Today, we are introducing the second color-coded food group--black. As researches have indicated, many black-colored foods can be loaded with health-promoting compounds. Like the purple-colored foods we introduced in our last journal, black-colored foods also contain high-level of anthocyanins (the magical substance that cleans up free radicals in our bodies to help us look young and live healthier). It’s the flavonoid pigment that gives foods their black hues.
It's super fun to take your kid to your local grocery store and 'hunt' for black-colored foods. You may be surprised by what they will find. Hints: licorice, nori paper (toasted seaweed sheets), black garlic, black sesame seeds, black rice, black trumpet mushroom... And if you need ideas for recipes, below is a yummy poke recipe created by our super talented friend, Selina, using three black-colored ingredients--black rice, nori, and black sesame seeds. Substitude the raw fish with tofu cubes, and the raw red onion with apple cider vinegar pickled red onion, if you are making this dish for the whole family.
BLACK RICE POKE BOWL - 2 servings
1 cup black rice
1.5 cup water
0.25 lb fresh salmon
0.25 lb fresh hamachi
¼ red onion
¼ cup crispy nori
½ tbsp brown rice vinegar
¼ tsp toasted black sesame seeds
4 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp mirin
½ tsp minced garlic
¼ tsp grated ginger
1 tbsp sesame oil
¼ cup finely chopped green onion
¼ tsp wasabi (optional)
Cut fresh salmon and hamachi into about half inch cubes. You can also use fresh tuna. Make poke sauce by mixing the ingredients together and marinate the fish for about 30 min. I like to add a dash of wasabi for some extra kick!
Make black rice in a pot by cooking in high heat first then lower the heat until rice is soft and steamed. You can also use mixed grain black or wild rice for this. While the rice is still warm, season it with a pinch of salt and ½ tbsp of brown rice vinegar.
Prepare remaining fresh ingredients by cutting cucumber into thin slices (it's best to use persian cucumbers, or pickled cucumbers) then season with salt and brown rice vinegar. After sitting in room temperature for about 30 min, squeeze out the liquid then drizzle some sesame oil. Cut red onion in half then soak in cold water for at least 15 min to remove some of the heat before chopping them. Cut avocado into same ½ inch size cubes.
Put rice in a bowl first then layout out each fresh ingredients then marinated fish on top, sprinkle with black sesame seeds and toasted nori before serving.