Photo of Hand Harvested American Indian Wild Rice Sauté by Chef Lois Ellen Frank by WW

Hand Harvested American Indian Wild Rice Sauté by Chef Lois Ellen Frank

Total Time
45 min
20 min
25 min
As owners and executive chefs of Red Mesa Cuisine, James Beard Foundation Award-winning Chef Lois Ellen Frank and Chef Walter Whitewater aim to help sustain traditional Native American foods and agricultural practices, as well as keep ancestral culinary techniques of Native communities all over the Americas alive. In this recipe, earthy mushrooms and tart dried fruit mix and mingle with nutty wild rice and sweet corn for a side dish packed with flavor and history.


Garlic clove

8 clove(s)

Olive oil cooking spray

2 spray(s)

Uncooked onion(s)

1 medium, diced (approximately 1 cup)

Brown Italian mushroom(s)

2 cup(s), thinly sliced

Button mushrooms

2 cup(s), thinly sliced

Dried cranberries

½ cup(s), or dried tart cherries

Uncooked sweet yellow corn

1 cup(s), fresh or frozen

Cooked wild rice

2 cup(s), see note below

Kosher salt

½ tsp

Black pepper

1 pinch(es), freshly ground

Uncooked scallion(s)

¼ cup(s), thinly sliced


  1. Heat a small cast iron skillet over high heat until hot. Add the garlic cloves and cook until they start to blacken. Stir and lightly blacken on all sides. Remove from heat and place into a small bowl to cool. Once the garlic cloves are cooled, finely chop them.
  2. Lightly coat a medium to large cast iron pan with olive oil spray. Heat over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onion and sauté, stirring to prevent burning, for approximately 4 minutes.
  3. Add the blackened garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring to prevent burning, for 4 to 6 minutes.
  4. Stir in the dried cranberries or cherries. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes and then stir in the corn. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cooked rice, salt, and pepper. Stir constantly for 2 more minutes or until mixture is hot. Remove from heat. Garnish with the scallions and serve immediately.


1 cup dried wild rice = 3 cups cooked. Manoomin, or wild rice, is a Native American grain that is part of the Ojibwe communities in Northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Canada. This heirloom rice is hand-harvested as it has been for generations and grows naturally in the lakes of these areas. Commercially sold black wild rice is actually a patty-grown commercial rice that is cultivated, but may be substituted if hand harvested wild rice is not available to you. True wild rice can only be harvested by hand in canoes using traditional methods and following the traditions of ancestors. Hand-harvested wild rice is the true indigenous wild rice of the Native tribes of the lake region of the United States and Canada.