Saturday, June 25, 2011

HOW TO COOK RED CARGO RICE

2nd Man and I went out to eat with friends recently at the always delicious Cafe Chino and he had a dish that used a red rice.  We were curious about this ingredient, with it's rich, nutty flavor, and nice chewy texture.  Not to mention it was a beautiful color in the finished dish.  We asked the owner and he said it was called "Red Cargo Rice".

So, during our "day without electricity" a month or so ago, one of the places we went to cool down was 99 Ranch, an awesome new (new to Houston anyway) Asian grocery store.  And there, on the rice aisle, they had Red Cargo Rice, in a large 5 lb bag.  It is also available of course on Amazon by clicking on this link:  Red Cargo Rice.

The first thing we had to do was figure out how to cook it,  as there are no instructions on the bag itself.  Looking on the Internet, we found some instructions, but so many different ways, we decided the only way to figure it out ourselves was trial and error.

Like brown rice, red cargo rice takes longer to cook than regular white rice.  You can put not enough liquid or the opposite, too much liquid.  Here is what we came up with.  Quite simply, it's a 2 to 1 ratio (water to rice) and 45 mins of cook time.



Here is the bag, the name just what it's called, "Red Cargo Rice".





We like jars (more on that in a future posting) and so the very first thing I did was empty the bag into a large "biscuit jar".  It fit perfectly.







Like other similar rices, it requires washing.  Just rinse in a colander in the sink and the make sure it is well drained before you cook it.  





Put oil in the bottom of a pan to cover it (here about 3 TBSP) and heat on medium heat.  Add the rice to the hot oil and stir it around with just a little salt and pepper.  Saute lightly for 3 to 5 minutes
(this really brings out the flavor and color).





Add your water (or you can use 1/2 water and 1/2 broth), in the 2:1 ratio.  Here, we have 1 cup of rice and two cups of liquid
(1 cup water and 1 cup chicken broth).




Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer or your lowest setting, put the lid on it and leave it alone for 40 minutes.  No peeking, no checking, just let it sit with the lid on.  At the end of 40 minutes, turn off the heat and let stand with the lid still on, for 5 minutes more. 

Don't be tempted to open and stir or check on it, it will do its thing all by itself.

Here it is after the lid is removed, all the water has absorbed and the rice is cooked.  Let it sit for a few minutes to let any remaining water finish absorbing.

And here it is in it's rich, nutty, deliciousness!  We often make this with fresh chopped green onions on top, maybe even some herbs, but the flavor of the rice should be the star though.  Enjoy!

31 comments:

  1. Since you and 2nd man like unusual ingredients, I think you will like this cookbook.

    http://www.amazon.com/Cooking-Spirit-Jasmine-Rose/dp/1432727362/ref=sr_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1309203813&sr=1-9

    It's written by a friend of mine, with a wonderful, sparkling personality that completely comes through in her book. You'd love her!!! She highlights an ingredient in each recipe and gives a history of the ingredient, along with health benefits, if applicable. Even if you never cook a single recipe from it, you will enjoy reading her directions. In one recipe she instructs you to put the ingredients in a jar and shake it up by doing a cha-cha around the kitchen. ;)

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  2. thank you for this info, I was looking for it online and you're right it doesn't give alot of info. I followed this and it worked great. thank you again.

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  3. thanks for this great recipe- I have a bag of red Cargo Rice, and had no Idea how to cook it! Love your blog!

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  4. Adelina - Thanks for commenting and visiting! I'm glad (hope) we could help. I just visited your blog and became a follower. You have some delicious looking food! I can't wait to have 2nd Man try some. We'll do much more cooking once we have the farmhouse up and running (and the gardens are growing and producing) so this blog will have alot more food related things as well. Thanks again for visiting!!

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  5. Hi,new to your blog. Found you on Pinterest. I have never heard of this rice. Is it supposed to be a healthier choice like brown rice. I am supposed to stay away from white rice because of the higher carbs.

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    1. Hi Julia! First, thanks for coming by!! Yes, this rice is REALLY good for you. It is healthy like brown rice, in fact, I read online that it has many health benefits over other rice varieties. It's higher in fiber than brown rice and contains an antioxidant. Since it is not polished go rice is unpolished and only husks are removed, this leaves all of the vitamins and minerals. It's a good source of iron, calcium, and vitamins B1, B2, and B6 and it may help reduce cholesterol and improve circulatory function. As for carbs, not sure about that, I think it still has quite a few carbs, but I'm sure not as many as white. It's probably comparable to brown rice in that respect, if not slightly less, but I don't know for sure. Hope this helps!! Thanks again for visiting!!

