June 25, 2021
Thai Style Wild Rice
This thai style wild rice is loosely based off of a winning dish from the 2018 MN Wild Rice Recipe contest. I had the chance to eat that chicken thai wild rice as part of the yearly conference that we have with our growers. I enjoyed it so much that I knew I had to re-create the dish and add a few flares to make it match my slightly kicked up taste. This is a warm, satisfying wild rice dish with chicken, vegetables, and a homemade peanut thai dressing. It’s super flavorful and nutrient dense.
Chicken: If you want, you can entirely leave out the chicken from this dish. It will still be protein filled and satisfying. Alternatively, substitute beef, tofu, or seitan for the chicken.
Vegetables: While the vegetables included in this recipe match the sauce flavors well, they are by no means the only options. Try adding broccoli, peapods, yellow squash, or green beans for something a little different.
Spice it up: For a spicier dish double the crushed red pepper and add an extra 1/2 tsp of chili oil. You can also add in a thai hot pepper or a serrano when you mix the garlic into the pan.
Tips for Making Wild Rice
Rinse the wild rice before cooking: This removes any dust or debris. Just 10-15 seconds in a mesh strainer, under cold water, is enough to do the trick.
Salt your water: As with pasta, adding salt to the cooking water increases the overall flavor of the dish. However, I find that less salt is needed than for pasta. I use just about 1 tsp added once the wild rice has been brought to a boil.
Use recommended cooking time as an estimate: There will likely be slight variation in the cook time of different packs of wild rice due to variance in grain size. Start with 45 minutes of cook time, then test the firmness of the wild rice. If it is still too firm, cook for 5-10 more minutes, checking the wild rice again after 5 minutes.
Looking for more ways to use wild rice? Check out my Minnesota creamy chicken wild rice soup.
Can I freeze it?
That’s a great question, so glad you asked. This dinner is an excellent make ahead recipe. It will store in the fridge for up to 5 days and in the freezer for another 3 months, for best quality. I freeze my extras as lunch portions for days when my energy is low but my nutritional needs are high.
So get that wild rice boiling and your sauce whisked together. Then, thank yourself for making a nutrient dense meal to fill all the nooks and crannies eroded by the stresses of daily life.
Thai Style Wild Rice
- 2 cups wild rice uncooked
- 4 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- ⅔ cup crunchy peanut butter
- ¼ cup dark soy sauce
- 4 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp chili oil
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- 3 ½ tsp white sugar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil divided
- 2 small chicken breasts or 1 large cut into ½ inch cubes
- salt and pepper
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 2 carrots cut into matchsticks
- 1 zucchini diced
- ½ medium red onion ~½ cup, diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- green onion or chives optional garnish
- Rinse wild rice under cold water for ~15 seconds.
- Combine wild rice, water, and salt in a medium pot and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer lightly, partially covered for 45 minutes.
- Taste the rice. If is still too firm for your preference, cook another 5-10 minutes. When done, drain any excess water.
- Once the wild rice has cooked for 30 minutes, whisk together all sauce ingredients until well combined.
- Set aside while you prepare the rest of your ingredients. Just before use, whisk the sauce to re-combine ingredients.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large heavy bottomed pan, over medium-high heat.
- Test the heat of the oil by lightly splashing water into it. Once it sizzles upon contact, add the chicken in an even layer.
- Lightly salt and pepper the chicken and cook for about 1 minute. Then flip the chicken, re-season and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Remove chicken from the pan, then add in 1 tbsp of oil.
- Reduce heat to medium, then mix in the red onion and carrot.
- Cook stirring occasionally until the carrots start to soften ~4 minutes.
- Add red pepper and zucchini to the pan and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Mix in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the chicken back to the pan with 2 tbsp of sauce. Stir to combine, then mix in the wild rice.
- Add the rest of the sauce to the pan, mix to combine, then taste the dish and adjust salt and pepper.
- Garnish the wild rice with green onion or chives if desired.