Wild rice isn’t truly rice, and these days, it’s hardly wild. Regular rice is from the genus Oryza, and wild rice is from the genus Zizania, which means they’re as close to each other as chimpanzees are to humans. Real wild rice is harvested from wild aquatic water grasses, but because it’s nutritious, high in protein, and low in fat, demand is higher than the supply. Now wild rice is farmed in paddies in California and Minnesota.

Like regular rice, wild rice is neutral enough to be versatile. Here we start with how to prepare basic steamed wild rice, and then give you four ways to use it: in a salad, jambalaya, chowder, and breakfast porridge.

Basic Steamed Wild RiceBasic Steamed Wild Rice

Wild Rice JambalayaWild Rice Jambalaya

Mushroom and Wild Rice ChowderMushroom and Wild Rice Chowder

Wild Rice and Edamame SaladWild Rice and Edamame Salad

Wild Rice Porridge with Cardamom, Pecan, and PearWild Rice Porridge with Cardamom, Pecan, and Pear

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