Home From Erika's Kitchen Cook It Like a Boss: Wild Black Rice 101

Cook It Like a Boss: Wild Black Rice 101

by Erika Nicole Kendall

Let’s do it!

Black Rice, also known as Wild Rice

What is wild black rice, and how does it taste?

It, quite simply, is dehydrated grass seeds, bred in Asia and often used for Asian dishes like sushi. It’s nice and sticky, which allows for it to bind together easily.*

It has this aromatic tea scent to it; it’s an awful lot like brewing a fresh cup of tea, and leaving it in front of a fan. Your entire kitchen will smell like this stuff. It tastes pretty… ricey. It has that tea taste to it, but the taste combined with the sticky texture and the bust-open kernels leaves for a really nice switch-up.

Also: it is incredibly filling. Like, unbelievably.

How do I buy quality black rice?

The kind I buy is in the bulk section of Whole Foods because, duh, its cheaper there. I got 2 cups for $5 – 1 cup uncooked yields about 1.5 cups cooked – in the bulk section, whereas my local grocery store sells 1/2 cup of black rice for $10.99.

Yes, you read that correctly.

As always, review the ingredients. It’s… rice. There shouldn’t be a single other thing in it.

How do I store my black rice once I’ve purchased it?

Throwback from the wild rice blend post:

wild-rice 064

Get a seal-tight container. That’s your best bet.

Also, this is a throwback from the wild rice blend post, too.

wild-rice 061

You should go check that out.

What goes well with wild black rice?

Girl, everything. I mean…it’s rice. However, because of that tea-inspired taste, I like to pair my black rice with Caribbean-inspired flavors. Because, yes. That’s why. Just “yes.”

All you gotta do is say yes, anyway.

Sorry. Gotta focus.

How do I cook my wild black rice?

Black rice is actually quite easy to cook. 2 cups of water for every cup of rice you’re cooking. Bring your water to a boil, and dump in your rice. Do not rinse your rice prior to cooking it; maybe if you’re making a pilaf or something like that, you’d rinse. But for forbidden rice, it isn’t necessary. Cooking time is about 50 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when you see the stuffing busting out of your individual grains of rice.

Want to get fancy with it? Cook your two cups of black rice. Cut up a couple of mangoes into nice, fat chunks. Take a giant handful of cilantro, chop it up. A handful of sliced almonds. 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced. A healthy pinch of salt. You might also want to be smarter than me, and toss in some shaved coconut, too. Maybe even some nutmeg/cayenne/paprika/allspice/thyme/ginger, too. Trick it out. This is a great spring board.

Either way, it happens pretty quickly. Turn on your rice, give it 45 minutes…

Forbidden rice, with mango, cilantro, almonds and garlic.

Before you know it, you’ve got delicious.

*I originally said that this rice contained gluten; a reader let me know that it, in fact, does not. Thanks!

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Tarsha April 13, 2013 - 12:24 PM

Tried and loved the black rice. I had some left over and scrambled it in with my eggs, peppers, onions, crushed red pepper, spinach and some shredded cheese. Fantastic. I plan to pick some more up later today.

kami April 14, 2013 - 9:06 AM

I recently bought black rice and Volcano rice but I have yet to use it. I think I will be cooking it soon using your recipes. Hopefully it goes well with the bean dishes. Maybe some mango fried black rice is in the future. Have you ever tried the volcano rice? i bought it because it had a lot of nutrients.

sydney April 14, 2013 - 11:38 AM

I think I’ve cooked with black rice before. Doesn’t it turn a little purplish when cooked?

Erika Nicole Kendall April 14, 2013 - 11:53 AM

Not this one that I’ve used, no. There ARE deep purple rices that lighten as they’re cooked, though.

Alicia January 5, 2014 - 12:02 PM

Kroger also carries it in the rice section. A 16oz bag of Hinode black rice costs $3.29.

Erika Nicole Kendall January 6, 2014 - 11:38 AM

Ugh, I TOTALLY miss my old Kroger. Sad face.

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