Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A yoshoku Japanese mushroom risotto

I said I'd make another recipe from the yoshoku cookbook, and here it is. It's a bit of a doozy, since I reduced the amount of ingredients to serve two and still ended up with so much risotto that I felt like I was turning into a pudgy bowl of rice after eating it all (of course, I had to eat it all since it does not keep very well).

This recipe is also quite time-consuming, with all the prep work of making stock, pre-cooking the mushies and stirring, stirring, all the time stirring. It is worth it, though, because the rice turned out very creamy and luscious. The recipe specifies using Japanese short grain rice which is more glutinous and needs more liquid to cook, but I used ordinary Arborio risotto rice and it worked out fine. If you can set aside an hour or so to make this fusion risotto, then I'm sure you will find it worthwhile, too.

Japanese Mushroom Risotto
Serves 3-4

Ingredients3 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 tblsp kombu (kelp)
2 tblsp soy sauce
80ml (1/3 cup) mirin
20g butter
250g mixed fresh Japanese mushrooms, like shiitake, shimeji, oyster and enoki, trimmed and sliced
1 tblsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp grated ginger
1 cup short grain rice
2 tblsp parsley, finely chopped
½ bunch chives, chopped
Parmesan cheese, to serve

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 vegetable 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. 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, scatter over the parsley and chives and season to taste. Serve immediately with parmesan cheese.

Recipe adapted from yoshoku by Jane Lawson

Ingredients, including mirin, soy sauce and sesame oil, onion, celery, dried shiitake, kombu and mixed fresh mushrooms. I picked up a tray of fresh Japanese mushrooms that had a combination of shiitake, enoki and a single, fat-stemmed king trumpet mushroom.
For the mushrooms, the stems should be discarded from the shiitake, the enoki should be separated (and the bit at the base of the stem that holds them together should be removed). The stem of the king trumpet can be sliced up and used.

The dried shiitakes contribute to the flavour of the stock that is used to cook the rice.
Before adding the liquid, swirl the rice in the onion and butter so it becomes a bit translucent.

An hour later, a lovely dish of risotto with Japanese flavours

It was worth the effort although next time I'll invite others around to share it.

And don't forget a sprinkling of parmesan cheese to add creaminess and 'umami'


  1. beautiful photographs! i am a risotto lover, but agree that the stockmaking process is too time consuming to make it regularly (or, i cheat and use pre-made).

    love the addition of kombu + mirin.

  2. man, this is my kinda dish...well, something id order in a restaurant for sure! love the medly of m'rooms...the rice looks so creammy...hmmm.

  3. I adore mushrooms AND I adore risotto, so this recipe sounds perfect to me! It looks so creamy and rich- I'm drooling :)

  4. Uuummmaammii this looks good! ;)
    I do love a nice creamy risotto... Thanks for sharing!
    - Brittany

  5. I hear the pudgy ball of rice look is coming in again these days!


    Cause I will be making and eating LOADS of this risotto.

  6. That looks amazing. I love love love risotto and I alway eat it all even though I make enough for an army :-)

  7. Oh gawd I love Japanese mushrooms so much! Your risotto looks so delicious and perfect for the cold weather at the moment!

  8. My goodness that looks yummy! Love mushrooms in most forms, but I think risotto tops the list :)

  9. Oh it looks so yummy! Perfect winter dish too - so conforting yet totally fancy and impressive. Might have to make this one on the weekend!

  10. This risotto looks great, love the idea of East meets West...mirin, sesame oil and parmesan cheese. What a great combination :-) Hope you are having a great week!

  11. How did you find the shiitake falvour balancing with the others? I've tried something like this before but found the shiitake too overpowering a flavour for all the other mushrooms, especially the really expensive shiitake - they just drown out everything! Love the sound of adding kombu, mirin and sesame - will have to try that next time!

  12. hi Forager - the fresh shiitake were fine, but the dried were definitely stronger in flavour. Not too bad, though. I think it depends on the quality of the dried shiitake when it comes to how intense they are (good quality = less smelly!).

  13. Mmm mushroom risotto using Japanese mushrooms is a great idea! :D And I always feel that way, I always eat too much of it and then feel like a bowl of risotto :P

  14. I really love this and I know my half-Jap partner would be over the moon if I made it, so I better bookmark it and get to it soon!