Wild rice, now cultivated, is the black/brown, elongated, hard seed of a marsh grass native to the Great Lakes region of North America, distantly related to common rice. Expensive, it is appreciated for its chewy, nutty quality. Wild rice has a long cooking time and is crunchy and a bit rough even when fully cooked. It can be used on its own as a side dish. Wild rice is good in soups, and goes well with mushrooms.
Almost always sold as a dried whole grain, wild rice is high in protein, the amino acid lysine and dietary fiber, and low in fat. Like true rice, it does not contain gluten. It is also a good source of certain minerals and B vitamins. 1 cup of cooked wild rice provides 5% or more of the daily value of thiamin, riboflavin, iron, and potassium; 10% or more of the daily value of niacin, b6, folate, magnesium, phosphorus; 15% of zinc; and over 20% of manganese.
- Cooking Wild rice is easy to cook, although it does take a bit more time than white rice. Always rinse wild rice thoroughly in cold water before cooking. One cup uncooked wild rice yields 3 to 4 cups cooked wild rice. Try steaming, boiling, baking, or microwaving wild rice to perfection with these easy steps:
In a medium sauce pan, bring wild rice, 3 cups water, and 2 ml salt to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer, and cook until rice is tender and kernels pop open, 45 to 60 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Simmer five additional minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain off any excess liquid. Steamed wild rice has many popped kernels and a very tender texture.
Bring 6 cups water to a boil. Add 5 ml salt and 1 cup wild rice. Bring back to a boil before reducing heat to maintain a low boil. Cook until rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Drain in a sieve or fine-mesh colander. Boiled wild rice tends to have tender, but intact kernels.
Combine 1 cup water and 3 cups water or broth and 2 ml salt in a covered 2-quart glass or other microveable container. Microwave on full power for 5 minutes. Microwave on 50 percent power for 30 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes and drain.
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