How to Grow Red Rice

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Use white rice and a fungus to cultivate red rice.
Use white rice and a fungus to cultivate red rice.

Red rice, also known as red yeast rice, is an Asian ingredient used as a food coloring, preservative, in wines and a flavor addition for food. Growing red rice uses naturally occurring fungus known as Monascus purpurea, which assists in the growth of red yeast in white rice. Growing red rice is not difficult, but it takes several months for the yeast to form.

Things You'll Need

  • Polished white rice
  • Cooking pot and lid
  • Measuring cup
  • Package of Monascus purpurea
  • Bowl
  • Storage container with lid
  • Fine strainer
  • Spoon
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Instructions

    • 1

      Rinse the desired amount of polished white rice with tap water. Cook the white rice. Set the rice into the refrigerator until cool.

    • 2

      Sprinkle a thick layer of Monascus purpurea over the rice. Use a spoon to mix the Monascus purpurea thoroughly with the rice grains. Place the rice and fungi mixture into a lidded container.

    • 3

      Storing the rice and fungi in a dark, cool place inside your home help the fungi thrive. Store it for three months. Removing the lid and stirring the mixture every week helps ensure the rice grains receive full exposure to the fungi. Replace the lid after each stirring.

    • 4

      Place the rice and fungi mixture into a mixing bowl and cover the mixture with water. Let it set for four hours.

    • 5

      Place the rice into a fine strainer and leave until all the liquid drains out. The solid material left over after straining is red yeast rice.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use the remaining liquid after straining, known as rice vinegar, for cooking purposes or as a condiment.

  • Check the hole-size of the strainer before usage. If the holes are too large, the rice grains fall through and mix with the rice vinegar.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

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