Rice, Red Premium

Product Description
All varieties of rice, no matter what their color, are members of the grass family originally found growing in wild tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. (Wild rice, which grows here in Minnesota is not a true rice, but rather an aquatic grass). It is believed that rice may have been cultivated more than 4000 years ago in China, India and other Asian countries. Many people think of rice as being white, or sometimes brown. Rice is actually available in a stunning palette of shades, from white to brown to red, to a deep purple-black color. Surprisingly, there are about 40,000 varieties of rice, but only a handful are familiar to most Americans.

Red rice is actually an heirloom rice, meaning that it is open-pollinated, was grown at earlier times in history, and is not grown on a large scale in modern agriculture. It is a short grain rice with a slightly nutty flavor, and its texture is smooth and firm-not at all sticky like most white rice. Its red color comes from flavonoids (antioxidants) in the outer bran layer.

The Red Rice sold by Wilderness Family Naturals is grown in the northern provinces of the island called Luzon in the Philippines. It is grown by several hundred small farmers who have chosen to go back to traditional farming practices and raise heirloom rice, wild honey and other products almost forgotten by modern society. By choosing traditional foods, these farmers are able to more easily support their families because they are not competing with the big white rice companies or in the commodity market. Instead, they receive fair prices for their unique, traditional crops and because they co-op with hundreds of other small farmers, they are able to supply ample amounts for export to the United States. A non-profit organization, set up by the Philippine government collects the rice and wild honey. All the "fruits of their labor" are sold locally in the Philippines with one exception: the shipments that come to Wilderness Family Naturals.

Red Rice is frequently paired with mushrooms and hot chilies for both main and side dishes in Asia. Many American chefs like to pair it with big flavor foods like duck, venison, lamb, pork, wild mushrooms, eggplant, or roasted peppers. It is perfect for those dishes in which rice holds the place of honor - as a pilaf, risotto, stir-fry, salad, pudding or steamed plain to accompany vegetable, seafood and meat dishes.

Basic Cooking Instructions for Red Rice

  • The night before, soak the cup of red rice in 1 quart of water adding 3-4 tablespoons of an acid medium such as whey, lemon juice, yogurt or kefir.
  • The next day, drain the rice and rinse in cold water.
  • In a large pot:
    Add 1 cup red rice
    2 cups chicken, vegetable stock or salted water
    Simmer until the rice is tender.
  • If you do not soak the rice first, it will take approximately 1 hour, simmering on medium-low heat for the rice to cook.
  • Stir occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot
  • Onions, garlic or vegetables may be added to the cooking pot, however, some of the red color will leach into the water and the rice will lighten upon cooking. Anything in the pot will take on the reddish color of the rice as it cooks.