This week there was a new ingredient in my kitchen, Thai red rice. This is a long grain rice with an outer deep redidsh-brown colour and a white center. The rice is unpolished and only the husks of the rice grains are removed, which allows it to retain all its nutrients and vitamins. This makes it a better, healthier option than polished white rice. But because it is unpolished it takes longer to cook than white rice.
I found the rice at my local organic market but it can also be purchased at health food stores or online. I love wild and brown rice so I was quite excited to give red Thai rice a try. From what I read on line this rice can be used and eaten just like white rice. I planed to cook a light meal of steamed rice and a stir fried vegetable so it was the perfect opportunity to try out the red rice.
The package did not have cooking instructions, and this being a new variety to me I took to the internet for more information. Unfortunately every site I looked at gave different water to rice measurements. Some also suggested soaking the rice beforehand while others stated there was no need. Quite honestly I was at a loss and with meal time creeping up I needed to make a decision fast.
I decided to soak the rice and cook it in a ratio of 1/2 cup rice: 1 cup vegetable broth. This is a ratio stated on many websites and it didn’t sound too strange as it is similar to when I cook jasmine rice. I also wanted to give the rice a bit more flavour so I also added seasoning. Below are the exact measurements and ingredients used.
- 100 gm or ½ cup red Thai rice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- splash oil
- 1 cup vegetable low-sodium broth
- pinch of sea salt
- Rinse the rice and remove any debris. Place the rice in a large bowl or pot and pour enough water to cover by 1 inch or 2.5 cm, allow to soak for 30 minutes. Drain the rice and set aside. Heat a little bit of oil and saute the garlic until soft. Add the rice, a pinch of sea salt and broth into the pan.
- Over medium-high heat bring the pot to a boil. Turn the heat down to a low flame, cover and simmer until rice is soft and cooked through. Fluff before serving.
Everything was going well until I lifted the lid to check on the rice. Nearly all of the liquid had been absorbed but the rice was still too hard, so I added a big splash of water to the pan. After about another 8 minutes I checked on the rice again. This time the rice was soft but looked over-cooked. I had added too much water, oops!
Though a tad over-cooked the rice still tasted great. Red rice has a nuttier taste and a chewier texture, somewhat similar to brown rice. The funny thing is that once the leftovers sat overnight in the refrigerator the rice didn’t have that over-cooked, glistening look too it. It looked like steamed rice, haha. In the end the rice complimented the broccoli perfectly, it was a tasty and healthy meal that I really enjoyed. I will be sharing the recipe for the broccoli in a couple of days.
Have any of you cooked red Thai rice? If so can you share your method please. Thanks!