipped up some sushi vinegar using the guidelines from Just Hungry (love that site, and its partner site Just Bento). I heated my black/purple rice, then worked the sushi vinegar into it, spreading and fanning until it became glossy and sticky.

A plate of black rice sushi

Purple sushi: my life is complete.

Wrapped up with avocado, lightly steamed carrot sticks (so you don’t pull out a tassel of raw carrot whenever you bit the sushi), and julienne cucumber, it needed no extra sauce, spice or sprinkle. This was a fantastic lunch: I highly recommend!

I gather there’s a bunch of health benefits about black rice — a wholegrain, full of antioxidants and fibre — but you had me at purple.

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