Black and White Forbidden Rice Pudding

Not only is today a leap day, it’s also the start of APEX – aka med school classes again. It’s weird being in the classroom instead of the hospital or clinic on rotations – feels like first year all over again.
APEX is a two week bootcamp prepping us for residency – topics range from clinical (managing shock, cardiac emergencies, common inpatient infections) to ethics (bias and informed consent, genetic ethics) to US healthcare (Medicare, legal issues) to communication (end of life skills, patient handoffs) to procedures / imaging (EKGs, ultrasound).
As I’ve been off finalizing wedding prep and being in full artist mode, it’s time to shift back into the doctor mode. These classes aren’t meant to teach us anything new, but to refresh our knowledge and mentally prepare us for intern year – where we’re the front line of patient care with absolute responsibility. 

Just mildly daunting. I admit I feel far from being a full fledged doctor at this point.

Sometimes I do feel like I have a dual life – one as a med student/researcher and the other as a wedding planner / artist / Etsy crafter.

As much as I love Pinterest and being Martha Stewart the past month (I know I could make a living on etsy for wedding products alone at this point), it’s definitely not as fulfilling, so I’m looking forward to exercising the science part of my brain again.

While we’re talking about split personas, here is a pretty split rice pudding loosely adapted from Simply Recipes – there’s regular white rice and there’s forbidden black rice. In ancient China, this rice only for the emperor and royalty since it was so “rare” and “superior.” It was also considered to have medicinal properties. You can read more about its fascinating history here in NPR.

For me, the forbidden black rice is like residency – superior with medicinal properties. Hopefully I make it to that point!

Black and White Rice Pudding

1/3 cup uncooked white rice
1/3 cup uncooked black rice
4 cups milk, divided
1/4 cup white sugar, divided
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided

In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of milk and white rice to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the rice is tender, about 25 minutes. Simultaneously, do the same with 2 cups of milk and black rice.  Stir both pots frequently to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add the divided sugar to each rice pudding.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk the egg and slowly incorporate half into each rice puddings, vigorously whisking to avoid curdling. Add vanilla extract and cinnamon to each pot. Stir, on low heat, for 10 minutes, until thickened. Serve warm or cold.

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  1. So this is what a Chinese royal dessert looks like. Black rice is healthier than white rice so they weren't too far-fetched in believing it had magical properties

  2. I just had forbidden rice recently and I do agree that it is superior to regular rice, both in taste & nutrition-wise. What a great idea to combine the two – it makes it look fantastic! Good luck with your residency too!

  3. Yum! We eat black rice a lot at home, great idea using it for pudding! Good luck on your wedding planning ~ you are almost there 🙂

  4. Gorgeous dish Natalie- such an awesome use of black rice! Wow, it really sounds like you have a lot on your plate these days- good luck with everything. Starting residency can definitely be daunting, but you'll do great! Plus it's good to be a little scared, it's the over confident interns that really worry me!

  5. Hi Sonali, exciting and nervous indeed! I will not be one of those overconfident know-it-all interns haha (although I don't know a single person in my class who isn't a little worried about the leap of responsibility)