If you are looking for one-pot easy comfort food, you gotta try this amazing creamy curry chicken wild rice soup that is also gluten-free and dairy-free.
What is wild rice ?
Wild rice, scientifically known as Zizania, is a type of aquatic grass that produces edible grains. It is not a “true” rice, but it is often referred to as such due to its similar appearance and culinary use. Wild rice is native to North America, primarily in the northern regions of the United States and Canada, where it has been a staple food for indigenous peoples for centuries.
Is wild rice nutritious ?
Wild rice is highly nutritious and is considered a healthy grain choice. It is rich in essential nutrients, including protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins (such as B1, B3, and B6), and minerals like manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. Due to its nutty flavor and chewy texture, it adds a unique dimension to various dishes, making it a popular choice in both traditional and modern cuisine.
Minnesota Wild Rice Soup with a twist
It’s a big statement for me to say that I love wild rice. I never did before. I thought it was such strange rice. So tough and dry. Who would eat this stuff really? I grew up with soft fluffy jasmine rice and never really cared about wild rice until I moved to Minnesota. Wild rice is an official state grain of Minnesota. The majority of wild rice worldwide is produced here in Minnesota. I fell in love with wild rice after having a creamy wild rice soup and wild rice pilaf at different restaurants.
So, here’s my attempt to make some comfort food that is easy, yummy, and can easily feed the entire family. It turned out so good and I feel like I need to share it here. This is a twist to the “classic” Minnesota wild rice soup. I added some spices and herbs that we use a lot in Southeast Asian cooking
True wild rice vs cultivated wild rice
True wild rice is not something you can easily find at your local grocery store. A reader has pointed out that true wild rice can be ordered from Moose Lake Wild Rice(not sponsored). True wild rice grows naturally in the shallow waters of lakes, rivers, and wetlands, primarily in North America. It is not cultivated but is found in its natural habitat. Harvesting wild-grown wild rice is more labor-intensive and challenging. True wild rice has a more robust, nutty flavor with a chewier texture. It is known for its rich, earthy taste and aromatic qualities, making it a sought-after ingredient in many traditional and gourmet dishes. So, I highly recommend true wild rice if you want to go all out.
Cultivated wild rice (or sometimes known as blackened wild rice) is a commercially grown variety of wild rice. It is typically grown in controlled paddies or fields, often in shallow water or wetland areas, to mimic its natural habitat. These cultivated varieties are easier to harvest and have a higher yield compared to true wild rice. Cultivated wild rice grains are usually longer, uniform in size, and often have a lighter color, ranging from light brown to black. They are less variable in appearance compared to true wild rice. Cultivated wild rice tends to have a milder and less complex flavor compared to true wild rice. The texture is often less chewy, and it cooks faster. Some people find cultivated wild rice to be slightly less nutty and aromatic than its wild-grown counterpart.
Can I use a wild rice blend ?
I won’t suggest using a wild rice blend if possible, unless you can’t find at least cultivated wild rice. Wild rice blend is usually a mix of wild rice, red rice, redberry rice, black rice, brown rice, etc. If you choose to, choose the one with a high proportion of wild rice (meaning: wild rice should be the first ingredient)
Is cultivated wild rice the same as forbidden rice ?
Despite its black color, forbidden rice and wild rice are not the same. Forbidden rice, also known as black rice, is a variety of rice that is unrelated to wild rice. It originated in Asia, particularly in countries like China and Thailand. Forbidden rice gets its name from the belief that it was so rare and nutritious that it was reserved for Chinese emperors and thus considered “forbidden” for common people. It is a medium-grain rice with a dark, purplish-black color. Forbidden rice has a firm, slightly sticky texture when cooked, making it ideal for both savory and sweet dishes. It is particularly known for its high nutritional value and is often considered a “superfood” due to its rich antioxidant content, fiber, and essential nutrients.
Why you’ll like this recipe
1. It’s super yum! and not to mention it’s really easy!
2. It’s dairy-free and gluten-free
3. It’s convenient and all cook in one pot
4. I took a little extra step: by sauteeing the aromatics instead of just throwing everything in a pot. Doing this adds a depth of flavor to the end result!
