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Creamy Oozy Mushroom Risotto

A bowl of creamy oozy risotto is like a warm hug on a cold day.  Although Hong Kong is still at a balmy 28 degrees, I’m already gearing our dinner menu towards more of an autumn theme.  I love making this risotto dish any time of the year, although it does feel a lot more cozy coming home to this on a cold winter’s day.

I love mushrooms – first, because there’s incredible variety, and second, because each variety has its own unique flavours.  Orchestrating different species together into an unique boutique of flavours is what gives this mushroom risotto its incredible flavour.  I love to walk around the local markets to see what is in season, or what looks particularly fresh that day, and make my mushroom selections based on this.  Below is only a suggestion on the types of mushrooms to use, so please feel free to play around with your personal touches!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup risotto rice
  • 3/4 cup of white wine
  • 2.5-3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbls minced garlic
  • 2 tbls butter
  • 1/2 tbls olive oil
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 handfuls of mushrooms (either fresh shitake, oyster, button, chanterelle, portebello) 
  • salt & pepper to season

First, clean and cut mushrooms into medium slices (around 0.5cm in width).  I know chefs caution against washing mushrooms as they soak up a lot of moisture during washing. I don’t follow this rule (yuck!) and wash each mushroom under running water instead.  Then, I pat dry the mushrooms with paper towels.

Heat up the chicken stock and keep warm.  

Dice onion.  

Add olive oil, 1 tbls of butter and minced garlic to a heavy bottomed pot, and stir together over a medium heat until fragrant.  Add the diced onions to the pot and cook until the onions have slightly coloured (around 5-8 minutes).

Once the onions have softened, add the risotto rice and lightly toast for around 1 minute until each grain becomes slightly translucent.

Pour the white wine over the rice to create some sizzle.  Stir for around 1-2 minutes to let the alcohol burn off.  The aromas should be very fragrant by this point.

Now, patience comes into play.  Slowly, one at a time, add ladlefuls of hot stock to the pot.  Turn the heat to low so the rice can simmer.  This will take around 15 minutes.  Once each ladle of stock is absorbed into the rice, replenish with more stock.  The idea here is to slowly massage the starch out of the rice (that’s what makes the risotto so oozy).  This is a good time to adjust seasoning to taste. 

Once the risotto has come to al dente, and still have a little bit of bite, stir in the fresh mushrooms.  The mushrooms only need to cook for around a minutes.

By this time, most of the liquid should have been absorbed by the rice, although you still want to keep an oozy consistency.  

Turn the heat off, and mix in the remaining 1 tbls of butter, and all of the parmesan.  Once mixed, let the hot risotto sit in the pot for around 2 minutes.  This helps it develop its amazing creamy texture.

Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

Bon Appetit!

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