Wild Rice


Wild rice is the grain of a reed-like water grass that grows in the United States and Canada. It's not actually rice.

Wild rice is a nutritional grain that can substitute for potatoes or rice, and can be used in casseroles, soups, slads, and desserts. It has a high protein and carbohydrate content, and appears to equal or surpass that of other cereals.


Other names: Canada Rice, Indian Rice, Water oats
Translations: Άγρια Ρύζι, رايس البرية, Divoká ryža, Дикий рис, Le riz sauvage, 野生米, 와일드 라이스, Divoká rýže, Dzikim ryżem, Дивља Рајс, जंगली चावल, הפרוע רייס, Arroz Selvagem, Arroz Salvaje, 野生稻, Дикий рис, Arròs Salvatge, Див ориз

Physical Description

Canadian lake grown wild rice is long (1 inch), dark (almost black) and plump. US grown paddy wild rice is shorter and a brown colour.

Tasting Notes

Mouthfeel: Generally more firm in texture than white or even brown rice.
Food complements: Almonds, Butter, Hazelnuts, Mushrooms, Oranges, Pepper, Pine nuts, Game, Poultry
Wine complements: Chateau-chaon, Petite syrah (shiraz), Savennieres, Riesling auslese, Chardonnay

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Peak: march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober
Choosing: Even though they are wild, wild rice are also milled. Milled rice are not sticky and no moist. Also, do not buy wild rice that's starting to accumulate odor. Avoid buying rice with molds.
Buying: You can buy Wild Rice from your local supermarket.
Procuring: Wild rice grows in shallow water such as small lakes and slow-flowing streams. Most of the time, it is only the flowering head of the plant that can be seen above the water.

Native Americans and non-Indians harvest wild rice by canoeing into a stand of plants and bending ripe grain heads with what they call knockers, so as to thresh the seeds into the canoe.

Preparation and Use

Its stems are grown as vegetable in East and Southeast Asia.

Cleaning: It is important to clean wild rice before cooking. Place the rice in a bowl and fill with cold water. Stir then set aside for a few minutes. Any debris will float to the surface and the water can then be poured off. Depending on the method used, wild rice can take up to an hour to cook; overcooking will produce starch results.

Conserving and Storing

When storing wild rice, tightly seal it in plastic or glass containers. Put these containers in a cool, dry and dark cabinet.

The uncooked wild rice can keep almost indefinitely as long as it is stored properly. Cooked wild rice on the other hand can be kept good for as long as one week, so long as you keep it in airtight container in the refrigerator.

It can also be frozen if it is tossed with a small quantity of oil and is then stored in an airtight container. This can be kept in the freezer for six months or longer.



Wild Rice has often been called "The Caviar Of All Grains". This sweet tasting nutty textured seed is the "Grain of Choice" for those who enjoy creating very special dishes. It is one of the most versatile and flavorful grains known to exist in the world today.

History: Wild Rice is an aquatic cereal grain that grows "wild" in isolated lake and river bed areas located primarily within the continent of North America. It is also native to ecologically similar regions located on the continent of Asia. This evolutionarily ancient grain has been found in layers of the earth dating back some 12,000 years. In addition to its role as an important food staple for ancestral peoples, it has provided a unique habitat for fish and waterfowl for thousands of years..

In North America, the species, Zizania palustris, is found (primarily) in areas west and north of the Great Lakes. In addition, there are several other species that grow in limited quantities in other North American locations. Zizania aquatica is found growing in isolated pockets from New Jersey to Florida. And, Zizania texana is found growing in the San Marcos River area located just north of San Antonio, Texas. Also, the species, Zizania latifolia can be found growing in various regions of Asia.



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