Instant Pot Creamy Curry Wild Rice Soup (DF and GF)
- 1 large onion diced
- 8 cloves garlic finely chopped
Vegetables: (see notes 2)
- 3 large carrots peeled and cut into small cubes
Protein (use one of the following):
- 2 cups leftover cooked chicken meat cut into bite-size chunks
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken meat breast or thighs, about 450 grams, cut into bite-size chunks
Seasonings and spices:
- Few sprigs of fresh cilantro leaves
- Turn on saute mode on instant pot. When it's hot, add cooking oil or coconut oil and swirl the pot to cover the base. Add the aromatics and saute for about 3 minutes. If you use uncooked chicken meat, add it here and saute until they just turn opaque but not cooked through yet
- Add vegetables, wild rice, seasonings and spices, broth, and bay leaves into the pot. Give it a good stir to make sure nothing get stuck on the bottom of the pot
- Close the lid and turn the steam release valve to "sealing". Set the timer to "35 minutes" and make sure it's on "high pressure"
- Release the pressure immediately after that and when the safety valve has collapsed, carefully unlock the lid to open
- Please note: if you are using true wild rice, the cooking time will not be nearly as long because true wild rice cooks faster than cultivated wild rice. I haven't had the luxury of cooking true wild rice yet, so I can't tell you for sure of the pressure cooking time. I would imagine 15-20 minutes would probably do it.
- If you use leftover cooked chicken meat, stir it in at this time. Add the coconut milk. The residual heat will warm up the coconut milk. Have a taste and add more salt to your taste if needed
- If you like a creamier thicker texture, you can combine coconut milk with cornstarch. Turn the saute mode on and when it comes to a simmer. Add the coconut milk with cornstarch and stir it well and pour it in and keep stirring until the mixture is slightly thickened and creamy. Do not overboil the coconut milk or it will turn frothy. Turn off the saute mode. Have a taste and adjust by adding more salt if necessary
- Garnish with few sprigs of fresh cilantro leaves just before serving
- I can only find cultivated wild rice (paddy wild rice). It’s hard to find true wild rice these days, if you can, go for it!
- You can also include celery (chopped), mushrooms, corn kernels, etc if you like. Use any vegetables you like
- If you plan to halve the recipe, the cooking time remains the same. The pressure cooker time is not determined by the quantity of food but rather the size of the food.
How to make creamy curry chicken wild rice soup in Instant Pot
1. Turn on saute mode on the instant pot. When it’s hot, add cooking oil or coconut oil and swirl the pot to cover the base
2. Add the aromatics and saute for about 3 minutes. If you use uncooked chicken meat, add it here and saute until they just turn opaque but not cooked through yet
3. Add vegetables, wild rice, seasonings and spices, broth, and bay leaves into the pot. Give it a good stir to make sure nothing gets stuck on the bottom of the pot
4. Close the lid and turn the steam release valve to “sealing”. Set the timer to “35 minutes” and make sure it’s on “high pressure”. Release the pressure immediately after that and when the safety valve has collapsed, carefully unlock the lid to open
5. If you use leftover cooked chicken meat, stir it in at this time.
6. Add the coconut milk. The residual heat will warm up the coconut milk. Have a taste and add more salt to your taste if needed.
If you like a creamier thicker texture, you can combine coconut milk with cornstarch. Turn the saute mode on and when it comes to a simmer. Add the coconut milk with cornstarch and stir it well and pour it in and keep stirring until the mixture is slightly thickened and creamy. Do not overboil the coconut milk or it will turn frothy. Turn off the saute mode. Have a taste and adjust by adding more salt if necessary
7. Garnish with a few sprigs of fresh cilantro leaves just before serving
It can be made ahead for meal prep
Once they have cooled down completely, you can portion them out into serving portions and store in a freezer-friendly container or bag and freeze them if you want to store them longer (up to 1 month). Simply reheat them on the stove when you are ready to eat them. They can also be kept on the refrigerator for up to one week.
Cooking wild rice soup in the Instant Pot is a breeze, and the results are nothing short of delicious. This hearty and comforting dish is perfect for any occasion, whether you’re looking to warm up on a cold winter’s night or impress your guests with a flavorful homemade soup. With the convenience of the Instant Pot, you can enjoy this flavorful and nutritious meal with minimal effort. So, don’t hesitate to try out this recipe and savor the rich, satisfying flavors of wild rice soup.
Did you make this instant Pot Creamy Curry Wild Rice Soup recipe?
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