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How to Cook Wild Rice

A great, nutritious alternative to rice and pasta…

Wild rice has been neglected by this blogger for far too long and after reading up on it I feel almost ashamed to have given it the proverbial cold shoulder. First off, a couple of facts for you; wild rice isn’t rice. Why call something something that something isn’t? something’s wrong. So if wild rice isn’t rice then what is it? It’s an aquatic grass. Of course it is! We have the Indian tribes of America to thank for their harvesting. They fought for control of the rivers and lakes which produced the best harvests and back then it was, by all accounts a difficult crop to reach and harvest.

From a nutritional point of view wild rice blows rice and wheat out of that North American water. It contains all nine essential amino acids and is particularly rich in protein. On the upside a little goes a long way but that little takes a long time to cook (we lose Rod at this point!) You can soak it in water overnight to help reduce the cooking time but either way you’re looking at brown rice plus cooking times. The other option is one of these wild and basmati combos you can find in supermarkets, easy to cook and you get a good ratio of both.

If you do cook it ‘au naturel’ then personally I’d still flavour it up along the way. I cook it like a risotto with onion, dried chilli, herbs, chicken stock etc. It absorbs plenty of liquid so be ready for that. Another thing I like to do with dishes such as these is throw in some vegetables or other pulses such as lentils and at the end a spoon of mixed seeds. Give it a go, it’s good for you and you owe the Winnebago tribe for their efforts!


  1. Rod says:

    That looks excellent - you haven’t lost me, though you almost did with the ’soaking overnight’ business !
    I do my brown rice following your recipe for a sort of risotto/curry style and it’s superb - many thanks.

    Here’s a related rice question: What’s the difference between brown rice and wholewheat rice ?

    December 6, 2011 @ 8:08 am

  2. miles says:

    Nice one, it’s a great way of adding flavour to the rice, as for the question they’re one and the same.
    Next time you do the rice try adding some seeds for a healthy boost-I’m necking them like Billy-O at the minute!!


    December 6, 2011 @ 8:19 pm

  3. Rod says:

    that’s very helpful - thank you.
    I’ve seen the two rices and often wondered - I can also save some money now :)

    December 7, 2011 @ 8:54 am

  4. Anne says:

    This looks absolutely delicious. Could I have it for my lunch today please?
    Thank you for clarifying what wild rice actually is. I had no idea.

    December 7, 2011 @ 10:36 am

  5. says:

    Hi Miles:

    I like wild rice blends with basmati (as you noted) and also with barley and quinoa. The color contrast with the lighter grains and rices is nice as well.

    Your dish looks delectable!

    I’m with Anne - table for 2, bitte!


    December 7, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

  6. miles says:

    Many thanks, it was a learning curve for me and from a nutritional point of view I intend to use it a lot more in my diet.


    December 8, 2011 @ 9:45 am

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