How to Cook Wild Rice in a Rice Cooker & Freeze It
Wild rice is gluten-free choice, wonderfully chewy, and adds a much desired nutty flavor to any dish (or by itself). It does take a while to cook, and having to wait for it can be a hassle if you’re in a hurry to go somewhere. I’ve got just the solution for that though. Let me show you how to cook wild rice in a rice cooker. No more waiting for it to finish cooking before going somewhere, yet you can still enjoy all the benefits and flavors it offers.
A Little More About Wild Rice
So why wild rice? Why not? Considering all of what it provides:
- It’s great for diabetics because it’s grass, not grain.
- Whole and all-natural. Not refined or polished.
- Has twice as much protein as brown rice.
- Lots of powerful antioxidants to help protect you from disease and aging.
- High in fiber to help lower cholesterol and promote a healthy digestive system.
- Rich in minerals and vitamins including vitamin A, C, and E.
- Lower in calories per servings compared to rice and other grains.
Cooking Wild Rice in a Rice Cooker
Instructions are always provided on the packaging when you buy wild rice, but those instructions are for a stove top. Nowhere does it tell you how to cook wild rice in a rice cooker, so it’s understandable that many people don’t know where to start. It’s fairly straightforward with the instructions here.
- 1 cup wild rice
- 2 cups water/broth
- A pinch of salt
- A tablespoon of butter (optional)
- Thoroughly rinse the wild rice under running cold water.
- Drain off any excess water.
- If you’ve chosen to use butter, lightly cover the inside of the rice cooker pan with melted butter.
- Mix the wild rice, salt and water/broth into the pan.
- Set your rice cooker to cook with the brown rice setting. If your rice cooker doesn’t have this option, cook it for about 40-45 minutes (this may require 2 cooking cycles).
- Fluff with a fork once it’s cooked.
How to Tell When it is Properly Cooked
How do you tell if your wild rice is cooked properly? A little visual cue and a quick taste test are all that’s needed. The seeds should have “burst open,” revealing the creamy inside. It’s overcooked if it has burst open and curled.
Carefully taste test a small spoonful of the wild rice. The texture is what you’re really looking for. It should be a little chewy, but not hard.
Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, or overcooked. You can still enjoy it, and it goes great in soups and other dishes.
Why Not Stovetop?
You might be wondering why not cook wild rice on the stove top. There’s actually no particular reason to not use the stove top. I just like the convenience of the rice cooker. Using the rice cooker also reduces the risk of burning it, and you can set it and still be able to step out of the house for a bit.
If you’d like to cook wild rice using on the stove top sometimes, just follow the instructions on the packaging. For most wild rice, just use 2 parts water to 1 part rice. Add salt to taste, bring to boil and then simmer for about 40 minutes (or whatever time is specified on the packaging).
Freezing Cooked Wild Rice for Later
There’s not much to dislike about wild rice. The only think I can really complain about is how long it takes to cook. Having to wait at least 45 minutes to enjoy some delicious wild rice is just too long. For days when I have time to wait around, I don’t whine so much. But for days where I just don’t have that kind of time, I found it easier to just save my cravings for another day and opt for something that can be cooked faster. Well, that was until I discovered how easy it was to freeze some cooked wild rice for later.
After having heard many things about vacuum sealers (thanks a lot kitchenreviewed.com), I decided to buy one. I experimented a little and found the perfect way to freeze it. Just follow the steps below.
- Cook your wild rice. Make sure not to over cook it. In fact, you can cut the cooking time by about 5 minutes.
- Remove the cooked wild rice and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- While you’re waiting for the rice to cool down, take this time to seal one end of a vacuum sealer bag. Get as many bags as you need ready.
- Once the rice has cooled down, place the your desired portions into the bags and try to flatten it a little. Be gentle. It just needs to be a little flatter for easier storage.
- Place the bags in the freezer for a about an hour.
- Take the bags out and vacuum seal them.
- Label and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When you’re planing to enjoy some wild rice, just thaw it in the fridge and gently heat it up for quick and easy wild rice.
Cooking wild rice in a rice cooker is super easy. Now that you know how to make it, give it a try, and you’ll soon come to agree with me that it’s incredibly convenient. Plus it’s also delicious, and very good for your health.