Wild rice flourishes in the Canadian province of Manitoba.
These days, canoes are no longer used to collect the precious crop of wild rice. Now, air boats, like those used in the Everglades, are used to speed up the process. Still, it’s a laborious task, requiring many trips across the lake to collect the rice grains which do not all ripen at the same time.
Once the rice has been harvested, it is spread out to cure and continue to ripen. After six days, the rice is slowly parched over wood fires where the drying process is completed and where it develops the enticing nutty aroma and earthy flavor for which it is so highly regarded.
Use of Wild Rice
The black edible kernel of wild rice is a very nutritious grain, higher in protein and fiber than most other rices and an good source of B vitamins. While it may seem more expensive than other rices, it’s actually an excellent value, since it quadruples in volume when cooked.
Wild rice has a pleasantly chewy texture and a rich, but mild nutty flavor. Wild rice is frequently paired with nuts, wild mushrooms and dried fruit and makes an outstanding accompaniment to game, pork or poultry dishes.
These savory wild rice cakes are loaded with all kinds of tasty goodies. Their naturally nutty flavor and pleasantly chewy texture make them an interesting and delicious addition to almost any meal.
- 1 cup cooked wild rice
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 stalk celery, finely sliced
- 3 scallions, finely sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1 inch long piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
Cook wild rice in a large pot of salted boiling water for 45 minutes or until grains begin to open and are tender, but still chewy. Drain and set aside to cool briefly.
In a large bowl, stir together one cup of the cooked wild rice, egg, flour, celery, scallions, pecans and ginger. Mix gently, but thoroughly until all ingredients are well blended, but rice grains are not broken.
Heat the grapeseed oil over medium high heat in a large non-stick frying pan. Using a large spoon, scoop up a scant 1/4 cup of the wild rice mixture and place into the hot pan, pressing down gently until the cakes are about 1/2 inch thick. Do not crowd the pan – cook in batches if necessary.
Continue to cook until crisp and golden brown, about 6 – 8 minutes. Turn and cook the other side for another 4 – 6 minutes.
Remove the wild rice cakes to plates and top each one with a dollop of Greek-style yogurt or sour cream and additional sliced scallion, if desired.
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