Today, I am going to be writing about wild rice, which is a nutritious and delicious grain that can be cooked in a rice cooker just like regular rice. I’m also going to show you how to cook wild rice in a rice cooker so that it comes out fluffy and full of flavor every time.
What is wild rice?
First of all, before we start, what, exactly is wild rice? Technically, wild rice is not rice, but rather a semi-aquatic grass native to North America. You can typically find it in the bulk bin section or grain aisle of most well-stocked grocery stores. Cooked wild rice has a cream-colored interior and a deliciously nutty flavor, making it fantastic in pilafs, stuffings, and casseroles, and it also gives heft to chowders and soups. It’s super healthy as well and is a great source of protein and fiber, as well as being low in calories and fat.
Because wild rice is higher in protein and fiber than other types of rice, it has a nutty flavor that some people find more appealing than the taste of other types of rice—and I love it! Wild rice can be cooked in a rice cooker just like any other type of rice, but the secret is to use the right amount of water so that it comes out fluffy and not overcooked.
Why cook wild rice in a rice cooker?
Now that we have ascertained that wild rice is a nutritious and delicious grain that can be cooked in a variety of ways, there is a problem—it can be tricky to cook. However, cooking wild rice in a rice cooker is definitely the most convenient method as, essentially, it is hands-off and gives great results every time, providing you follow a few simple tips, of course.
After adding the rice and water to the cooker, you need to select the correct setting (most good cookers have a dedicated cooking program for wild rice) which we will cover later on, and wait for the rice to be cooked through. This hands-off approach means that you can prepare other dishes while the rice cooks, or take a break and relax while the rice cooker does all the work. Also, cooking wild rice in a rice cooker helps preserve its nutrients, making it a healthy and hearty option for any meal.
Second, cooking wild rice in a rice cooker results in very evenly cooked rice. Every grain of rice is cooked through perfectly and there is no risk of under or overcooking the rice.
Third, using a rice cooker to cook wild rice allows you to control the texture of the final dish more easily. You can choose to make your wild rice softer or more firm, depending on your preference.
Finally, as I mentioned earlier, cooking wild rice in a rice cooker is a very hands-off way of cooking, which frees up your time to do other things while the rice cooks.
How to cook wild rice in a rice cooker
Ok, now we know the advantages of cooking wild rice in a rice cooker, let’s look at how to actually do it! :
1. Rinse the wild rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse it under cold water until the water runs clear.
2. In your rice cooker, combine the rinsed wild rice with 2 cups of water (or chicken/vegetable broth for extra flavor).
3. Set your rice cooker to the “white rice” or “normal” setting and let it do its thing. Depending on your model of rice cooker, this process may take up to an hour or so.
4. Once the cycle is complete, open up the lid and fluff the cooked wild rice with a fork. Serve as is, or with your favorite toppings/sauces. Enjoy!
Tips for cooking wild rice in a rice cooker
1. Rinse the wild rice thoroughly before cooking.
2. Add the rice to the cooker along with 2-3 cups of water, depending on the size of your cooker.
3. Cook on the high setting for 30-40 minutes, or until the rice is tender and cooked through.
4. Once the rice is cooked, let it sit in the cooker for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork and serving.
Recipes for wild rice
Looking for recipes that use wild rice? You’ve come to the right place. Here, are some great recipes that I have developed over the years that feature this healthy and delicious grain. From soups and stews to salads and side dishes, I’ve got mealtimes covered. I hope you enjoy them.
Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup
This wild rice and mushroom soup is the perfect way to warm up on a cold winter day. It’s packed with healthy ingredients like wild rice, mushrooms, and kale. Plus, it’s super easy to make. Just sauté the veggies, add the broth and wild rice, and let it simmer. In no time at all, you’ll have a delicious and nourishing soup that will keep you warm all day long.
In a large Dutch oven or stockpot, melt two tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the onion, carrots, and celery, and continue to cook for about eight minutes, or until the vegetables have become tender.
After that, add the garlic and mushrooms, and stir to combine everything. Continue to cook this mixture for approximately 6 to 8 minutes more, until the mushrooms are tender and have a golden sheen.
After adding the wild rice, stir the mixture to coat it. Allow the rice to cook for one to two minutes so that the grains can get a light toasting. After that, combine the salt, pepper, and herbs by stirring them in.
After adding the broth, make sure to stir it well. Bring the mixture to a boil over low heat, then cover, turn the heat down to low, and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
Take off the lid, then add the heavy cream and stir it in. While stirring constantly to prevent the cheese from clumping together, gradually sprinkle in the grated Parmesan until it is all incorporated. At last, take the soup off the heat, ladle it into bowls, and garnish it with any toppings you like!
Wild Rice Salad with roasted vegetables
This wild rice salad is a healthy and flavorful option for a summer meal. It features roasted vegetables, including zucchini, yellow squash, and red peppers. The vegetables are roasted in a light olive oil and garlic mixture. Then, they are combined with cooked wild rice, fresh basil, and crumbled feta cheese. The salad is served chilled or at room temperature.
This dish is perfect for a picnic or potluck. It can be made ahead of time and will stay fresh in the fridge for several days. The leftovers also make a great lunch to take to work or school.
Wild Rice and chicken stir-fry
This recipe is a healthy and delicious way to enjoy wild rice. It is packed with flavor and nutrients and is sure to please the whole family.
To make this dish, you will need:
1 cup of cooked wild rice, 1 chicken breast (cut into small pieces), 1 onion (chopped), 1 green pepper (chopped), 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 garlic clove (minced), soy sauce, and salt and pepper to taste.
Start by heating the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken, onion, green pepper, and garlic.
Cook until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Then, add the cooked wild rice and soy sauce to the pan.
Stir until everything is evenly mixed and heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot. Enjoy!
Alternatives to cooking wild rice in a rice cooker
Hopefully, I have demonstrated that wild rice is a delicious and healthy grain that can be cooked in many different ways. One popular alternative method to cooking it in a rice cooker is to cook the wild rice in a pot on the stove. This method is relatively simple and straightforward, and it yields fluffy, flavorful grains. Another similar method is to cook the wild rice in an electric pressure cooker although this is slightly more involved, it produces tender, evenly-cooked grains. Pressure cooking also allows the wild rice to retain more of its nutrients. Whichever method you choose, cooking wild rice in a rice cooker is a great way to enjoy this nutritious grain.
If you’re looking for a delicious and healthy way to cook wild rice, then cooking it in a rice cooker is a great option. It’s quick and easy, and the results are always perfect. Plus, using a rice cooker means that you don’t have to worry about monitoring the cooking process, so you can relax and enjoy your meal.