Korean Black Rice :: Heuk Mi Ssal (흑미쌀)

When I was younger, I never really cared for bap (=rice) with beans, peas or seeds thrown in. Thankfully, my palate has grown to appreciate all the wonderful earthiness and health benefits  these extra legumes and hearty rice types provide. 

I picked up a package of heuk mi ssal, or black rice, last time I was at the Korean market (FYI: the 2 lb. bag was $3.99). The purple-ebony color is just so stunning! Normally when I want to create a heartier rice, I just mix in a bit of brown rice or barley along with my white rice at a ratio of about 1 part specialty rice to 3 parts regular white. But heuk mi ssal is notorious for bleeding into anything it’s mixed with, so take some care with the proportions (and of course, stay away from white/plastic bowls!).

I followed my favorite Maangchi’s proportion for mixed rice, but upped the black quotient purely by accident — luckily it turned out fine!  Try this simple recipe next time you want to mix up your bap routine. It’s absolutely delicious and gorgeous alongside bright foods like freshly steamed green edamame, sunny yellow eggs and of course, crunchy red kimchi. :)

Mixed Heuk Mi Ssal (makes 3-4 hearty servings)
–  1 c. regular short-grain white rice
– 1/2 c. brown rice
– 1/4 c. barley or pearled barley
– 1/4 c. black rice

1. Combine all the rice in a glass or stainless bowl, or in the rice cooker bowl like I did. Rinse and drain with cold water a few times. Let it soak for two hours (next time I’ll try waiting just one hour! What a rebel I am). 
2.  Drain once more and transfer to the rice cooker bowl. Add enough water to just cover the first knuckle of your pinkie. I like drier rice, so this is my preferred proportion. If you like a stickier rice, add a bit more water. Remember, the rice has been soaking a while so it’s already somewhat water-logged.
3. If your rice cooker has a ‘mixed’ setting, use that option. Otherwise, just let it cook under regular conditions.
4. If using a stovetop, make sure you have a heavy-bottomed pot with tight-fitting lid. Boil over medium heat for 10 minutes, open lid to mix around, then simmer for another 10 minutes. 
5. When rice is done with either method, keep lid on for another 5 minutes before opening. Mix with a wet paddle and enjoy!

7 Responses to “Korean Black Rice :: Heuk Mi Ssal (흑미쌀)”

  1. 1 mina June 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    haha! i used to be the very same way when i was younger and now i love brown and black rice with beans and all that. wish i could get those precious grains here in denmark though. ):

  2. 2 Christina Kim @ Deglaze Me June 13, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Me too, when I was a kid my parents would eat this brown rice filled with beans (ew gross!), but today I love brown rice, I love beans, and I’m sad I didn’t appreciate this earlier!

  3. 3 jiye June 15, 2009 at 8:46 am

    WORD! hehe…I agree with you all. I <3 brown rice now. I actually don't use any white rice in mine. I do half brown (sweet brown rice..it's sticky), half barley and a few black beans thrown in for good measure. it's guilt free bap. :)


    • 4 eatyourbap June 17, 2009 at 3:44 pm

      Hey Jiye!

      I didn’t get your comment until now; it was in my spam folder. I think it’s because you added your url separately — now you know ;)


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