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Sang Yoon's Forbidden Black Rice

Cook Time:
1 hr
Prep Time:
25 mins


  • 1 head garlic (about 12 cloves), peeled
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for driving
  • 2 cups (13 ounces) black rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 pound bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 4 scallions, coarsely chopped

Chef notes

This is a robust take on the Indonesian fried rice dish nasi goreng. I stir fry black rice, sometimes called forbidden rice, with bacon and roasted garlic. You can make it with short-grain brown rice, but you'd miss a lot of the fun ... and the beautiful, deep color. 



Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put the garlic cloves on a double sheet of foil and drizzle with vegetable oil. Seal the foil around the garlic and bake for about 1 hour, until the garlic is soft and caramelized. Let the cloves cool, then refrigerate overnight.


In a saucepan, cover the black rice with the water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the rice is just tender. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Spread the rice on a large rimmed baking sheet and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight.


In a large, deep skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate.


Pour off all of the fat in the skillet and add the 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in the bacon, black rice and roasted garlic and stir-fry over moderately high heat until warmed through, about 3 minutes.


Stir in the soy sauce and season with salt and white pepper. Transfer to serving bowls, garnish with the scallions and serve right away.