Life Video

Forage: How to harvest and process wild rice seeds straight out of the lake

Chef Shawn Adler tours the rice beds of Curve Lake First Nation with expert James Whetung, and shows us how to transform the ancient grain into a perfect cold-weather pudding.

Plus, chef Shawn Adler shows us how to transform the ancient grain into a perfect cold-weather pudding

Anishinaabe chef Shawn Adler has been harvesting wild edibles since his mother first showed him how as a child. In each episode of Forage, he teaches us how to source in-season ingredients from our own backyards and sustainably forage them, before turning them into a delicious dish we can make and devour in our own kitchens.

After pollution, motorboat activity and a host of other culprits nearly wiped manoomin, or wild rice, out of Rice Lake entirely, James Whetung made it his mission to bring the ancient grain back. He’s now spent decades repropagating rice beds throughout the Ontario lake, as well as processing and distributing the seeds to his community of Curve Lake First Nation. In this episode of Forage, Whetung takes chef Shawn Adler on a tour through the revitalized rice beds and teaches him how to roast the seeds until they’re ready to be consumed. Then, Adler shows us how to take those processed grains and transform them into a warming pudding that’s perfect for any meal of the day. Check out the video below to see how it’s all done, then scroll down for the full recipe

Chef Shawn Adler tours the rice beds of Curve Lake First Nation with expert James Whetung, and shows us how to transform the ancient grain into a perfect cold-weather pudding. 6:23

Wild Rice Pudding

By Shawn Adler

Ingredients

  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 4 tbsp butter, salted
  • ½ a pear, diced plus extra for garnish
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup sun-dried cranberries
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 ½ cups whole milk
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup 35% cream

Preparation

Begin by cooking wild rice to package directions. Set aside.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the diced pear. Let cook and soften for 1-2 minutes before adding the pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and cranberries. Sprinkle in the cinnamon and pour in both the milk and maple syrup. Add the cooked wild rice and stir to combine all ingredients. 

Bring the mixture to a boil and stir continuously for 1-2 minutes. Pour in the cream and stir. 

Serve the wild rice pudding in a bowl and top with the remaining pear. 

 

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