Wild rice is a grain harvested from aquatic grass species that are indigenous to the lakes of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
If you want to know how to cook wild rice at home, you’re in for a treat! In today’s article, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know, including the wild rice pilaf recipe and 5 different methods to cook it!
How to Prepare Wild Rice for Cooking
Regardless of the method, always make sure that you rinse the wild rice thoroughly in cold water before you cook it.
Always check on the wild rise and fluff it for 4 to 5 minutes when it’s done. Ideally, a cup of uncooked wild rice will get you about 3 to 4 cups of cooked rice, so keep that in mind.
How to Cook Wild Rice on the Stove
Here’s the best method to cook wild rice on a stovetop:
- Add 3 cups of water or broth to one cup of wild rice with a pinch of sea salt.
- Bring the rice to a boil then reduce to medium heat.
- Let the pot simmer for about 40 to 50 minutes.
- Turn off the heat when it’s tender.
- Fluff the rice with a fork and drain excess liquid if there’s any.
How to Cook Minnesota Wild Rice in a Rice Cooker
If you want to know how to cook wild black rice in a rice cooker, here’s the trick to an excellent taste and texture!
- Use a nonstick spray on the cooker pan or rub it with butter to prevent sticking.
- Combine 1 cup of Minnesota black wild rice with 2 cups of water.
- Cook the rice for about 50 minutes and check on the rice. It should be tender and fluffy when it’s done.
- Turn off the heat and let the cooker stand for 10 minutes then fluff the rice with a fork before serving.
How to Cook Wild Rice in an Instant Pot
Cooking wild rice in an instant pot is fairly easy and great for beginners. Here’s how to do it:
- Add one cup of wild rice to 1.5 cups of cold water or chicken (or vegetable) broth into an instant pot pressure cooker.
- Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt to the put and close the lid.
- Pressure cook the rice at high-pressure settings for 15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and leave the pot for about 10 minutes to steam cook.
- Open the lid and fluff the rice with a fork before serving.
How to Cook Wild Rice in the Microwave
To be completely honest, cooking wild rice in the microwave is never the best way to do it. It wastes a lot of potential because it can be quite hard to get the wild rice to the desired level of chewiness and texture.
Moreover, depending on the blend you’re using, it might take a bit too long to cook, which defeats the purpose of using a microwave for most people.
Yet, if the microwave is your only viable way to cook wild rice or you want to cook it as quickly as possible, you can actually do it with the following method:
- Bring a microwave-safe container that has a lid. If you don’t have one, you can use any large 2-quart oven glass with proper covering.
- Add 3 cups of chicken or vegetable broth for every cup of wild rice blend. Water will also work but it might not taste as delicious.
- Add a pinch of kosher salt or half a teaspoon of fine salt. Don’t add too much if you’re using the broth because it already has salt.
- Put the container in the microwave on the highest settings for 5 minutes, then reduce it to medium settings for another 30 minutes.
- When the time is up, let the wild rice stand to self cook for another 15 minutes. If the rice isn’t as tender as you want it, microwave it for extra 2-minute increments until you reach the desired consistency.
How to Cook Wild Rice in the Oven
If you don’t mind the time, baking the wild rice in the oven is surely one of the nicest ways to cook it.
It’s ideal for when you use the wild rice for stuffing or in casseroles. However, you can also use it as an alternative to cooking the wild rice on the stove, all the while having excellent taste and structure. Here’s how to utilise your oven for cooking wild rice:
- Preheat the oven to about 350 °F (175 °C)
- Bring a 2-quart casserole dish with a tight lid and add 1 cup of wild rice to 2 cups of boiling vegetable or chicken broth or just plain water.
- Cover the casserole and leave it to bake in the centre rack for about an hour.
- Take the rice out of the oven, and add water if it became almost too dry but not fully cooked yet.
- Fluff the rice with a fork then recover the casserole and bake it for an extra 30 minutes.
- Keep checking on the rice and make sure that it is tender and moist without being too mushy. The grains should pop open but not breaking down.
- Take out of the oven when ready, then drain and fluff the rice if necessary before serving.
Bonus Recipe: How To Cook Wild Rice Pilaf
Now that you know 5 different methods to cook wild rice blends, it’s time to try out one of the best wild rice recipes, which is known as the “wild rice pilaf”!
For those of you who don’t know, pilaf is simply a dish where the rice is the main ingredient of the meal, accompanied by some spices as well as vegetables or meat.
This wild rice pilaf recipe is easy enough for a beginner to follow and it works great as a standalone or side dish for the weekends!
The great thing about this recipe is that you can prepare this meal several hours ahead of time then reheat it just before serving.
Also, it goes perfectly well with a lot of other dishes, such as roast beef or chicken. You can also use mushrooms and a variety of veggies along with the rice, such as broccoli florets, chopped bell peppers, and green beans!
Wild Rice Pilaf
- 2 cups wild rice blend
- vegetable or chicken broth cube
- 1 onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- pinch ground pepper
- 1/4 cip sliced, salted butter
- 3/4 cup sliced, carrots
- 2 cups brussel sprouts
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- salt to taste
Cook the wild rice
- Before you start, make sure that you get a wild rice blend instead of regular wild rice. wild rice mix is more recommended because it balances nutrition, taste, and chewiness better than the regular one.For this recipe, you should cook the rice in a broth instead of water. You can also use plain water to cook the pilaf, but I highly recommended that you cook it in a broth for a richer flavour. Check your wild rice blend instructions for the ideal cooking time in the water. Most brands will give you instructions for the cooking durations of both water and broth. However, if the package doesn’t mention a specific time for cooking using the broth, it’s usually the same time as water, so no worries!Once the recommended cooking time is up, turn off the heat but keep the lid tightly closed for an extra 10 minutes. Wild rice usually takes a bit longer than expected and you don’t want it to be firm for this recipe. If the rice is still too firm, add in extra broth and simmer it for an additional 10 minutes.
Cook the vegetables
- During the rice cooking time, you’ll have enough time to cook the vegetables. Bring a deep skillet to medium heat while adding the butter. Once the butter melts and starts bubbling, add the carrots and onions. Stir and cover occasionally for about 5 minutes to cook.When time is up, uncover the lid and add the rest of the veggies and black pepper, then stir for a couple of minutes until they all soften.
Add the rice to the skillet
- Add the Rice to the SkilletWhen the rice is all done, add it to the veggies mix and stir them so that they become evenly distributed.How Long Does It Take to Cook Wild Rice?As you can see, the duration of cooking wild rice depends mainly on the method used for cooking. Ideally, an instant pot is the fastest way to cook wild rice, which is usually about 35 to 40 minutes followed by microwaves (about an hour).Cooking on the stove or in the oven might take anywhere from 1 to 1.5 hours depending on many factors, such as the quantity and variety of rice used.
With that said, you now know how to cook wild rice in a variety of ways. Remember to always wash the rice before you cook it and make sure that you use chicken or vegetable broth instead of water for an unmatched taste!
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