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|We love black pearl rice, so we were happy to try Annie Chun’s new microwavable rice bowls, Black Pearl (mixed with sprouted brown rice) and Multi Grain, a mix that includes sprouted brown rice, Indian and regular millet (a grain-like seed, high in magnesium, protein and B vitamins) and the Black Pearl rice. Both products produce steamed rice in one minute—a good gluten free, whole grain snack or part of a larger meal. Steamed or sautéed veggies, tofu, poultry or seafood make quick toppers. The rice can be served in the microwavable bowl.
Both varieties are unseasoned and require some kind of salt or other seasoning to bring up the flavor.
Black pearl rice, with chocolaty notes, was once reserved solely for the emperors of ancient China—it is also known as “forbidden rice.” It’s rich in amino acids and high in vitamins and minerals such as iron, potassium and magnesium.
- We added Pacific Island American Soy Sauce to the Black Pearl. Pacific Island Soy Sauce, which we discovered in our review of the best soy sauces, is a very interesting blend of soy sauce and vinegar, plus lemon, green onion and jalapeño. You get the tangy vinegar notes, as well as the soy, and it has 50% lower sodium than lite soy sauce.
Annie Chun’s Black Pearl Rice. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.
- The second time around with the Black Pearl rice bowl, we created mock rice pudding, adding milk and artificial sweetener, then reheating for 20 seconds. (Feel free to add half and half or cream and the sweetener of your choosing—white or brown sugar, maple syrup or honey.)
- To the Multi Grain Rice we first added a tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese and some fresh-cracked pepper. We keep grated Parmesan in the freezer. The trick is to have it grated very finely at the store, not in flakes, and keep it in an airtight container. Then, whenever you need a spoonful to season anything from soup to eggs, take it from the container—it “defrosts” instantly.
- For our second Multi Grain sampling, we seasoned the rice with a bit of the Pacific Island Soy Sauce and topped it with a poached egg and some minced fresh parsley (any herb will do). Some salt would have been fine instead of the soy sauce, but the vinegar in Pacific Island was a nice counterpoint to the poached egg.
A 6.3-ounce bowl is $3.19, a 12-pack is $31.08 at AnnieChun.com. The products are also available at retailers nationwide. We enjoyed all of these as snacks. With the whole grain goodness and comfort food warmth (especially during this three-week stretch of rainy days), we felt triumphant over our jones for ice cream.
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