Ginger Wild Rice

Ginger Wild Rice
Ginger Wild Rice

Cooking wild rice is not terribly complex. People have put countless hours into the many ways to cook white rice, but wild rice? It’s pretty straightforward. The seed of a native grass that grows along the shores of the Great Lakes in the US & Canada, at first glance wild rice appears a little daunting. It looks kind of spiky. It’s inky black, not pearly, welcoming white. It’s understandable why one might approach with caution, but never fear! You only need four things to prepare wild rice properly—a cooking liquid like water, controlled heat, a pot with a well-fitting lid, and the right amount of time.

Start the wild rice in the water as soon as you turn on the heat. This rice has a tough outer sheath, so the sooner you start cooking it, the better. Once the rice and cooking liquid come to a boil, turn down the temperature to a steady, low simmer and add your seasonings. You want to give all the delicious flavors a chance to permeate the rice along with the cooking liquid. Aside from the Wild Rice Seasoning, which is peppery, fruity, and herbaceous, we threw in a playful twist by adding chopped Crystallized Ginger to the rice. Sweet and spicy Crystallized Ginger adds a little bit of heat and a chewy texture to the rice, along with a strong, lemony pop of flavor. Crystallized Ginger can stick to a knife when you try and cut it; to prevent as much sticking as possible, spray the edge of your knife with a thin coating of cooking spray, and reapply as necessary. That should help guard against the stickiest ginger.

Keep the lid on the rice, without stirring, for about an hour. The water should be mostly evaporated at the end of the hour; if you stir the rice and it still looks a little soupy, put the lid back on and put the rice back on the heat. Check it again in 10 minutes or so. Once the water is mostly gone and the rice is soft and chewy, take it off the heat and set it aside. Stir in a little extra Wild Rice Seasoning just before you’re ready to serve to reinvigorate the flavor. We paired this with a pan-seared Lapsang Souchong Duck Breast for a meal that’s rustic but still elegant and allows the nutty, vegetal flavors of the cooked rice to shine.

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1. Add wild rice to water. Turn heat to high and bring wild rice and water to a boil.

2. Reduce heat to medium-low and add Crystallized Ginger, Fine Sea Salt, and 1 Tablespoon Wild Rice Seasoning to the rice. Cover and cook for roughly an hour or until rice is tender and water is mostly evaporated.

3. Stir in remaining teaspoon Wild Rice Seasoning and serve.