Forbidden Rice with Mushrooms

Forbidden Rice with Mushrooms

Forbidden Rice with Mushrooms - This easy to prepare, nutty rice will add a gourmet flair to your dinner

 Do you need a fancy recipe for date night?  A romantic dinner for two?  Are your in-laws or boss coming over for dinner, and you need to impress?  Periodically, Champagne Tastes will be featuring ‘Gourmet’ recipes.  These will still be budget friendly and relatively simple, but will help you confidently serve a gourmet meal without hiring a chef.

Awhile back, I found myself staring at a restaurant menu, asking the husband, “What in the world is Forbidden Rice?  Also, if it’s forbidden, how are they allowed to sell it?”  (If you want to leave now, before the puns get worse, I totally understand).  I didn’t try it that day, but a few days later, while walking through Jungle Jim’s, I saw it again.  And no worries, even though it was marked “forbidden” rice, they didn’t confiscate it at the cash register.  I did, in fact, make it home with this odd little grain.  I even successfully cooked the contraband rice, without any strange rice regulators banging through my front door.

I later learned that this nutty, gluten-free grain is not only delicious, it’s also definitely NOT forbidden. (I’m just kidding guys, I totally knew that right away).  This recipe for Forbidden Rice with Mushrooms is easy to make, delicious, and will impress all your guests (because, you know, they’ll be wondering how you got the off-limits rice).

In a hurry? Jump to the recipe! 

This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. 

Forbidden Rice with Mushrooms

Forbidden Rice with Mushrooms

Gathering Ingredients

Legend has it that forbidden rice, also known as Chinese black rice, was forbidden to everyone except the emperor in Ancient China, because it was so incredibly rare.  Don’t worry, though, because that’s no longer the case.  It’s even getting easier to find–  try shopping for it at health food stores, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, online at Amazon, or at Asian markets.  This rice is hearty, packed with nutrients, and full of flavor.  Also, if you want to try this rice and mushroom dish, but just can’t seem to find this elusive rice, substitute brown rice instead!

Making Forbidden Rice with Mushrooms

To cook your rice, just follow the package directions.  If, however, your rice (like mine) came from a bulk food section, and didn’t come with directions, here’s some tips.  Just like basmati rice, black rice needs to be rinsed, and preferably soaked, before cooking.  Soak your rice for at least 15 – 30 minutes,  and rinse it 2-3 times until the water runs clear. After that, you can treat it like brown rice.  I usually microwave my rice, and these directions for How to Microwave Basmati Rice work great for me with black rice too.

While your rice cooks, sauté the mushrooms, dry roast the shallot, and then blend up your vinaigrette.  When the rice finishes cooking, stir in the mushrooms and vinaigrette, and then top with fresh herbs if you have them on hand.  Serve this rice as an exotic side dish, or stir in some toasted almonds or walnuts to make it a main course.  Feel free to tell your guests tall tales about your adventures to find this off-limits rice… or just dig in and eat.

Note: Keep in mind that there is also a Thai Black Sticky Rice, and that’s not what we’re using here.

Not sure what to serve with your rice?  Try these recipes:


Forbidden Rice with Mushrooms
5 from 4 votes

Forbidden Rice with Mushrooms

Course Side Dish
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 271 kcal
Author Champagne Tastes


  • 1 cup uncooked Forbidden Rice (or Chinese Black Rice)
  • 1 qt baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 TB olive oil; 1/2 cup olive oil (divided)
  • 1 shallot, peeled and sliced
  • 3 TB sherry vinegar OR red wine vinegar
  • ~2 tsp salt to taste
  • few springs parsley, dill to garnish (optional)


  1. Cook rice according to package instructions.

  2. Place shallot on a small non-stick pan on low heat and allow it to dry roast, tossing occasionally to roast evenly.

  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 TB oil in a large sauté pan. When oil begins to ripple, add mushrooms and sauté until browned.

  4. In a blender or food processor, grind together roasted shallot, 1/2 cup oil, vinegar, and salt.

  5. When rice is finished cooking, stir in mushrooms and shallot dressing. Salt to taste. Add fresh herbs to garnish (optional).

Recipe Notes

*Calorie Information was calculated per serving using My Fitness Pal. 

This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. 

Shallot Vinaigrette Recipe Adapted From: Ruhlman’s Twenty

26 thoughts on “Forbidden Rice with Mushrooms

  1. Karly says:

    I love that they still call it Forbidden Rice, instead of simply black rice. A lot of foods have a story attached to them, and the history behind this rice is so interesting!

  2. Kate says:

    Okay, this is something I HAVE to try! I am not a huge mushroom fan, but when they are cooked in red wine vinegar, I bet the flavors are soo deep and sultry.

  3. Kylee from Kylee Cooks says:

    Lol – rice regulators.
    What an interesting tale about Forbidden Rice. I’ve never had it before (perhaps everyone I know is worried about rule breaking), but if it’s easily and readily available – I should give it a try. It certainly LOOKS delicious!

    • champagne-tastes says:

      Haha.. You never know when rice regulators are going to show up and ruin your dinner plans 😛

  4. Dawn @ Girl Heart Food says:

    That’s so funny…’if it’s, how are they allowed to sell it?’ I’ve never had this type of rice before, but it does intrigue me, that’s for sure! It looks so pretty with the contrasting green colour from the parsley. And thanks for the little factoid info about the rice. Love hearing little tidbits of info like that 🙂

  5. Marlee says:

    I LOVE forbidden rice and really need to get myself some so I can cook with it again! I love the idea of pairing this with mushrooms. Great dinner idea!

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