Korean Purple Rice Recipe: Heukmi Bap

by liliana
Korean Purple Rice Recipe

What could be more heavenly than a bowl of steaming hot rice, fragrant with the nutty aroma of sesame oil? Well, how about a bowl of Korean purple rice? This unique variety is made with black rice, which gives it a striking deep purple hue. Not only does it look beautiful, but purple rice is also super nutritious. It’s packed with antioxidants and fiber, making it a healthy alternative to regular white rice. So if you’re looking for something extra special for your next meal, give Korean purple rice a try!

What Is Korean Purple Rice?

Korean purple rice, or Heukmi bap, is a type of black rice that’s commonly used in Korean recipes. It has an earthy flavor and nutty aroma that pairs well with other ingredients like meat and seafood. The deep purple color comes from anthocyanins, which are natural plant pigments that give many fruits and vegetables their vibrant hues.

What Is Purple Rice Called In Korean?

In Korean, purple rice is called Heukmi bap (흑미 밥). It can also be referred to as black rice or just plain old purple rice.

Is Black Rice, Forbidden Rice And Purple Rice All The Same?

No, these are actually three different varieties of rice. Black rice is a type of whole grain that’s high in antioxidants, fiber, and minerals. Forbidden rice is a type of black rice that originated in China and was once forbidden to the general population. And purple rice is another variety of black rice with a deep purple color.

Is Korean Purple Rice Healthy?

Yes, Korean purple rice is very healthy. It’s packed with antioxidants and fiber, which can help reduce cholesterol levels and keep your blood sugar in check. Plus, it’s low in calories and fat-free so you don’t have to worry about gaining weight from eating it. Purple rice also provides a good source of complex carbohydrates for energy throughout the day. So you can enjoy this delicious and nutritious food guilt-free!

Purple Rice

Purple Rice

Black Glutinous Rice Vs. Black Rice

Black glutinous rice and black rice are not the same. Black glutinous rice, or sweet rice, is a type of sticky rice that has a slightly sweet taste. It’s often used in desserts because of its sweetness and texture. Black rice, on the other hand, is a variety of whole grain with a deep purple color and nutty flavor. It’s also known as purple rice or Heukmi bap in Korean. Both types of rice are nutritious, but black glutinous rice has a higher glycemic index than black rice, so it may cause your blood sugar to spike more quickly.

How To Make Korean Purple Rice In 2 Ways

There are two main ways to prepare Korean purple rice: steaming and boiling. For a quick and easy method, you can simply steam the rice in a steamer basket over boiling water for about 15 minutes, or until it’s tender. Or if you prefer a more flavorful version, you can boil the black rice in water with aromatics like garlic, ginger, and scallions for about 20 minutes. Once the rice is cooked, you can serve it with your favorite side dishes or enjoy it as a main course.


  • Medium grain white rice: This is the most common type of rice used in Korean cooking. It’s twice the length as it is wide and has a slightly chewier texture than long grain rice.
  • Medium grain or glutinous black rice: This is another type of rice used in Korean cooking. It tastes better than regular long grain black rice and also gives off more purple color.
  • Water


This delicious dish is made with short-grain rice that has been dyed with natural purple pigment. The resulting rice has a beautiful violet color and a slightly sweet flavor

With Rice Cooker

– Begin by combining white and black rice in the inner pot of the rice cooker.

– Rinse and drain the rice a few times until the water is clear.

– Add clean water into the pot with desired ratio ofrice to water. Rinse and drain again before adding more water. Gently shake pot to level out grains of rice.

– Cook on appropriate setting depending on brand of machine – usually “glutinous” or “white.”

– Once done, let rest for five minutes before fluffing for best results.

Using Instant Pot

– Rinse and drain the rice a few times until the water is clear. Soak in clean water for 30 minutes. This will help to soften the grains and make them more evenly cooked.

– Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Stir the rice, making sure to scrape the bottom of pot. This will help to prevent sticking and burning.

– Reduce heat to lowest setting and place lid on saucepan; set timer for 20 minutes.

– After timer is up, turn off heat and let rest for 5-10 minutes before fluffing (if soaked, can open lid immediately).

Using Stovetop

– Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add the white rice and black rice to the pot and rinse until water is clear.

– Add enough clean water to cover the rice by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender.

– Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Enjoy!

Cooking Tips:

  • For a more flavorful dish, you can add aromatics like garlic, ginger, and scallions to the pot before cooking.
  • Be sure to soak the rice for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking if using an Instant Pot or stovetop method. This will help soften the grains and make them more evenly cooked.
  • You can also cook the rice in a rice cooker for more convenience. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results.
  • Once cooked, you can add some toasted sesame oil and roasted seaweed flakes for extra flavor.

Video how to cook Korean purple rice:

Measuring Water With Your Hand

When measuring water for cooking rice, the most accurate way is to use a measuring cup. But if you don’t have one handy, you can also measure with your hand.

The Flat Palm Method:

When cooking rice, it is important to start with the right amount of water. If there is too much water, the rice will be mushy and flavorless. If there is not enough water, the rice will be dry and hard. The best way to measure the right amount of water is to place your palm flat on the rice, and add water until it reaches the second knuckle on your middle finger. This method may vary depending on the side of your hand, but it is a good general guideline. Once you have added the water, be sure to stir the rice before covering it and placing it on the stove. With a little practice, you’ll be able to cook perfect rice every time.

