Korean Purple Rice Recipe (2023)

Learn how to make Korean purple rice at home! I will show you how to make it using a rice cooker, instant pot and on the stovetop. Korean purple rice is not only pretty to look at, but it also comes with some health benefits!

Today I want to share a frequently requested recipe – Korean purple rice.

Korean Purple Rice Recipe (1)

Table of Contents

What is Korean Purple Rice

Korean purple rice is cooked Korean rice that has a purple hue. We call it heukmi bap (흑미밥) in Korean and it means black rice. But why do some people refer it as purple rice instead of black rice?

Essentially they both mean the same thing. The only real difference would be the shades of rice depending on how much black rice you add to your base rice (i.e. white rice) when cooking. The color shades of purple can be light to deep dark purple.

Though, it’s quite rare to see Koreans cooking with black rice only. Rather, we blend black rice with short grain (or medium grain) white rice.

Overall, I follow the below ratio for my purple rice.

  • 1 cup short grain white rice + 1 1/2 tsp black sweet rice – 2 to 3 serves
  • 2 cups short grain white rice + 1 Tbsp black sweet rice – 4 to 5 serves

By all means, you can change the ratio per your liking. Just do some experiments until you find your sweet spot. Keep in mind that changing the ratio will affect the overall texture, taste and cooking time of the purple rice.

I have also tried making the purple rice with (long grain) Jasmin rice and I don’t think the result is as good as when I used short grain white rice. (Just my two cents!)

Black Glutinous Rice vs. Black Rice

Korean Purple Rice Recipe (2)

Largely, there are two different types of black rice in Korean cooking. One is black glutinous rice (찰흑미), which seems to be more commonly used when cooking with rice and the other one is non-glutinous black rice.

Black glutinous rice is also called black sweet rice and it gives a stickier consistency when cooked and it gives a slightly sweeter taste than regular black rice.

So far, I’ve tried Korean black glutinous rice (from a Korean grocer) and regular black rice (from my local grocer – Woolworth) and I have to say that I much prefer the result I get with Korean black glutinous rice.

I do not know what variety this regular black rice is but it had a slightly off putting smell to begin with. Also, the rice color was lighter (i.g. burgundy) than Korean black glutinous rice, which is close to black.

Also, the regular black rice I tried didn’t give much “purple color effect” when I cooked with white rice.

So my point is, the type of black rice you use will affect the outcome of your purple rice. In case you’re wondering, below is Korean black glutinous rice I used in this recipe. (About AU $20 for 2 kg / 4.4 pounds)

(Video) How to Make Korean Purple Multigrain Rice Perfectly | Cooking with My Hubby

Korean Purple Rice Recipe (3)

Is Korean Purple Rice Healthy?

Black rice is best known for its high content of anthocyanin. It is a powerful antioxidant that’s also found in purple eggplant and blueberries.

Also, black rice is a source of iron, fiber, and vitamin E. If you’d like to find more about the health benefits of black rice, you should read this article.

Though, as you can see in my recipe, actual black rice isn’t used much in this recipe. So I would think the health benefits will diminish significantly.

If you would like to make it healthier, you could increase the black rice. And, yes, this will change the color of the rice, taste and the texture. Also, the cooking time may vary too.

Ingredients for Korean Purple Rice (Serves 4 to 5)

  • 2 cups short grain white rice
  • 1 Tbsp black glutinous rice
  • 2 cups & 1 Tbsp water (1:1 ratio for IH rice cooker or instant pot)

** A cup used here is a rice measuring cup (1 cup = approx 180 ml), not a standard measuring cup.

*** Rice and water 1 : 1 ratio applies if cooking in a IH rice cooker (e.g. Cuckoo or Cuchen) or Instant Pot. If cooking over the stove (absorption method), add 1.21 times more water compared to the rice weight (approx 1 : 1.125 volume ratio).

How to Make Korean Purple Rice

Perfect rice, whether it’s white, brown, black or other rice, can be different person to person as each individual has a different preference towards texture and consistency.

The cooking method below is based on my rice preference, which is fluffy while slightly firm.

If you like a different texture and consistency to mine, I suggest you experiment with the cooking method, water amount or cooking time while referring to my method. After 1-2 attempts you might find your favorite way!

