Why are you eating pegao?

I have recently been following many groups on Gplus and Facebook that are geared towards veganism because Raul is vegan. I follow these groups because I want to be able to cook good food and a variety of recipes for him. I have also been following Dr. Greene’s WhiteOut page where they will ask a question several times a day and one particular question was about rice. Someone mentioned black rice and I was curious to learn about this particular grain of rice.

In the group Raising a Vegan Child, they posted information about the six foods that have fueled development. Rice was one of them and I mentioned that I would love to cook black rice. So they posted information about the benefits of black rice and I was on a mission to purchase some.

In search of Black Rice

As a child, my mother only cooked white rice. She colored it yellow or left it white. The only other time white rice took on another color was when she made calamari and it turned black. Sometimes my rice would be red with all the ketchup I would put on it.

On Sunday, we went to the local organic farmer’s market and then stopped at a health food store in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I started looking for black rice and in the Asian food section, there was black and red rice. The brand I bought and only one available at this store was called @LotusFoods. So I took a bag of each and decided that I was going to make some during the week.

@lotusfoods black and red rice

It looks like pegao

For those who don’t know what pegao is, it is the burnt rice at the bottom of the rice pot. Some people eat it and others throw it away. I used to eat it but it is really bad for your teeth. But most Puerto Rican’s will wait to eat the pegao and I remember many aunts and uncle eating this at family dinners.

Today I cooked the black rice according to the package and the grain is so black that it looked like pegao times ten! I did read on various recipes sites to make sure it was seasoned well. I added some kosher salt and curry with a touch of black pepper. I made black eyed peas, collards, mushrooms, and teriyaki flavored tofu.

My daughter only ate the black eyed peas, tofu, and I made asparagus for her. She couldn’t wait for the rice to be made. But since there is some left over, I will give her some to try tomorrow.

Verdict about Black Rice

I think with a bit more flavoring to the water or maybe sauteed onions or garlic, it might taste better than just salt and curry. But as I explore new grains and food, it is about trial and error. Don’t be discouraged by my bland outcome. Research some recipes and see how the people who are used to cooking black rice use it.

Have you made Black Rice or do you just stick with white rice?

What other rices have you tried at home?





  1. Payasa Agapita*No Gravatar on February 21, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Hey!!! I’ts veeery dark! I’m not vegan but like to check different recipes to have a variety in the food I cook, for not cooking the same things every day. One question, this black (and red) rice, are they available at any supermarket, or just at health food stores?

  2. No Gravatar on February 21, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Go to your closest Freshmart. Check for @LotusFoods in the Asian section. Today I took the leftover rice and put a little bit of @EarthBalance Soy Butter with Sea Salt flavoring and it tasted a lot better. But in the link above where they talk about the nutritional value of black rice, the author of the post gives a recipe and I think it is more like a dessert. If you use it, let us know how it turns out.

  3. Becky AlcantarNo Gravatar on April 4, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Pegao!  It’s practically an artform to get pegao without burning it!  When I get some in a pot of arroz con gandules, I am grinning ear to ear at the accomplishment.

    Had never heard of black rice though, thanks for the share.  Am always looking for alternatives to white rice.  The day I master, and convince the family, that the arroz con gandules version of brown rice is better is my goal!

  4. lucymfelNo Gravatar on April 5, 2012 at 12:32 am

    We have tried all sorts of grains with gandules. Today we had brown rice with sauteed carrots and onions, fresh gandules from moms with adzuki beans and bolitas de pana. I think it has to do with adjusting ones palate. I have since made red and black rice and the trick is to use stock whether it is vegetable or otherwise. I have also sauteed onions and even added quinoa to the red rice. It was a hit with our little girl and I liked it. Thanks for stopping by Becky.

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