Wild Rice Cakes

Makes 4 to 6.

Note: Use for breakfast, as a snack or as the base for a well-seasoned bison braise or duck. They’re especially good topped with smoked fish and a sorrel sauce (see recipe). Make them tiny for an appetizer or big for dessert slathered in a maple-berry sauce. These are made from overcooked wild rice, puréed into thick dough. Stir in a little cooked wild rice for texture. Maple sugar is available in many stores; substitute light brown sugar, if needed. From “The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen,” by Sean Sherman.

• 2 c. cooked wild rice (see recipe), divided

• About 3 c. water

• Pinch salt

• Generous pinch maple sugar (see Note)

• 3 to 4 tbsp. sunflower oil, or more as needed


Put 1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice and 3 cups water into a saucepan. Place over high heat, bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until rice is very soft and the water has evaporated. Drain. In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, purée rice into a sticky dough. Place dough into a medium bowl and work in the salt, sugar and remaining 1/2 cup cooked rice.

Scoop out a scant 1/4 cup dough for each patty and shape into rounds about 1/2 inch thick. Heat oil in a heavy skillet and brown patties about 5 to 8 minutes per side until lightly browned. Transfer patties to a baking sheet and place in a warm oven until ready to serve.


Wild Rice

Serves about 8.

Note: Hand-harvested wild rice takes less time to cook than the paddy rice that’s often found at supermarkets.

• 1 c. hand-harvested wild rice (see Note)

• 4 c. water (or enough to cover rice in the pot by 2 inches)

• Salt to taste


Wash the rice thoroughly by putting into a colander and running it under cold water until the water runs clear. Place the wild rice, 4 cups water and salt into a large, heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 to 20 minutes.

Variation: Season the cooking water with a small branch of cedar. Finish the rice with a sprinkling of juniper salt or maple syrup.


Sorrel Sauce

Makes 1 3/4 cup.

Note: The sumac called for here is from the Staghorn variety, which has a lemony note. Its berries are a bright orange or red. It’s available in some supermarkets, co-ops and specialty stores. Lemon juice is a substitute. Smoked salt is available in stores or online. It can be prepared over a grill with indirect heat and wood chips on the coals. Spread coarse salt in a thin layer in an aluminum foil pan and place away from the fire. Cover grill and adjust for medium heat. Smoke for 1 hour and cool. From “The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen.”

• 2 shallots or wild onions

• 2 tbsp. sunflower oil

• 4 c. chopped fresh sorrel

• Sumac to taste (see Note)

• Smoked salt to taste (see Note)


In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process shallots, oil and sorrel. Season with sumac and salt.