Black Thai rice (kao neow dom in Thai) is a long-grained rice with its black bran intact which, cooked, colours the entire grain purple. It is typically used for desserts in South East Asia. Black Thai rice is sometimes labeled Indonesian black rice, black sticky rice, black (or purple or red) glutinous rice, sweet, or waxy rice. It is not the whole-grain version of white sticky rice, but rather a unique variety of rice.
Black Thai rice is eaten most often as a sweet pudding in Thailand. The rice is boiled in water until cooked, drained, and served soaked with sweetened coconut milk. A thicker pudding of sweetened black rice cut into squares is often sold in markets in the South. In Central Thailand, black rice is combined with white sticky rice, sweetened coconut milk, black beans, and roasted inside hollow sections of bamboo cane. Black rice can also be fermented with Thai yeast powder, the result mildly alcoholic and eaten as a snack.
Less common in Thailand, black rice can be served as a savoury dish, combined with steamed white sticky rice or even as a basis for a rice salad like tabbouleh. In fact, North American chefs, smitten by its distinctive colour, have been creating many new savoury dishes from black glutinous rice.
Black sticky rice is gluten-free and not sweet, in spite of its name. Black sticky rice is nutty and flavourful like wild rice. Pre-soak at least 4 hours, then steam or boil to cook. Serve sweet or savoury.
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