I love brown rice, I really do. It IS possible to make a brown rice risotto, there are recipes in macro cookbooks, and I even have one here on the blog. Nevertheless, there is something about a traditional creamy white rice risotto…..so I gave it a try and here it is, we loved it!!
Since I was making a vegan risotto, I didn´t use a chicken broth, which you can find in many recipes. Instead I prepared a stock using some leftover water from blanching vegetables, in which I soaked 4 shiitake mushrooms, for a couple of hours. The shiitakes give a wonderful earthy rich flavour to the broth as they soak. After taking out the shiitakes, I added one tablespoon of rice miso diluted in a little bit of water and I brought the broth to boil.
After completing this step I sauteed a large sliced onion on olive oil with a pinch of salt. When the onion softened I added one and a half cup of white risotto rice, stirred to coat with the oil and added a splash of mirin (that is instead of white wine which is required in several recipes). After the mirin soaked into the rice, I started adding the warm broth (you can leave the broth gently simmering with a lid off on your lowest flame to keep it warm during cooking). I added always only half a cup of the broth at a time and kept stirring continuously, watching for the liquid to soak in. You should not let the risotto get completely dry and without liquid, but also don´t add more liquid before the previous one is at least mostly absorbed. Risotto requires your constant attention and stirring, so don´t leave it just sitting there 😀 Don´t worry, the result is worth the effort!!
Meanwhile (or before you start making the rice) sautee your soaked and thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms in some olive oil until they become very fragrant and shrink considerably, they can almost start caramelizing. Set them aside, it´s ok if they cool down.
I put six cups of broth into my risotto (different recipes call for different ratios of rice and broth). The point is: the rice should get soft, but not overcooked, it should still have a bite, while being very creamy. This should take about half an hour. At the end I mixed in the sauteed mushrooms, some nutritional yeast for extra cheesy flavour (totally optional) and some extra salt and pepper.
I served the risotto with black olives, fresh chopped parsley and some steamed savoy cabbage.