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Shiitake Mushroom Risotto

Recipe Info

Difficulty: Easy
Mess Level: Moderate
Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 40 min


  • 2 Cups Arborio Rice
  • ½ Onion, Leek or Shallot
  • 8 Cups of Stock or Broth
  • ½ Cup white wine or light beer
  • 2 Cups grated or shredded Parmesan or Romano Cheese
  • ½ Cup (1 Stick) Butter
  • 8 oz Shiitake Mushrooms (Or your favorite kind)
  • Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Parsley
  • Salt


  1. Put the stock in a pot over medium low heat at the back of the stove.
  2. In a high-sided saute pan or a large sauce pot, add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom and turn the burner to medium heat.
  3. Wash and slice up your mushrooms and Dice up your onion, leek or shallot. When the oil is shimmering and hot, add the mushrooms to the pot. Saute until the mushrooms are lightly browned, then put them in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Add more oil to the pot and then add your onions. Saute until they’re translucent and then add your dry rice to the pan. Do not add any liquid to the pan yet.
  5. You’re going to toast the rice until it is lightly browned and gives off a nutty aroma, about 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add more oil if it begins to stick to the pan.
  6. Once your rice is toasty, add the wine or beer. The pan should sizzle and steam and you want to let the alcohol cook away completely. There should be almost no liquid left in the pan.
  7. Then add 1-2 ladlefuls of the hot stock and stir every minute or so. Your heat should be high enough that the stock is simmering at all times, otherwise, it will take forever to evaporate.
  8. Let the stock cook almost completely away and then add 1-2 more ladlefuls. Repeat until the rice is al dente, this usually takes between 20-40 minutes depending on how high your heat is.
  9. Add the mushrooms back in and cook until the rice is done.
  10. Turn off the heat and stir in the stick of butter and the cheese. Taste and add salt as needed.
  11. Mince the parsley and stir in most of it. Serve the risotto immediately and garnish with remaining parsley. Enjoy!

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Ramblings of a Line Cook

I know so many people who are intimidated by risotto. What actually IS risotto? Why is it upwards of $16 at restaurants and why would I want to make it?

Boy oh boy… Risotto at it's simplest is rice cooked in stock or broth and finished with lots of cheese and butter. And ANYONE can make it! Seriously if you can cook regular rice, you can cook risotto.

However, risotto can be very poorly done and instead of creamy, cheesy deliciousness, you’ll end up with a gloopy, cold-oatmeal like consistency... Yuck, I hate paying upwards of $16 for a plate of oatmeal-like risotto and so should you! So let me edumacate ya on what not to do when making risotto:

  • Never cook risotto with cold stock or broth. Having your stock hot before cooking is key! The hot stock slowly draws out the starches in the rice giving you rice that feels like it's been cooked in a wonderful, heavy cream but all you used was stock!
  • Don’t overcook it or let it sit too long. Don’t get me wrong, I shamelessly warm up a bowl of risotto the next day and enjoy its buttery goodness. But proper risotto should be creamy and warm right off the stove. Again, think oatmeal.
  • Do not be shy with the butter and cheese! You’re not eating this to lose weight, you’re eating it because it's delicious and you deserve it! So pile on the cheese man, and smile while doing it. 🙂
  • Use arborio rice to get the correct texture. It's short-grained and very starchy which is important for the cooking process. However, if you want to use regular rice, you can still make it better than most restaurants as long as you follow all the previous steps.
  • Using alcohol really gives it an extra boost of flavor. But don’t panic, if that’s not your jam you can wait for it... STILL, make risotto better than a lot of restaurants.
Phew! There, now you’re an expert on risotto and all you gotta do is make it! This is one of those dishes I've made under many, many a chef. And let me tell ya, there are a million roads to Rome. Meaning they all do it a different way and all those ways can be right.

So no freaking out, go grab yourself some rice, stock, cheese, and butter and eat the happiest bowl of rice you have ever dreamed of.

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