Is wild rice really rice?
Wild rice is a cereal grain. It’s one of the most nutritious whole grains available. Wild rice is an aquatic grass seed in the cereal grain family. Its properties are much like oats and wheat. It is high in protein and low in fat.
How do I cook wild rice?
First, you should know there are different kinds of wild rice. There is large lake wild rice, small lake wild rice, cultivated wild rice, scarified, and pre-cooked wild rice. These different kinds of wild rice require different amounts of water, and the cooking time varies. So, with that in mind we only address the wild rice, and blends that we process and sell.
- Stovetop. For the Canadian Lake and Idaho Lake wild rice, we suggest 1 part wild rice and 4 parts liquid. For the cultivated wild rice, 1 part wild rice and 3 parts liquid. Bring water to a boil, add wild rice and cook for 35 to 40 minutes or until texture is soft, not squishy. Drain off excess water. Use plenty of water. Unlike regular rice you don’t want to cook the water out.
- Oven method. Less liquid is required for baking. Use 1 part wild rice and 2 ¾ to 3 ½ parts liquid. Add seasonings and bake at 350 degrees for 1 ½ hours or until texture is soft.
- Microwave. It takes as long in the microwave as it does on the stovetop, due to the absorption of liquid. The instructions are the same as for stovetop cooking. The microwave uses less energy, and may be more convenient on hot days.
- Popping wild rice. Yes, you can pop wild rice. Popped wild rice can be used as a garnishment in a manner similar to dried bread crumbs. Place about ½ inch of oil in a pan, heat until hot and drop a kernel in to see if it “pops”. Add small amounts of wild rice to hot oil. You might have to lower the heat if it gets too hot and starts to smoke. Once it has cracked open, it expands. Take the wild rice out with a strainer, place on paper towels to drain.
How long can I store wild rice?
Raw wild rice, if kept in an airtight container or freezer, can be stored for years. It is a grain like oats or wheat and has a long shelf life. Wild rice is not prone to getting bugs in it like brown rice due to the roasting of the wild rice grains.
Cooked wild rice can be kept in the freezer for months, and in the refrigerator for 1 ½ weeks. Cooking wild rice ahead, and storing it in the freezer in meal-size packages, is a convenient way to prepare a gourmet meal when in a hurry. Defrost in the microwave or in warm water.