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  6. Hi fellas, I too first had the red rice in a cafe (Thai) and bought the red cargo rice and I think I followed your directions, but my rice did not come out with the rich bold color on your site or that I ate at the restaurant. Cold I have over cooked it? Anyone?? thanks for your receipe..helped a good deal

    Berta

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    1. Hi Berta! First, thanks for visiting! And second, oh no! Not sure what happened. It could be slightly overcooked. Did you do the step with the oil, and sauteeing it for a few minutes? This not only brings out flavor but the color as well. Now that last picture is just a closeup with a camera, perhaps the flash, or lack thereof, distorted the colors. As fate would have it, we're having this dish this weekend. I'll stop 2nd Man at each step and make sure he's following our own instructions.

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  7. Thank u! THis looks like a good way to cook this rice! I will try it soon, since I just bought my first bag of jasmine red cargo rice. Also want to mention anyone to try black forbidden rice. It is dark purple after cooking and cooks like this red rice...takes about 45 min. I added a bit of coconut oil and salt in cooking it. I made red curry shrimp with coconut milk for the finished dish. Good. The black rice is probably the healthiest of all. High in antioxidents, fiber and vitamins and lower carbs. Rich nutty flavor. Maybe better in sweet rice dishes and puddings. Hard to find recipes for it.

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    1. We love it, in fact I think I like this better than any other rice. Just love the flavor. Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. some fun info/history on the black rice:
    Forbidden Rice®
    The Emperor's Exclusive Grain, Imported from China

    For increased health and longevity. Legend tells us that this ancient grain was once eaten exclusively by the Emperors of China. Our most popular rice is fabled to enrich health and ensure longevity. This medium-size heirloom rice is treasured for its delicious roasted nutty taste, soft texture and beautiful deep purple color. Extremely high in a class of flavonoid antioxidants called anthocyanins, Forbidden Rice® is also rich in iron and, according to Chinese herbal medicine, considered to be a blood tonifier. A striking presence on any plate, this once forbidden indulgence is now a wholesome everyday rice. It pairs beautifully with all cuisines – use it steamed plain, in a pilaf, stir-fry, salad or pudding.

    As many antioxidants as blueberries? A new study shows that a spoonful of black rice bran or 10 spoonfuls of cooked black rice contains the same amount of antioxidants as a spoonful of fresh blueberries. Click here for more information.

    This rice provides the richest nutritional value, providing a higher level of vitamins, minerals and fiber of any bran rice, as well as a comprehensive range of amino acids, proteins, vegetable fats and essential trace elements needed by the body.

    Fifteen years ago, we took a research and development trip to China. We were greeted by our hosts with steaming bowls of black rice at the end of the day. The rice captivated our senses and the next day at the local market we were told that during the Ming Dynasty the rice was called "tribute rice" or "longevity rice," exclusively reserved for the Emperors to ensure their good health and long life. It quickly became one of our most popular rices.

    •Cooks in only 30 minutes
    •Whole grain and heart healthy
    •High in anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants reputed to prevent cancer and many other diseases
    •High in iron
    •Gluten and wheat free

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    1. WOW! Awesome! Thanks for sharing this info. Black rice huh? I SO need to look for that. Thanks again, I'll post something when we get it. I'm sure someplace in the city of Houston has to have it. Maybe even the place we got the red cargo rice. Thanks again.

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  9. You're welcome :) Thank you so much for your fun shares and posts! Really interesting and engaging! Just a little FYI, kinda funny too...I made the red cargo rice like you specified above....and during the quick fry in peanut oil, the red rice started popping like popcorn!!! Just a little bit tho. So strange, funny tiny white popcorn. I am still cooking it now, so will have to see the final outcome :) hahahaha!

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    1. How did it come out? I hope it did. We've never had it pop, I think your oil was too hot. I know Peanut oil has a higher smoke point and so it probably got too hot. You just want to "toast' it a bit in the oil to bring out the nutty flavor. This step isn't necessary but we found it really added some more flavor.

