A Bite Inspired by… Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969 Film):
Wild rice is among the most versatile, delicious, and healthy of grains. It’s naturally gluten-free, as well as high in fiber and other nutrients. My “Wild” Wild Rice recipe takes the already delicious flavors of wild rice to the next level. This bold dish is inspired by the 1969 Western film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”. Whether you choose to serve it as a side dish or an entrée, this dish will bring excitement and adventure to your dinner table.
I absolutely LOVE wild rice. It’s my favorite grain hands down. It has such a unique, chewy texture and strong, earthy flavor. I love eating it plain, sometimes with a few almonds or dried cranberries tossed in with a bit of olive oil. But, when I’m feeling really adventurous and want something bolder, I love cooking and eating my stir-fried version, which gets its amazing flavors from soy sauce and ketchup. Yep, you heard me right! Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. The flavor is astounding and goes perfectly with the nuttiness of the wild rice.
I like to call this recipe my “Wild” Wild Rice because the inspiration for it came from the well-known 1969 Western flick, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”. One of the coolest parts of the film (especially for the time) is toward the beginning. The film starts in an almost sepia, black-and-white when we first meet our outlaws and turns to vibrant color once they return to Hole-in-the-Wall. It almost looks like a different movie. I like to think of this dish in the same way: wild rice is black-and-white and already delicious on its own, but the veggies and flavors I add to it make it vibrant and colorful. The flavors are bold and may even surprise you a little, just like Butch and Sundance.
This dish is vegan/vegetarian and dairy-free. It’s also gluten-free because it uses gluten-free soy sauce (you can use regular though if you prefer) and wild rice is a naturally gluten-free grain. As always though, if you have a gluten sensitivity pay attention to your packaged products to make sure there’s no cross-contamination in the processing of them. Although ketchup is generally gluten-free, if you want to be extra careful try Heinz or Annie’s Naturals ketchup, as both use vinegar that is not derived from wheat.
In addition to the ketchup and soy sauce, carrots, peas, and corn also bring a pop of color and flavor to this dish. If this BIB (Bite Inspired By…) is going to remind you of a Western film, we have to make it a little more interesting than just rice, after all.
If you’ve never cooked wild rice before, it’s a little different from regular rice. You should use about 3 cups of water to every 1 cup of dry wild rice. The yield will be about 3 cups cooked wild rice for every 1 cup uncooked, so to make the 4 cups of rice needed for the recipe, you want to cook about 1 and 1/3 cups of dry wild rice. It usually takes about 45 minutes to cook, but check the package directions because it can vary. You should also rinse the wild rice before cooking.
It’s healthy, delicious, and easy enough to cook on a weekday. To save time, you can make the wild rice a day ahead and just stir fry it the next day. You can even make extra wild rice and eat it throughout the week, plain or with a few mix ins like nuts or fresh herbs. Wild rice tastes good with everything and keeps well. Kids love this dish too, and it’s a great way to introduce them to a new grain.
My “Wild” Wild Rice is super versatile and can be served as a side dish for 4 people (or an entrée for 2, if you’re so inclined). It goes perfectly with simply grilled tofu, chicken, or beef. The rice already has a strong flavor, so just make sure to keep your protein simple. Steamed veggies on the side also work well.
No matter what you choose to serve it with, I guarantee this dish is as exciting and adventurous as the Wild Wild West itself!
- 4 cups wild rice, cooked, drained of any water, and cooled
- 2 carrots, peeled and grated
- ¾ cup frozen peas, thawed
- ¾ cup frozen corn, thawed
- ½ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup gluten-free soy sauce (or regular, if you don’t have a gluten sensitivity)
- 2 scallion tops, cut small for garnish
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- Heat oil in a large deep skillet on medium-high heat until hot, but NOT brown or burning.
- Add wild rice to pan. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes to bring the flavors of the rice out.
- Add carrots. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Add peas and corn. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Add soy sauce. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Add ketchup. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Divide into 4 bowls and top with scallions. Serve immediately.
For tips on cooking wild rice, see my post above!
This dish can also be served as a entree for 2 people (or 4 if you double the recipe).