More Plant Rant: Asian Mushroom Risotto

On the topic of plants being yummy, here is a recipe I adapted for a vegan friend of mine. I found the original recipe online some time ago and can’t remember where it came from. But whoever you are, if you read this and it’s yours, let me know and I’ll make sure you get the credit.

I know that I put shrimp in the final plating, and shrimp isn’t vegan… but then again, neither am I. Truth is, you can pair a wide variety of things with this risotto. In the spirit of a true food blog, I’ll say something about risotto that the general population doesn’t know: Risotto’s creaminess comes from the starch in the rice, not from dairy (if prepared correctly). Parmesan and other dairy are usually added as an afterthought. Now breaking with the spirit, here’s the recipe with my instructions:

  • 4 Cups Vegetable Stock
  • 2 Lemongrass Stalks
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Pound Mushrooms (mixed – wild – whatever)
  • 2 Tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Butter Substitute
  • 2 Cloves Garlic (Chopped)
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped White Onions
  • 1/4 Cup Green Onions (thinly sliced)
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger (finely grated)
  • 2 Thai Green Chilies (finely chopped – seeds removed)
  • 1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt (optional – I find the salt from the veggie stock and fake butter is generally sufficient)
  • 1 Cup Sushi Rice
  • 1 Cup Sake (I use a basic Mi Jiu – Chinese Rice Cooking Wine)
  • 1/4 Tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Taiwanese Basil Leaves (roughly chopped)

Instructions: Crush the lemongrass a bit with a sledge hammer (or the back of your knife.. whatever floats your boat) and add to the vegetable stock in a medium saucepan and simmer for about 30 minutes. reduce heat and keep warm.Add coconut oil and fake butter to a big-ass, non-stick, straight-sided skillet and nuttify butter over medium heat. Add green onions, garlic, ginger, Thai green chilies, and salt then cook for about 3 minutes or until fragrant. Add mushrooms and cook for about 5-6 minutes until they brown. Add the rice and mix well (ya wanna make sure it gets coated with all the juicy stuff from sauteing the aromatics and mushrooms). Cook for about a minute (or two) then add the sake (to deglaze and break up all that caramelized starchy goodness) and cook until almost completely absorbed. Ladle-in the vegetable stock slowly one ladle at a time each time waiting for the stock to be almost completely absorbed. It would be a good idea to stir the risotto regularly whilst cooking.. just sayin’… It should take about 20 minutes to reach the optimal texture for the risotto. Should seem creamy but still have a little bite to it.Finally, before serving, stir in the Taiwanese basil and sesame oil. Serve hot and enjoy biatch!

Notes: After trying many mushrooms, I’ve decided that the three I like best for this recipe are Japanese Eryngii (King Oyster – Middle of ingredients pic), Maitake (Hen of the Woods – Left of the Eryngii), and Oyster Mushrooms. I actually use about 1-1.5 pounds.

More Notes: I use sushi rice because it has tons of starch and really makes a nice texture risotto. Personally, I use Tamanishiki Super Premium Rice.


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