What exactly IS wild rice?
If you’ve ever tried wild rice, you know it’s very different from white rice or even brown rice. In fact, it’s not actually rice! Rather, it’s a grain-producing grass, commonly grown in the cold rivers and lakes of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Canada.
Wild rice requires deep water to grow and is notoriously hard to harvest; the grass is incredibly fragile and the rice shatters easily in the wind. The seeds also mature at different times, which makes it challenging to harvest mature seeds without destroying the rest.
Wild rice grown on Minnesota state waters is regulated and can only be harvested during certain seasons. It must be harvested from a canoe using a pole for power (no motorized boats) and two rice beater sticks to knock the mature seeds into the bottom of the boat.
Wild rice is chewy, with a nutty flavor. It can be cooked in a pot like regular rice, covered with about an inch of water, but requires up to an hour to become tender enough to eat. Wild rice is done cooking when most of the grains have split open to reveal a creamy interior, and the ends curl in slightly, even if all the water is not absorbed.
Wild rice is great tossed with dried cranberries or with sautéed mushrooms and delicious with chicken or sausage. From soup to salad, find more recipe ideas in this Pinterest collection.
Look for wild rice in our grocery aisles.