Porcini Risotto


Since I collected my pack of porcini from a dear friend whom recently returned from Italy, I have been looking for the opportunity to cook it.

I am pleased that I don't need to run out to get any ingredients for this dish as I have all the core ingredients at home.
A half box of carnaroli rice from making paella, a block of parmesan cheese from another dear friend hand carry all the way from Belgium and wine I always have at home.

It has been a long while since I last ate Risotto and even a long while since I last cooked this dish.
It is not a dish I would order at the restaurant as it will fill me up and leave me no rooms for other stuff.
I am no glutton, I just happen to like variety.

Porcini mushroom is a popular ingredient in Italian cuisine due to their delicious and strong nutty flavour.
Regarded as among the finest eating mushrooms, it is expensive particularly when fresh.
I prefer the dried porcini as I like that the wild mushroom produces a dark, fragrant broth which gives the dish a taste of the forest.

You will need risotto rice (Carnaroli, or Arborio), some broth (chicken or vegetables). Try not to use water as stock ensure better end result.

Just remember few crucial points:
  1. First, saute the onion till soft but not brown with butter or olive oil, followed by stirring in the rice to warm or "toast" the rice; ensuring each rice is coated. 
  2. Wine added to the rice must completely evaporate. 
  3. Use warm wine, using cold wine will "shock" the rice and you will get a hard core.
  4. Ladle in the simmering broth slowly, stir in the next ladleful before all the broth is absorbed.
  5. Cold butter and grated cheese give it a creamy consistency, so not an option.

I cooked a bigger portion hoping to make Arancini di Riso (stuff rice ball) with the balance risotto the next day.
No chance, my "ang mo kia" polished all up. I should have known, it is his comfort food.

You will need:

400gm Carnaroli or Arborio rice
800- 1000ml of broth (include the porcini water)
60gm of porcini mushroom
1 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 cup of dry white wine
2 tablespoon of olive oil
3-4 tablespoon of parmesan cheese
some chopped fresh sage
salt and pepper to taste
bacon (optional)


1. Cover the porcini mushroom with water and soak for about 30 mins. Save the water to add to the broth.

2. Keep the broth simmering.

3. Heat oil in a pan and add onion, stir fry till transparent but not brown  Add in the garlic.

4. Add in the rice and mix well to coat the rice. Add the warmed glass of wine and stir till completely evaporates.

5. Ladle in the simmering broth, stir in the next ladleful before it completely absorbs. Continue stirring and adding the broth as it absorbs.

6. When broth is about 2/3 gone ( approx 10 mins) add in the porcini and mix well.

7. When rice is al dente (about 15 mins), stir in the butter and grated cheese and remove from heat and let it rest.

8. Season to taste with salt and pepper, garnish with herb and bacon

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