Forbidden Rice with Sweet Potatoes, Bell Peppers and Scallions

This is one of my favourite recipes of all time (and I don’t say that lightly!) As someone who grew up eating exclusively jasmine rice, I was completely shocked when I first tried forbidden rice (also known as black japonica rice). The texture and flavour are subtly different, and I love its slightly sticky consistency. Plus, it’s lower in calories, higher in protein and lower in carbs than regular white rice, so you can feel good about eating it.

Right now, we’re all responsibly social distancing and cooking from our pantries as much as possible. This recipe is great for that, because the two essential ingredients are forbidden rice and sweet potato, which have a nice long pantry shelf life. If you don’t have the other veggies on hand, don’t sweat it. Whatever veggies you have in the crisper will add a nice crunch to this! Carrots, zucchini, and sautéed celery would all make great additions.

I love this salad because it’s fresh and crunchy but still super satisfying because of the rice. I’m telling you, the texture is crazy addictive. Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments!


  • 2 cups forbidden rice (or black japonica rice)
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup tamari (you can sub in soya sauce in a pinch)
  • 1/2 cup sesame oil
  • 3 medium sized sweet potatoes, roasted and diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced


  1. Bring rice and water to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes (alternatively, you can make it in your slow cooker).
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together tamari and sesame oil.
  3. Sauté sweet potatoes and red and yellow peppers with 2 tablespoons of your tamari/sesame mixture until slightly softened. Remove from heat.
  4. In a large bowl, combine rice, veggie mixture and remaining tamari/sesame oil mixture. Combine thoroughly and top with scallions.

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