  • Using IH Korean Rice Cooker (Cuckoo)

Using my Cuckoo rice cooker is by far my favorite way of making purple rice. It’s so easy and simple (Pretty much hands off!). And the good result is consistent.

Korean Purple Rice Recipe (4)

  1. Put the rice into the rice cooker inner pot and rinse the rice until the water is clear. (You will need to do 3 to 4 rounds of rinsing.) Drain the water well.
  2. Cover the rice with the water (1:1 ratio) and close the lid. Set the rice cooker to “백미 (baekmi)” setting. If your Cuckoo has an English mode, it may say “glutinous rice”.
  3. Wait until the rice cooks and switch to the keep warm setting. It takes 23-26 mins to complete. Fluff the rice with the rice paddle. Serve or store it for later. (Refer below for storage guide)
  • Using Instant Pot

Cooking my rice in an instant pot is my second favorite options. I do like the result I get, but I do not like when my rice gets stuck to the bottom of the pot. Yes, it does come off fairly easily but still it is an inconvenience.

Also, you need to manually release the steam after natural release. Which is another inconvenience when comparing the work involved with my Cuckoo rice cooker.

Things to watch out for when you cook rice in an instant pot

I only have a stainless steel inner pot. And, I learnt from my experience that if you cook the rice for too long (even if it’s only 1 or 2 mins extra) or if you leave the rice in the pot for too long after the cooking cycle is finished, you precious rice will end up sticking to the bottom of the pot. So watch out for that.

Also, my quick google research shows that you can actually buy a non-stick coated inner pot for instant pot. This may resolve some of the issues I experienced.

Korean Purple Rice Recipe (5)

  1. Put the rice into the inner pot of the instant pot and rinse the rice until the water is clear. (You will need to do 3 to 4 rounds of rinsing.) Drain the water well.
  2. Cover the rice with the water (rice to water ratio is 1 :1) and set the instant pot to “pressure cook” at high pressure. Turn off the “keep warm” function. Make sure the steam release handle points at “sealing”. Set the timer to 3 mins and wait until the rice cooks.
  3. Natural release the steam for 10 minutes then quick release the residual pressure. (There shouldn’t be much pressure left by then.) FYI, the whole cooking cycle takes about 24 mins to complete.
  4. Open the lid and fluff the rice quickly with the rice paddle. Serve or store it for later. (Refer below for storage guide) If you leave the rice in the pot for too long, it will start stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Using Stovetop

Cooking the rice over the stovetop is my least favorite option, because it’s more hands on. Nonetheless, you can successfully cook the purple rice in here too.

(Video) Multigrain rice (Japgokbap: 잡곡밥)

For the best result, use a heavy bottomed pot with tightly fitted lid, like a dutch oven.

Korean Purple Rice Recipe (6)

  1. Put the rice into the mixing bowl and rinse the rice until the water is clear. (You will need to do 3 to 4 rounds of rinsing.) Drain the water well.
  2. Transfer the rice into a pot and add the water. (Add 1.21 times more water compared to the rice weight (approx 1 : 1.125 volume ratio) as more steam evaporates in the pot.)
  3. Bring the pot to boil over medium high heat until the water is boiling. (It will takes 8-9 mins). Reduce the heat to medium then boil for a further 6-7 mins. Then gradually reduce the heat to low and simmer for another 5 mins. While you may be very tempted, do not open the lid during boiling at any stage as it will throw off the water evaporation rate.
  4. Remove the pot from the stove and rest it for 15 mins (with lid still on). The rice is still cooking!
  5. Open the lid and fluff the rice with the rice paddle. Serve or store it for later. (Refer below for storage guide)

How to Store Cooked Rice

If you cooked too much rice for your needs, the best way to store it is in the freezer.

Portion / Divide the rice into smaller serving portions (to suit your future needs) then put it in airtight, freezer and microwave safe containers. Do this as soon as the rice is cooked while minimising the steam escaping.

This is so that when you reheat this rice, the steam will help with keeping the rice moist while microwaving.And, this rice is as good as freshly cooked rice!

You can keep the rice stored in the freezer for up to one month. (While some research shows that you can keep it indefinitely as long as it is kept below -18 C / 0 F.)

