{recipe} Asian Forbidden Risotto

I’ve been really into forbidden rice lately, because it’s actually a whole grain, it’s an exciting color to bring to the table, and it tastes great. Plus, forbidden = fun!

I made dinner for some friends who couldn’t have any dairy, so I thought this would be a fun departure from the average lactose-lacking side dish. Since forbidden rice doesn’t have the same starch structure as arborio or carnaroli rice (the typical Italian rice types used for risotto) this doesn’t get quite as creamy as a traditional risotto. On the plus side, it’s dairy free, vegan, and delicious. I served it with these excellent sweet chili baby back ribs from Steamy Kitchen. A hit all around!

Asian Forbidden Risotto


  • 1 Tblsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped finely
  • 2 cups forbidden rice
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup white miso
  • 2 Tblsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tblsp soy sauce
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, cut into a few pieces
  • 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped in a few pieces
  • chili flakes (if desired)
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 bunch asparagus, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 large or 1 small red bell pepper, sliced thinly and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • sesame seeds for garnish


  • Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until soft. Add rice and garlic and cook 1 minute, until garlic is fragrant.
  • Dissolve miso in rice vinegar and soy sauce. Add into rice, along with lemongrass and ginger. (Count the pieces of lemongrass and ginger so you know how many to fish out at the end!) Add chili flakes to taste if desired.
  • Add about a cup of stock and lower the heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until stock has mostly been absorbed. Add stock in this manner until rice is cooked through. If it’s not fully cooked after you’ve added all the stock, add water a bit at a time until cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, saute the chopped asparagus in the teaspoon of sesame oil just until it begins to brown. When rice is cooked, stir asparagus, scallions, and bell peppers into the rice.
  • Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Serve immediately.

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2 Responses

  1. Annapet says:

    Thanks for writing about purple/forbidden/pirurutong rice. In the Philippines we almost always use this rice to make desserts. I cannot wait to try your recipe.