How To Make Perfect Wild Rice
If you have never cooked with wild rice – now is the time to try it!
Wild rice – which is not really rice at all – is a firm, nutty grain that splits open when cooked, revealing the tender inner grain. It’s extremely versatile and hearty, and can be used in so many different dishes and recipes.
What Is Wild Rice?
Wild rice is one of two native grains commonly eaten in North America (the other is corn). It is not actually rice, but rather a grass.
It’s a sturdy, nutty, grain that has a slight tea flavor.
As wild rice is quite heavy, it is often served combined with brown and white rice as a side dish.
Here are some more interesting facts about wild rice:
- Wild rice is gluten free.
- Wild rice is higher in protein than most grains, and also contains high levels of manganese.
- Wild rice contains 30x more antioxidants than regular white rice.
- Wild rice is grown in 2 to 4 feet-deep water.
- Wild rice is the State Grain of Minnesota.
How To Use Wild Rice
Having lived in Minnesota most of my life, wild rice is a food that has always been on my radar.
In Minnesota, perhaps the most popular way to eat wild rice is in a creamy wild rice soup.
But there’s more to wild rice than wild rice soup. Once you have mastered the art of cooking perfect wild rice, you can use it in all sorts of recipes:
- In soups
- In salads
- In hotdish/casseroles
- In various side dishes
- To make wild rice burgers
- Added to quiches, meatballs, meatloaf, stuffing, oatmeal or pancakes
Cooked wild rice is a great food to have on hand, because you can either make a meal out of it – or add it to whatever you happen to be eating. Add some to your morning eggs. Toss some in your pancake batter. Add some to your oatmeal. You can even add some to your chocolate chip cookie batter!
How To Cook Wild Rice
Wild rice is cooked with a 4 to 1 water-to-wild rice ratio.
The simplest way to cook wild rice is to simply boil the water with the rice. But I like to season the water to give the rice more flavor.
In the recipe below, I’ve added some flavorful ingredients and seasonings. You can cook the rice in all water, in all stock (vegetable, chicken or beef) or in a mixture of the two.
Yield: One cup of dry wild rice yields about 3.5 cups of cooked rice.
- 4 cups liquid (water or vegetable, chicken or beef broth, or half water/half broth)
- 1 cup dry wild rice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Rinse wild rice under cold water.
- Place rice, water (or broth), salt, bay leaf, and garlic powder in a large pot with a lid. Bring to a boil. Place lid on the pot, and turn heat down to a simmer.
- Cook wild rice for approximately 40-45 minutes. Check around the 30 minute mark to check for doneness.
- Remove rice from heat, drain. Use right away, refrigerate for up to 5 days (tightly covered), or place in freezer bags for up to 3 months.