      Thanks by the way for visiting our little blog. I'm glad when I hear feedback.

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  10. Cooking it now! Thanks for the instructions in such a fun way and they are so very detailed that it really takes the fear out of trying a new dish!

    Best Wishes!

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    1. I just realized this comment went to spam for some reason and never got replied to. My apologies. Not sure if you still stop by the blog from time to time but thanks for stopping by and I hope it all worked out for you. Thank you!!

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  11. Hey this rice looks good, love the color. I bought some yesterday while restocking my rice because it looked interesting. I have one question that might seem a little anal but I have learned the only stupid question is the one not asked. How much oil do you use?

    Thanks,
    Bruce

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    1. No stupid question at all. In fact I should have put an amount. We just put enough to cover the bottom of the pan, so it kind of depends on the size of the pot. Ours in the picture above is a 3 1/2 quart pan. We used about 3 TBSP of olive oil, again just really enough to cover the bottom. Hope that helps! Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. Gee, I've been cooking mine in the rice cooker! Your way sounds much more flavorful and I will try it sometime. Thanks!

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    1. You know, we've never tried a rice cooker. Might just have to do that ourselves. I've been wanting one. THis is very good though, ha. Thank you for stopping by and commenting, much appreciated!!! Come back soon.

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  13. First time cooking it right now, I followed the whole steps! let's see!

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  14. Hi!
    Just saw your blog, looking for how to cook this lovely red rice I found in a Chinese store...I haven't had time to explore it yet but
    a) I like the way you write
    b) I love using jars, too
    c) I like the title of your blog

    so I guess I'll cook the rice, have dinner and check out the rest of it. In the meantime yay! thank you for your help :)

    Un bacio from an Italian Ethologist camping out in Madrid ;)

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    1. Well HELLO! You are too kind and like I always say, welcome to the farm! I hope the rice comes out. We tried to make the directions as easy as possible to make it come out. We cook this all the time (LOVE it) and it always come out for us. Fingers crossed for you!

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    2. Hey!

      Well, the rice turned out great, although it ended up NOT absorbing all the liquid (even though I had followed your 1:2 directions). But delisc. And I loved sautee-ing it beforehand; I had never done that to rice before and I think the flavour was definitely enhanced. Also I completely (completely!) forgot to wash it before... uuuuhm.... but boyfriend and I aren't dead or anything, so all's cool!
      Thank you again :)

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  15. You can also boil this as any other long grain rice with at least 1.5 to 2 water to 1 rice ratio. Boil it covered on medium flame and if it boils over stir it with a fork and when the water starts to reduce cover it back. When dry, turn off the flame and let it rest for about 15 minutes before serving. If using it to make Fried Rice it must be cooled off completely. Use a mix of chili and ginger oil, fyr it with crushed garlic, scallions with prawns or sausages or even minced beef. Add seasoning and light soya sauce. Beat eggs with a dash of salt & white pepper, swirl it round the pan and transfer it to a chopping board. Roll it and slice crosswise. Toss it over as garnish when serving.

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    1. Thank you for the suggestion. Wow, sounds delicious. Thank you thank you, please come back soon!

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  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Well, first of all, THANK YOU for stopping by to comment on your results. You know, I should have posted that i used a gas flame stove, your solution for electric (and ironically, at the farm we have electric, we'll need to adjust just like you for that). Thanks for letting us, and everyone, know a solution. And I love your description of the result. You are awesome!

      Yes, three cups you could just just triple it but with such a large batch, we would suggest cutting down the liquid from triple (six) to about 5 3/4 cups of liquid. Just a little less than six cups liquid. As for the oil and sautéing, you might not need to triple that, that would be a lot of oil. The purpose is to just give it a bit of toasting. Maybe a bit more just play it by sight and let it toast a bit but not be soaking in oil, if that makes sense.

      Keep us posted! And thanks again so much for coming back to comment. :-)

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    2. For some reason, he deleted his comment. And now I don't remember his solution. Hopefully he'll come back and share again?

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  17. That's what my bag looks like, picked it up from a Chinese grocery store in Seattle. Thanks for the research and experimentation!

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    1. Yep, got it here at a great Asian grocery as well. I hope it works for you. It's a bit different but once you get the hang of it or a routine that works, go for it!! Do share the outcome!

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