Umami Kimchi & Shiitake Mushroom Risotto
An ode to ‘kimchi goes with anything’
Ok, hear me out. I’ve made creamy kimchi pasta and that has proven to be A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! If you haven’t tried it yet, you can find the recipe here. It’s not my problem that kimchi goes well with everything!
After having made kimchi fried rice, it didn’t take me a long time before I realized that there are actually so many ways to eat kimchi with rice. Especially after talking about the concept of cucina povera, it became clear to me that cultures with a very deep and long history of culinary experiences can merge together beautifully! Why not? Joey, from Friends’ comes to mind, “Rice? Good! Cheese? Good! Kimchi? Gooood!!!”.
The main ingredient in making a delicious kimchi risotto is more than anything, patience. The other is to squeeze the juice out of the kimchi and then mince it. To add extra umami flavors, you can add shiitake mushrooms or smoked pork meat.
Let’s just get straight to the point because this was way too delicious to even say anything else about it.
- 200g Choi Kimchi (minced)
- 1 cup kimchi juice (squeezed from kimchi before mincing)
- 3 Shiitake mushrooms (chopped)
- 6 cups stock (I used mushroom stock)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 cups Arborio risotto rice
- Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (grated)
- Bring your stock to a boil and let it sit aside your risotto pan.
- Squeeze the juice of kimchi in a separate bowl and mince the kimchi in a mixer until well minced.
- Fry minced kimchi and shiitake mushroom with 1 tbsp of butter until the mushrooms are cooked.
- Add in the rice and mix until well combined with the kimchi and mushrooms. Slightly tip in a few drizzles of the kimchi juice and a cup of stock. Keep mixing until the water reduces.
- As the water keeps reducing, add in more stock, little by little and keep mixing. Make sure not to let the rice stick to the bottom of the pan. Continue this process until rice is cooked or al dente (about 18 minutes).
- Once the rice is cooked, add the other 1 tbsp butter and a bit of parmigiano reggiano cheese.
- Serve immediately with more cheese on top as you wish.
Making risotto requires a lot of patience. Make sure to not leave your pan unattended for a long time. Keep mixing and keep adding stock when the water has been absorbed by the rice. Continuing to mix ensures that each grain of rice receives an equal amount of heat spread throughout the pan.