Eat Healthy : Mushroom & Leek Brown Rice Risotto
Updated: Feb 6
Here's a healthier alternative to an Italian favorite - made with brown rice instead of white. I conjured up this recipe while craving for risotto one afternoon, and found myself without Arborio rice or quinoa (another healthy alternative). Works just as well, if not better, and the finished dish is incredibly creamy without the use of any cream or milk!
Also, if you watch Masterchef as much as I do, you'll know that risotto is THE dish that seems to send every contestant home. Fret not - all you need to master this dish is some p a t i e n c e and fresh ingredients. I'd possibly even go as far to say that this is the most delicious dish I've ever made in my life (yeah I said it!)
Recipe serves 4 - 5 people. 15 mins prep time, total cook time approximately 40 mins.
1/2 cup brown rice, washed and soaked
1 cup Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
3 stalks leek, chopped
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 chili padi, finely chopped
3 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon butter
Chopped coriander to garnish
Salt & white pepper to taste
1. In a medium pan, add a little bit of butter and fry 1/3 of the sliced mushrooms until crispy and golden brown. Set aside for garnish.
2. In the same pan, add the remaining butter. Stir fry the garlic and onions until fragrant and onions turn transparent.
3. Add the remaining mushrooms and fry until softened.
4. Add the uncooked rice and chilis, fry until the butter is absorbed. About 2-3 minutes.
5. Add 1 cup vegetable stock, mix and cover. Stir often to avoid burning the rice.
6. Once the water is absorbed, add another cup of stock.
7. Add in the leeks, mix and cover. Make sure to stir often and add salt and white pepper to taste. I like to add a lot of pepper for an added kick.
8. Continue adding the stock a little at a time, until the rice is broken down and cooked. The rice should have a porridge like texture, but slightly wet - the starchy liquid will create a thick creamy stock when cooled.
9. Garnish with chopped coriander and crispy mushrooms. Serve warm and enjoy!
ALY'S COOKING TIPS
1. Make your own vegetable stock for a more wholesome flavor! The instant cube stock works great too but I find the flavor can be quite artificial - but that's my personal taste preference (ignore if pressed for time). Stock can be made in bulk and stored for weeks or even months in the freezer. Just add whatever leftover vegetables you like in a huge pot of water, season well and let it cook down. The longer you cook it, the deeper the stock flavor.
2. You can use whatever mushrooms you like but I'd recommend avoiding Nameko and Shimeji mushrooms as the flavors are too harsh for this light and creamy dish.
3. Use butter instead of olive oil. That little spoonful of butter goes a long way in bringing out the flavor of the mushrooms and adding a creamy texture to the finished dish.
4. There is no absolute cooking time for this dish. Just keep stirring in more stock once in awhile until the rice is cooked to the consistency you are happy with. I usually end the cooking when the rice is slightly broken down and still wet and runny. Once it cools down a little, the runny stock that's packed with starch will create a delicious creamy sauce to the finished dish!