Japanese mushroom risotto

November 28, 2011

What’s your sure-fire hangover cure? Bacon and eggs? A run along the beach? More booze? Mine is avocado. “Avocado????” Avocado. A beautiful sourdough bread toasted in the oven and then coated in fork mashed avocado, topped with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

My new thing however is said cure, topped with some pan fried (in butter of course) mushrooms. I can’t seem to get enough of mushrooms these days and even if we don’t have avocado (*sadface*), I’ll top my sourdough in mushrooms and either some pecorino or fresh herbs, you know, depending on my mood, or how hungover I am…..
I love trying as many new mushrooms as I can but tried to do a stir-fry with a few Asian mushrooms and in my naivety, chucked them all in at once :/ Stud definitely wasn’t a fan. Like a mother with a funny looking child, I defended my dish but deep down knew that it wasn’t perfect.
Practise makes perfect! Queue Bel’s fab Japanese mushroom risotto! I knew I had to try this dish as soon as I saw her tweeting her delicious new post. Ok she was right, it’s a lot of work (I’m sorry Bel, I did have an inkling that it would be fine but 20 minutes in, when my arm was sore and I was well and truly bored, I did think of you and curse myself for not being prepared), but the flavour is so rich and amazing, its definitely worth it.

To increase the earthyness of the dish, I used a little truffle oil and then mixed in some truffle pecorino at the end and on top. Truffle overload? Does such a thing exist? Please!

Adapted from Ooh, Look…
Serves 3-4

3 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 tbs kombu (I used one sheet of large seaweed)
2 tbs soy sauce
80ml (1/3 cup) mirin
20g butter
250g mixed fresh Japanese mushrooms, like shiitake, shimeji, oyster and enoki, trimmed and sliced
1 tbs truffle oil (can use vegetable oil if you like)
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp grated ginger
1 cup arborio rice
2 tbs parsley, finely chopped
½ bunch chives, chopped
1 cup Truffle pecorino cheese and extra to serve (Can use parmesan)

1. To make the stock: Put the dried shiitake mushrooms and kombu in a saucepan with 4 cups of water and bring to the boil over high heat. Turn off the heat and sit for 15 minutes. Discard the kombu and remove the mushrooms. Cut off the mushroom stems and discard, and thinly slice the caps and set aside. Bring the stock back to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and add soy sauce and mirin.

2. Prepare the fresh mushrooms (excluding enoki): Melt half the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat, then add the fresh mushrooms and a pinch of salt and cook for 5-7 minutes until the mushrooms are wilted and any liquid has evaporated. Set aside.

3. For the onion and celery: Melt the remaining butter with the truffle oil and sesame oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is lightly golden. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds.
4. Start cooking the rice: Add the rice and stir to coat in the butter and onion mixture. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until the rice is slightly translucent. Gradually stir in 1/2 cup of the simmering stock, stirring until it has almost been absorbed before adding remaining stock, a 1/2 cup at a time. This should take about 25 minutes. At this stage, I found I needed more liquid so just added water. The flavour is so strong anyway that it didn’t water it down at all.

With the last ¼ cup of liquid, add the cooked mushrooms, sliced shiitake and enoki, if using, and stir to heat through.
5. Remove pan from the heat, stir in truffle pecorino, scatter over the parsley and chives and season to taste. Serve immediately with extra truffle pecorino cheese.

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