Black glutinous rice, available from Asian groceries, is actually a very deep burgundy colour. It is gloriously nutty in taste, beautiful to look at and has a soft, starchy texture that is slightly al dente, because each grain retains its integrity when cooked. Like brown rice, black rice is unmilled, and it is the dark outer husk that makes it so nutty and chewy. It’s also why it takes longer to cook than many other rices, and needs to be soaked before cooking.
Black glutinous rice works in both savoury and sweet dishes. It’s a popular pudding rice in South-East Asia where it is cooked with water, coconut milk and pandan. It is best known for this delicious dessert. However it can be used in savoury ways too, particularly as a striking alternative to other short-grain rices.
For the best results, soak the rice overnight, drain, then cook in simmering water, stirring often to release the starch and increase its creamy softness. Like all rice, black rice is great at absorbing flavours, but it’s just as happy to act as a satiny bed for some soft-steamed vegetables, say, if you want to keep things simple.
In this dish, the rice is cooked until starchy/glutinous. and is then paired with mushrooms seared in oil and tossed with butter, lemon and herbs. It is a dark and dangerous looking dish!
It can be served with some goat’s curd or cheese – we like to use a Middle Eastern Goat Feta.
This is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area. We have made some alterations to the original recipe – chanterelle mushrooms are not commonly available here so we used some dried ones mixed with shiitake mushrooms (delicious). I would use a mix of shiitake and oyster mushrooms next time. We also omitted the truffle oil that Ottolenghi suggests, replacing it with some black garlic and a little pureed tomato for intensity of flavour.
It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.
Browse all of our Mushroom dishes and our Black Rice recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Winter recipes.
Mushrooms with Black Glutinous Rice
2.5 Tblspn olive oil, plus extra to finish
6 shallots or 1.5 red onions, peeled and chopped
shaved rind of 1 lemon (in as large pieces as possible, so it’s easy to fish out later)
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
sea salt and black pepper
200g black glutinous rice, soaked overnight
600g chanterelle mushrooms, oyster mushrooms and/or shiitake mushrooms, brushed clean
black garlic – 1 large single cloved garlic, or 4 – 6 cloves from a head of black garlic, finely diced
o.25 cup pureed tomatoes or fresh tomato juice (take 1 – 2 tomatoes and puree or juice)
0.5 tspn grated lemon zest, plus extra to finish
2 tspn lemon juice
2 Tbspn chopped flat leafed parsley or tarragon
120g goat’s curd, goat’s feta or a soft and mild goat’s cheese
Pour a tablespoon of the oil into a medium saucepan. Add the shallots or onion, lemon rind, thyme, bay leaf, sea salt to taste and some black pepper, and place on a medium-low heat. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the shallots are soft.
Drain the soaked black rice and add to the pan. Add 400ml of water, bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 35 – 40 minutes, stirring every now and again. The rice will be well cooked with a starchy consistency. Remove and discard the lemon rind, thyme and bay leaf, and keep the rice somewhere warm until serving.
Pour the remaining oil into a frying pan and add the mushrooms, diced black garlic, a little sea salt and some black pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring so that the mushrooms take on some colour. Towards the end of cooking, add the tomato puree or juice and continue to cook until the liquid is absorbed.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter, grated lemon zest, lemon juice and herbs.
To serve, spoon the black rice on to individual plates, top first with the mushrooms and then with the goat’s curd (if using), drizzle a little more olive oil over the top and scatter on some more grated lemon zest.