The Finger Method:

The goal is to have the water come up to your first knuckle when you stick your finger in the pot. Any more than that and you’ll have too much water, any less and there won’t be enough. Once you’ve added the water, give the pot a good shake so that the rice is evenly distributed. Then, use your finger to make a small divot in the center of the pot. This will help ensure that your rice cooks evenly. Now you’re ready to start cooking!

How To Store Cooked Rice

Cooked rice can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. To store, spread out the cooked rice on a baking sheet and cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container or zip-top bag. The cooled rice will keep well in the refrigerator for four to five days. You can also freeze cooked rice for up to two months. Freeze in the same manner, allowing the rice to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container or zip-top bag. When ready to eat, simply thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove or in the microwave.

What To Eat With Korean Purple Rice

Korean purple rice is a versatile dish that pairs well with a variety of flavors and ingredients. Try serving it with grilled seafood, roasted vegetables, spicy curries, stews or soups. It also makes an excellent side dish for Korean BBQ.

For breakfast or brunch, you can serve the cooked rice along with cucumber kimchi and a fried egg. You can also use it as a bed for salads, stir-fries or noodle dishes. The possibilities are endless when it comes to enjoying this delicious rice variety!

More Similar Korean Recipes You Will Like

Korean Purple Rice

Korean Purple Rice

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Korean rice purple?

Korean purple rice is a type of heirloom variety known as “Jeonju” or “Jeungpyeong”. The deep purple color comes from compounds called anthocyanins, which are also found in blueberries and other purple-colored foods.

Is Korean purple rice healthy?

Yes, Korean purple rice is a healthy and nutritious grain. It is higher in fiber than white rice and contains antioxidants and other beneficial compounds. It also has a lower glycemic index than white rice, which makes it an ideal choice for those trying to manage their blood sugar levels.

What is Korean purple rice made of?

It is made from heirloom varieties of japonica rice grown in the Jeonju region of Korea. The grains are milled and then steamed or boiled to make the finished product.

What does Korean purple rice taste like?

This has a nutty, earthy flavor with a slightly sweet finish. It is slightly sticky and has a chewy texture that makes it perfect for pairing with hearty dishes like stews and curries.

Is Korean purple rice better than white rice?

Korean purple rice is nutritionally superior to white rice, as it contains more fiber and antioxidants. It also has a lower glycemic index, making it a healthier alternative for those trying to manage their blood sugar levels. However, the flavor of It may not be to everyone’s taste, so you should experiment with different recipes to find what you like best. Additionally, white rice is generally more widely available and less expensive than purple rice, so that can also be a factor in your decision. Ultimately, the choice between white or purple rice is up to personal preference.


Korean purple rice is a tasty and nutritious alternative to traditional white rice. It is easy to prepare, making it an ideal addition to your meal plan. With its nutty flavor and chewy texture, it is sure to become a favorite in your kitchen. Give it a try today!

Have you tried cooking with purple rice? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below! If you’re looking for more recipes using this unique ingredient, check out lilianakitchen.com for some inspiration.

Korean Purple Rice Recipe

Korean Purple Rice Recipe

Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 281 calories 1 gram fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • Medium grain black rice or glutinous black rice: 2 tablespoons
  • Water: 2 cups
  • Medium grain white rice make sure it's leveled: 2 cups


With Rice Cooker

1. Rinse the black and white rice separately in cold water until the water runs clear, about 2 to 3 times.

2. Add the two types of rice into your rice cooker with 2 cups of water for each type of rice.

3. Set your rice cooker to the "white/mixed" setting and press start.

4. Once the rice is cooked, fluff with a fork and enjoy!

On The Stovetop

1. Rinse both the black and white rice separately in cold water until the water runs clear, about 2 to 3 times.

2. Add 2 cups of water for each type of rice into a pot or saucepan and bring to a boil.

3. Once boiling, add the two types of rice into the pot and reduce the heat to low.

4. Simmer for 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed by the rice, then remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

On Instant Pot

1. Rinse both the black and white rice separately in cold water until the water runs clear, about 2 to 3 times.

2. Add 1 cup of water for each type of rice into an Instant Pot and close the lid.

3. Select "Rice" setting on your Instant Pot and press start.

4. Once the rice is cooked, fluff with a fork and enjoy!


  • If desired, you can add a pinch of salt to the water before boiling or steaming the rice for added flavor.
  • For best results, use short grain black or glutinous black rice, as these types of rice are most commonly used in Korean purple rice recipes.
  • To make this dish vegan, substitute the water with vegetable broth or coconut milk for added flavor.
  • If you're using a rice cooker, make sure to level out the two types of rice in your cooker before pressing start so that they cook evenly.
  • For an extra nutty flavor, add a tablespoon of sesame oil to the boiling water before adding the two types of rice.
  • To make a heartier dish, you can also add in other ingredients like mushrooms, carrots, or tofu.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Reheat before serving.

You may also like

Leave a Comment