Black rice is not usually associated with risotto, as that distinction is saved for arborio. Both rices however contain similar qualities in that they are able to absorb liquids and to release starch making them stickier than many long grain varieties.
So I took a little weekend trip with my wife a few weeks before Christmas and we stumbled upon a tiny shop that promised to offer amazing food products. I always enjoy walking the isles of a specialty food shop and picking the brain of the knowledgeable staff.
On this occasion the shop had set up an entire section devoted to rice. White, brown, imported, arborio and a special Thai black rice that was billed as making a mean risotto.
I really enjoy a good risotto and although a tiresome and annoying dish to prepare, with the constant stirring, I also enjoy making one. Now, my experience with black rice is more of a healthy rice substitute and not one for risotto. The clerk ensured me that black rice truly did have the same absorbent qualities arborio, so I figured I would give it a shot.
A few days later I took out the rice but was not feeling confident with making a risotto and went with a dish I made many times before, Thai Black Rice Salad with Salmon. (For that recipe click on the link or go to the recipe section on the sidebar). I still had better than a cup of the black rice left and this past weekend cooked up the risotto.
Going with a recipe I have used with arborio, Black Rice Risotto with Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions, dinner was hopefully only 30 or so minutes away. In my opinion, risotto is tiresome and time consuming, but well worth it. I quickly discovered that the black rice made this ever more evident. It took way longer than arborio to reach the right consistency but did in fact hold true to its absorbent quality.
The whole time preparing this dish I’m not feeling confident. The pressure was really on, as everyone home was getting good and hungry. With a tweak here and a new ingredient there the rice did its job and dinner was served to many happy family members. Below is the printable version of the recipe.
Give it a shot, It not the most attractive meal but works on a day when you’re looking for a a healthy, something different dish to feed the hungry troops.
Black Rice Risotto
Recipe type: Main
- 1 cup black rice
- 4-5 cup vegetable stock or water
- 3 tsp olive oil
- 3 onions, one chopped and two sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- ¼ cup white cooking wine
- 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp mascarpone cheese
- Heat one tsp of oil in a large saucepan
- Add the chopped onion, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and cook until softened
- Add the garlic, mushrooms and white wine
- Turn up the flame to medium-high and cook until the wine has evaporated, stirring frequently
- Begin to add ½ of stock or water and continue to stir
- Just before the stock evaporates, add another ½ cup
- Repeat this process until the rice is cooked but still has a bite
- Add additional salt and pepper if desired
- Just before the rice is ready to take off the heat add mascarpone cheese and stir until incorporated.
- At this point, you should caramelize your remaining sliced onion by sauteing in oil with a tsp of sugar
- When they turn golden brown they are done
- Top the risotto with the caramelized onions and serve hot