Healthy Asian Plate: Salmon, Vegetables and Forbidden Rice

I suppose it seems strange that something so healthy contains something that is forbidden. Apparently, this black, whole-grain rice (it’s more purple in color, actually) was eaten exclusively by the Emperors of China back in the day (like, waaaay back in the day) so it was dubbed “forbidden” to lowly farmers or pretty much anyone ranked below royalty. Hm, maybe we can rename it “1 Percent Rice?” Wait, I guess that would lead people to think it contains only 1% rice. Ah well.

I sought out this rice after seeing it in restaurants and on food blogs for awhile now, and found a bag at Whole Foods. The nutty flavor is right up my alley, and I do like that it is considered to be better for you than white rice…not that I’m ever going to stop eating white rice completely- I’m half-Japanese y’all, it’s in my blood! And sushi is made with white rice, ok? Don’t even get me started on the whole “brown rice sushi” thing. Just say no, folks, just say NO!

Let’s move on to this plate of food I put together for J and me the other night. It’s just few simple components brought together to form one, complete and delicious meal. Here are the players:

Salmon, marinated in a light teriyaki sauce made with tamari, raw honey, garlic and mirin, then baked just a few minutes so it’s still nice and tender:

Bean sprouts, sauteed in rayu, a spicy chili oil:

Avocado: totally unadorned, perfect just the way it is:

Shiitake mushrooms sauteed in a bit of clarified butter with a spalsh of tamari:

Snow peas, lightly steamed and sauteed in sesame oil:

The aforementioned Forbidden Rice, at the center of everything to tie it all together:

And here you go, dinner on one plate, that should cover a nice chunk of your evening nutritional requirements:

Now, depending on your style, you can take a bite of salmon combined with one veg and one bite of rice (my style), or you can sort of mess everything together and eat large bites of the combo (J’s style). Either way, it’s a delicious and clean meal that can be made with a number of different proteins, veggies and grains.


3 Responses to Healthy Asian Plate: Salmon, Vegetables and Forbidden Rice

  1. Oh god I’m so glad you’re in the same boat. Absolutely NO brown rice sushi. The very thought is insulting to me.

    Acutally I’m not into any of the “healthy” grains – brown rice, farro, quinoa, etc … they all taste super weird.

  2. Nomz! We eat SO much fish it’s not even funny – at least 2 but usually 3 times per week for dinner. Salmon is defo a favourite. I’ll have to see if I can track down forbidden rice here in Dublin but haven’t seen it so far, not even at the Asian shops.

    I gotta disagree on the brown rice sushi – I admit I sometimes have it, especially round these parts in Ireland where no one seems to know how to make PROPER sushi rice anyway. So I might as well have brown to make it slightly healthier. But at a place like Z’s, I wouldn’t dream of it!

  3. Elena: Really? I’m crazy about all of those grains, especially farro- it’s my absolute favorite! I just don’t like brown rice in sushi, but I do love it in other dishes. I hope you give farro another go!

    Clare: yeah, if you have to settle for it, I understand. But not with good fish!

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