Ever since we at at Quince, way back in October 2008, I’ve been a little bit obsessed with Forbidden Rice. I think about it a lot and plan recipes to use it- I want to show off its purpley-black beauty and the nutty taste that is like brown rice but just a touch sweeter. I’ve made it once since then but not prepared as it was that night with a slightly sweet basil cream. It was good but not quite there. While still not exactly the same, for the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about doing it up with coconut milk and serving that with a nice piece of snapper or mahi-mahi seasoned with a Chinese 5-spice-like flavor plus some heat.
After two failed attempts to get fresh fish suitable for this concept at Whole Foods, Chris ended up grabbing a pound of shrimp from Merindorf’s Meats in Williamston instead. Not being privy to the swirling half-formed ideas I had, he didn’t realize that I would have much preferred raw shrimp. I think with raw, higher-quality shrimp (i.e. something from the Gulf, oil-slick free of course), this dish would have been just about perfect. I wrote the recipe here with the idea that it would be with raw shrimp. For the actual dish, I did all the steps described but only heated up the shrimp, rather than cooking them through. The sauce was tasty but the rice was delicious.
What I used:1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on (optionally) 1 teaspoon salt, divided
2 cloves garlic (or more), mashed or chopped fine
2 Thai bird chilies, seeds and membranes removed
2 teaspoons ginger Juice of lime; zest for garnish optional 1 can coconut milk, divided
1 cup black rice (Forbidden Rice)
2 cloves garlic
sriracha sauce or other hot chili paste 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
Canola or Peanut oil
What I did:
Using rice cooker, prepare 1 cup Forbidden Rice with 1 cup coconut milk (about 1/2 a can- stirred well!), 2 teaspoons ginger and a bit more than a 1/2 cup water. This took a little longer than white rice and was right on the edge of being short on liquid but my rice cooker is cheap and doesn’t really do the “warming’ part well preferring to scorch the bottom of the pot so it may have been an equipment issue.
Marinate the shrimp with the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of salt mixed with about a cup of water. Marinate for at least 10 and up to 30 minutes.
Drain water from shrimp, keeping garlic. Add finely chopped chilies and lime and 1/2 teaspoon of salt (for more heat, keep the membranes and the seeds from the chilies). Let sit for about 5-10 minutes.
Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add shrimp (including marinating juices/garlic/chilies) and cook until just pinked through. Stir in 1/2 can of coconut milk and spicy chili paste (at least 2 tablespoons, more for more heat) plus some tomato paste. I used about 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste and it was mostly to thicken the sauce a bit without going overboard on the heat.
Serve shrimp over rice with a generous ladle or two of sauce. Garnish with lime zest.
We’ll make this again, next time with raw shrimp to start.
Also, I’d probably amp up the heat a bit. With the shrimp already cooked, they didn’t absorb much of the Thai chilies which may have made a difference.