If you want to use the rice for stir frying, I would recommend storing it in the fridge (for up to 3 to 4 days) as it naturally dries out a bit in there. This will make stir frying easier.

What to Serve with

Obviously, the best dishes to serve with Korean purple rice are Korean side dishes. See the picture below as an example. If you’d like some Korean side dish inspirations, check from here [Korean banchan recipes].

Korean Purple Rice Recipe (7)

Love Korean food?Browse lots more Korean recipes from myeasy Korean recipecollections.And subscribe to mynewsletterfor all of the latest updates including new recipes, what MKK communities are cooking and K-Dramas!

Korean Purple Rice Recipe (8)

Korean Purple Rice

Easy Korean Purple Rice Recipe

5 from 5 votes

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(Video) Cooking “purple rice”

Course: Main, Rice

Cuisine: Korean

Keyword: black rice, korean purple rice, purple rice

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 5

Calories: 281kcal

Author: Sue | My Korean Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 cups short grain white rice
  • 1 Tbsp black glutinous rice
  • 375 ml water (2 cups & 1 Tbsp water) - 1:1 ratio for IH rice cooker or instant pot

Instructions

USING IH KOREAN RICE COOKER (CUCKOO)

  • Put the rice into the rice cooker inner pot and rinse the rice until the water is clear. (You will need to do 3 to 4 rounds of rinsing.) Drain the water well.

  • Cover the rice with the water (1:1 ratio) and close the lid. Set the rice cooker to "baekmi” setting. If your Cuckoo has an English mode, it may say “glutinous rice”.

  • Wait until the rice cooks and switch to the keep warm setting. It takes 23-26 mins to complete. Fluff the rice with the rice paddle. Serve or store it for later. (Refer below for storage guide)

USING INSTANT POT

  • Put the rice into the inner pot of the instant pot and rinse the rice until the water is clear. (You will need to do 3 to 4 rounds of rinsing.) Drain the water well.

  • Cover the rice with the water (rice to water ratio is 1 :1) and set the instant pot to “pressure cook” at high pressure. Turn off the “keep warm” function. Set the timer to 3 mins and wait until the rice cooks.

  • Natural release the steam for 10 minutes then quick release the residual pressure. (There shouldn’t be much pressure left by then.) FYI, the whole cooking cycle takes about 24 mins to complete.

  • Open the lid and fluff the rice quickly with the rice paddle. Serve or store it for later. (Refer below for storage guide) If you leave the rice in the pot for too long, it will start stick to the bottom of the pot.

(Video) Instant Pot Korean Purple Rice Recipe by Omma’s Home

USING STOVETOP

  • Put the rice into the mixing bowl and rinse the rice until the water is clear. (You will need to do 3 to 4 rounds of rinsing.) Drain the water well.

  • Transfer the rice into a pot and add the water. (Add 1.21 times more water compared to the rice weight (approx 1 : 1.125 volume ratio) as more steam evaporates in the pot.)

  • Bring the pot to boil over medium high heat until the water is boiling. (It will takes 8-9 mins). Reduce the heat to medium then boil for a further 6-7 mins. Then gradually reduce the heat to low and simmer for another 5 mins. While you may be very tempted, do not open the lid during boiling at any stage as it will throw off the water evaporation rate.

  • Remove the pot from the stove and rest it for 15 mins (with lid still on). The rice is still cooking!

  • Open the lid and fluff the rice with the rice paddle. Serve or store it for later. (Refer below for storage guide)

Notes

** A cup used here is a rice measuring cup (1 cup = approx 180 ml), not a standard measuring cup.

*** Rice and water 1 : 1 ratio applies if cooking in a IH rice cooker (e.g. Cuckoo or Cuchen) or Instant Pot. If cooking over the stove (absorption method), add 1.21 times more water compared to the rice weight (approx 1 : 1.125 volume ratio).

****There are lots of helpful tips written within the post. So be sure to read them first before cooking!

Nutrition Info (per serving)

Calories: 281kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 0.6mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Tried this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Rate this recipe with a comment below and tag me on Instagram @MyKoreanKitchen.

