This risotto has a special place in my heart - it takes me back to when we were living in France for 2 months - we found a $3 bottle of white Bordeaux that really elevated a risotto we had been making for years. So, we went crazy and added more wine… we must have made this risotto with it every week!
Now I have a new spin on it… my updated version has sake and Japanese pepper for incredible taste!
Why this Recipe Works
I love risotto! It's an amazing dish for including many of my favorite ingredients and the rice absorbs all the great flavors. They work best with short rice like Arborio rice, so that you get that creamy consistency.
I add Japanese pepper, which adds elements of citrus and spice throughout the risotto. The flavor profile is also enhanced by the infused sake. The blend of flavors is just so balanced and tasty throughout this dish.
Ingredients & Substitutions
arborio rice - one type of risotto rice, and the kind I almost always use. It is wider, short-grain rice that is firm, creamy, and chewy.
Japanese pepper - adds a tang to the dish, and is made from dried and ground husk of Szechuan pepper. It isn't spicy, but instead citrusy and even a bit floral. You can find it on Amazon and in Asian markets.
sake - adds a subtle, wonderful flavor to the risotto that pairs great with the Japanese pepper. You can substitute with a dry, white wine.
mushrooms - use your favorite mushrooms. I have made this recipe with crimini, shitake, chanterelle, and more. If you are using a dense mushroom, make sure to thinly slice.
How to Make this Recipe
Heat the broth on the stove, lower to simmer and leave on. In the meantime, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sautee until translucent (5-10 minutes).
Add the mushrooms, season with salt and cook until tender 5-10 minutes. Add the rice and Japanese pepper and stir constantly ~2 minutes. Raise the heat to medium high.
Deglaze with the sake. Lower back to medium once it begins to boil. Stir constantly. Cook down until there is barely any liquid.
Add 1 ladle of stock and cook down, stirring continuously, until there is barely any liquid. Repeat until the rice is cooked, al dente.
Take off the heat. Immediately stir in the peas, grated parmesan, season with salt and pepper.
Top with parmesan shavings and serve.
A risotto is a slow-cooked rice recipe made by adding a small amount of liquid at a time and only adding more when the liquid evaporates.
There are many risotto rices, but the most common is arborio. It is a wider, short-grain rice that is firm, creamy, and chewy.
You need to use a rice that will maintain an al dente texture after the long stovetop cooking process of risotto. Just make sure you avoid long-grain rice like basmati or jasmine.
You can enjoy risotto as either a main or side dish, though it is most commonly enjoyed as a main dish.
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Mushroom & Pea Risotto
- 1 onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb. mushrooms
- 1 ½ cup arborio rice
- 1.5 cups sake or white bordeaux
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- ¼ cup parmesan grated, plus parmesan shavings for garnish
- 1.5 cups frozen peas
- 1 teaspoon Japanese pepper aka sansho
- salt to taste
- Heat the broth on the stove, lower to simmer and leave on.
- In the meantime, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the onion and garlic and sautee until translucent (5-10 minutes).
- Add the mushrooms, season with salt and the Japanese pepper and cook until tender 5-10 minutes.
- Add the rice and stir constantly ~2 minutes. Raise the heat to medium high.
- Deglaze with the sake. Lower back to medium once it begins to boil. Stir constantly. Cook down until there is barely any liquid.
- Add 1 ladle of stock and cook down, stirring continuously, until there is barely any liquid. Repeat until the rice is cooked al dente.
- Take off the heat. Immediately stir in the peas, grated parmesan, season with salt and pepper.
- Top with parmesan shavings and serve.
This post was originally published in January of 2017 but was republished with new photos, step by step instructions, FAQs, and tips in December of 2020.
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