We have Jane back in the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen to lead the kitchen. Jane demonstrated how to make fresh pasta here, here and here. This time Jane showed us how to make Risotto, an Italian rice dish.


According to Jane, she only learned that there are different rice for different rice dish during her stay in Italy. There are rice for salad, rice for soup and rice for risotto. For Risotto, one has to use Arborio or Carnaroli rice. It is important NOT to wash or rinse the rice to retain the starch on the rice to create a creamy Risotto. For Richmondites, you can buy Arborio rice from Papi’s in Steveston Village.


Risotto is an Italian rice dish which is very creamy. You can flavour risotto with mushroom (preferably dried ones), asparagus, shrimp, meat sauce or as far as your imagination can go. For demonstration, Jane made a Shittake Mushroom Risotto and an Asparagus Risotto. The above is the Shittake Mushroom Risotto.


The above is Asparagus Rissoto. It is the type of rice and the method of constantly stirring the rice in broth which makes the Risotto so creamy.


  • Arborio rice (a handful per person)
  • Butter (a tablespoon for flavour)
  • Olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of pan)
  • Onion, minced (a teaspoon per person or more if preferred)
  • Broth or water
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
risotto-11-300x200Jane used dried shitake mushroom which has to be reconstituted by soaking in warm water until soften. You may use other mushroom. Italian likes to use chanterelle. It is recommended to use dried mushroom as the flavour is more intense.The mushroom is to be cut into small pieces. Discard the stem or save them to make soup. The quantity can be adjusted to your personal taste and availability.

Reserve the soaking liquid as part of the broth to flavour the risotto.

For the Asparagus Rissoto, Jane lightly pan fry the asparagus (cut into small pieces) with some olive oil.

risotto-13-300x200Jane emphasize on using freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Only use ready grated ones on emergency. Parmesan cheese is an old and very lean cheese and a little goes a long way. It is very expensive too.Parmesan cheese can be stored for a long time. Use a vinegar dipped cloth to wipe the surface of the cheese before wrapping in saran wrap will prevent mold from growing.The crust of the cheese can be used to flavour soup.
risotto-15-300x200Heat olive oil and butter in a frying pan.An alternative to the butter is to use chicken fat for flavouring.
risotto-17-300x200Lightly sauteed the minced onion until blonde. Add the rice and stir to coat rice with the oil. Stir the rice slowly and continuously with a wooden spoon until the rice kernel colour becomes opague and white.Another way is to add the rice first and stir until the rice is coated with oil. Move the rice aside and add the onions and cook the onion until blonde. Remember to continuously stir the rice so that they cook evenly and not burnt.
risotto-14-300x200Once the rice turned opague, you can ladle in the hot broth, one ladle at a time and continuously stir the rice slowly. When the liquid is almost evaporated, add another ladle. This process has to continue until the rice is tender and the hard centre is softened. This may takes up to 20 minutes and the heat must be maintained to create a gentle bubble. It is the process of constant stirring that creates the creaminess in the risotto.When brown bits start to stick on the side of the pan, tilt the pan after you added another ladle of broth and scrape the flavourful brown bits into the mixture.
risotto-16-300x200Dont forget to add the flavoring ingredients like mushroom or asparagus after the first or second ladle of broth.
risotto-18-300x200When the rice is done and almost all the broth is evaporated, remove the pan from the heat. Add a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of finely grated Parmesan cheese to the rice and stir to melt the butter and cheese with the residue of the heat. Butter and Parmesan cheese adds creaminess and saltiness to the rice. You may add salt to taste but we find that it’s not necessary.

Jane, thank you for showing us how to cook Rissoto.

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  1. adeline

    Thank you for the tips in storing Parmesan cheese! Educational post … heh!!
    Wish you a Xin Nian Kuai Le!!
    Love this risotto!

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