Forbidden Rice Bowl

Rice bowls are on the menu at all the hip farm-to-table restaurants these days, and for good reason. These meals-in-a-bowl—which involve a mound of warm rice, or other grain topped with an array of vegetables, some kind of protein, and a pour of tasty sauce—are templates for creativity and can easily be built around whatever ingredients are in season, what you are in the mood for, and what you have on hand. I used black rice (also called forbidden rice) here for its nutty texture and sex appeal, but you could use brown or red rice, or even farro, barley, or quinoa. Any mix of vegetables will work, but I recommend including something leafy, something crunchy, and something pickled. As for the protein, here it is a hardboiled egg, but some marinated tofu or sliced chicken for the carnivores would also be delicious.

Recipe reprinted from YOU HAVE IT MADE by Ellie Krieger and Quentin Bacon. Copyright © 2016 by Ellie Krieger and Quentin Bacon. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.


For the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

For the rice bowl:

  • 5 ounces baby kale or spinach leaves
  • 6 cups hot, cooked black (“forbidden”) rice or brown rice
  • 6 large eggs, hardboiled, halved
  • 1 cup pickled red onions or store-bought kimchi
  • 1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced


For the sauce, in a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, peanut oil, and sesame oil. The sauce may be made ahead and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks.

For the rice bowl, place the kale or spinach leaves in a steamer basket set over a pot of boiling water. Cover and steam until wilted, 4 minutes. Alternatively, place in a microwave-safe bowl with 1 tablespoon of water, cover tightly, and microwave on high for 4 minutes, then drain. The greens may be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Place 1 cup of the hot rice into each bowl. Arrange 1/3 cup of the greens (still warm or chilled), two of the egg halves, a few of the pickled onions or some kimchi, 1/4 cup of the beans sprouts, and 1/4 cup of the carrots on top of the rice. Sprinkle 1 heaping tablespoon of the peanuts on top of each and drizzle each with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the sauce and some of the scallion.

To refrigerate: the sauce, hardboiled eggs, pickled onions, chopped peanuts, carrots, greens, and scallion may all be prepared ahead and stored in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. The sauce, hardboiled eggs (unshelled), onions, and peanuts will keep for 1 week. The shredded carrot, steamed greens, and sliced scallion will keep for 4 days. Allow to come to room temperature before serving. Refrigerating cooked rice is not recommended for this dish.

To freeze: cooked rice may be made ahead, frozen, and reheated.


6 servings