FAQs

What is Korean purple rice made of? ›

What is Korean purple rice? Korean purple rice or huekmi bap (흑미밥), is a blend of medium grain white rice and medium grain or glutinous black rice. The black rice is what gives Korean rice that beautiful purple color. Sometimes you'll even find other grains and beans like brown rice, black beans, adzuki added.

Is Korean purple rice healthy? ›

Purple rice is a good source of protein, making it an excellent addition to a vegetarian diet. Protein helps reduce muscle loss by helping the body build and repair muscle tissue. It also helps with cell growth and keeps bones strong.

Is Korean purple rice healthier than white? ›

According to a study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, purple rice contains more antioxidant compounds than white rice. There is evidence that antioxidants can promote heart health and lower the risk of some cancers. These compounds help eliminate harmful free radicals.

Why do Koreans eat purple rice? ›

Korean Purple Rice usually refers to Korean rice that is cooked with black rice which gives it the pretty purple color. Besides giving the rice this beautiful purple hue, black rice adds extra nutty flavor and has great health benefits.

Does purple rice taste like white? ›

Steamed purple sticky rice tastes like cooked white sticky rice. It's slightly more el-dente than the white rice with a chewy and nutty flavor with a subtle sweetness to it.

Is purple rice good for diabetics? ›

BLACK, RED, PURPLE RICE

Anthocyanins have many healthful properties, including that they are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, making these kinds of specialty rice another healthy-rice choice for diabetics.

What is the healthiest rice color? ›

Research shows that black rice has the highest antioxidant activity of all the varieties, making it a nutritious choice ( 7 ). Antioxidants are compounds that protect cells from damage caused by an excess of molecules called free radicals, which contribute to a condition known as oxidative stress.

Is Quinoa better than purple rice? ›

Plus, quinoa is one of the few plant foods that contains adequate amounts of all nine essential amino acids. Meanwhile, rice is mainly carbohydrates. With its amino acid, fiber, and protein content, quinoa is the more nutritious option, DeFazio says.

How long does it take to cook purple rice? ›

Place the rice in a large pan and add 2 cups of liquid for every 1 cup of rice. Your liquid can be water with a little oil, stock, or coconut water. Bring the liquid to a gentle boil, then cover and reduce the heat. Simmer for around 20 minutes, until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid.

What is the unhealthiest type of rice? ›

White Rice: This one is perhaps the unhealthiest, no guesses there. Most of the nutrients, minerals and fiber are stripped off during the industrial processing. 100 grams of white rice will have about 150 calories (as per USDA).

What is the healthiest type of rice to eat? ›

Whole grains like brown rice are healthier than processed grains. They contain more fiber, which helps you to feel full faster and keeps your digestive system running well.

Why was purple rice forbidden? ›

According to NPR, purple rice, aka forbidden rice, was reserved only for the rich because black rice was considered more nutritious. The black colour comes from the plant pigment anthocyanin, which is also present in blueberries, red cabbage, and blackberries.

What does Korean purple rice taste like? ›

Purple rice is chewier and has a nuttier taste than plain rice.

Is purple rice good for hair? ›

SheaMoisture's Purple Rice Water, when used for hair care, reduces friction, strengthens and fortifies brittle hair, increases elasticity and closes the cuticle for soft and shiny hair due to the added wild orchid extract and sweet violet extract.

What is Bibibop purple rice made of? ›

-Purple rice is our white steamed with black rice. When you steam the two together the black rice naturally dyes into the white rice and makes it purple. There is no artificially coloring or flavoring involved!

Is purple rice genetically modified? ›

Based on the analysis, they developed a transgene stacking strategy for expressing 8 anthocyanin pathway genes in the endosperm. This led to the development of the first genetically engineered purple endosperm rice with high anthocyanin and antioxidant activity in the endosperm.

Is purple rice actually purple? ›

One difference between the two types of rice would involve the anthocyanin pigments that give purple rice its unique color. Anthocyanins are the color pigments that give many foods their deep rich red, blue, and purple colors.

What kind of rice is purple rice? ›

There are two different types of purple rice, a long-grained jasmine rice, and a sticky, or glutinous rice. It is slightly chewy, with a pleasant, nutty flavour, and is usually eaten as an unprocessed, wholegrain rice. Popular varieties include: Black sticky rice, a long-grain glutinous rice popular in Thai desserts.

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