Seafood Risotto

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

did another excellent seafood risotto for my friends on 31.7.2014.

was trying to copy/recreate monterosso restaurant miky’s incredibly tasty flamed seafood risotto. couldn’t do the flamed pasta part of course, so just the seafood risotto. 🙂

i used my favourite chef john of shortcut oven-baked paella method.

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)


littleneck clams (“la la”)


razor clams

medium prawns & squid fried with butter

medium prawns & squid fried with butter

for seafood, i fried shelled prawns & cross-cut squid(lightly seasoned with fish sauce & white pepper) in butter.

i also very lightly fried the razor clams which i had earlier removed from shell, cut away the innards & cleaned.

i fried ginger & some orange peels & added the littleneck clams to a pan over high fire, adding a little white wine. then cover & let the shells open. discarded any unopened clams.

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

for the stock i sautéed the heads & shells of 10 medium prawns in olive oil & tumeric & added 500ml of vegetable stock & boiled for a hour. as i was preparing lobster pasta, i added the lobster shells to the shellfish stock as well. 🙂

i sauteed carrot, celery, onions, then leek & garlic in olive oil as a stock base, added turmeric for colour, added 1 cup of arborio rice (which i bought recently at monterosso) & then added the prawn stock & bring to boil. then i placed the oven-proof pan in a preheated 210degC oven for 10mins. i tasted the risotto. the flavour was excellent, and in this case as the stock already had some salt in it & mindful that the prawns & squid were also seasoned i did not add more salt. the risotto was about 85%-90% cooked with the centre slightly hard.

i set it aside. when ready to serve, i added remaining stock & juices from the fried prawns, squid, razor clams & just some from the littleneck clams enough to cover the risotto & placed on high fire w/o cover, added salt & paprika to taste. once risotto was almost cooked i added all the ingredients & covered for 1 minute. this cooked the risotto to al dente. the taste was excellent, super tasty from the sweetness of the vegetable, stock & also the prawns, squid, razor clams & littleneck clams. 🙂

miky's famous flamed seafood risotto

miky’s (monterosso) famous flamed seafood risotto

miky's famous flamed seafood risotto

miky’s (monterosso) famous flamed seafood risotto

sure, it’s not really comparable to miky’s famous flamed seafood risotto which we had at monterosso during our recent amsterdam, lake como, cinque terre, milan adventure 13-24apr2014. still it was a supremely enjoyable dinner. 🙂

c.h.e.f anfy


  • 10 medium prawns (shelled & de-veined)
  • 1 large or 2 medium squid (cross-cut)
  • 300g razor clams shelled with innards removed & cleaned
  • 500g of littleneck clams cleaned
  • 1 yellow onion (chopped)
  • 2 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 2 stalks leek (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 500ml prawn & vegetable stock
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric (or saffron)


  1. fry shelled prawns & cross-cut squid(lightly seasoned with fish sauce & white pepper) in butter. very lightly fry razor clams (after removing shell, cutting away the innards & clean). fry ginger & some orange peels & add the littleneck clams to a pan over high fire, adding a little white wine. then cover & let the shells open. discarded any unopened clams.
  2. stock – sauté heads & shells of 10 medium prawns in olive oil & tumeric & add 500ml of vegetable stock & boiled for a hour.
  3. cook risotto -saute carrot, celery, onions, then leek & garlic in olive oil as a stock base, add turmeric for colour, add 1 cup arborio rice. add prawn stock & bring to boil. place oven-proof pan in a preheated 210degC oven for 10mins. taste the risotto & add sea salt, paprika to taste. risotto should be about 85%-90% cooked with the centre slightly hard. set it aside. when ready to serve, add remaining stock & juices from fried prawns, squid, razor clams & just some from the littleneck clams enough to cover the risotto & placed on high fire w/o cover. add salt & paprika to taste. once risotto almost cooked add all the ingredients & covered for 1 minute & cook the risotto to al dente. serve.

Good Dinner Set @ la Darsena Tremezzo on 16Apr2014

45euros pax menu darsena #1 selection of 5 lake fishes done different ways

45euros pax menu darsena #1 selection of 5 lake fishes done different ways

la perla’s proprietress was very friendly & enthusiastic. she made 2 restaurant recommendations for dinner on 16.4.2014. we picked la darsena, restaurant at hotel la daserna located at the road junction entering the main road coming from la perla b&b, and she made a reservation for us. 🙂

we went to pigra cable car at argegno after lunch & still found time to wonder through the beautiful villa carlotta and got back to la perla 6-ish, so dinner at darsena at 8pm was ‘perfecto’. 🙂

the owner’s son waited on us. a very friendly & helpful guy. he recommended some of their signature dishes & as couple of them were already on the 45euros pax 4-course menu darsena, we ordered 2 sets plus 1 order of pasta to share among the 3 of us.

food was overall good, quite above average, just did not bowl us over.

#1 the selection of 5 lake fishes done different ways (top photo) was their signature dish & really good, though personally i felt the one at the alle darsene lunch the next day was even better. this a dish i would pick if ordering ala carte. this seemed to be a popular starter dish in restaurants here & also in cinque terre.

45euros pax menu darsena #2 crispy perch fillet risotto

45euros pax menu darsena #2 crispy perch fillet risotto

#2 the crispy perch fillet risotto though was below expectation. texture-wise risotto were always done very well al dente in all the restaurants including darsena. taste-wise though we were expecting a bit more. the perch tasted quite dry & flat & the risotto was quite plain. portions in italy were quite large & i ended up taking more than i should 😦 to make up the smaller quantities my wife & daughter took.

seafood pasta - ala carte

seafood pasta – ala carte

the seafood pasta, also 1 of their recommendations, looked good but also tasted average or just better. spaghetti was the thicker version & somewhat less al dente. the dish was ok just not as tasty as expected.

45euros pax menu darsena #3 lemon sorbet

45euros pax menu darsena #3 lemon sorbet

#3 this 1/2 eaten lemon sorbet was excellent. the owner’s son said he owned a gelato stall further down the road & he made these himself & brought them over to serve at darsena. 🙂

45euros pax menu darsena #4  fillet of pork

45euros pax menu darsena #4 fillet of pork

#4 the fillet of pork was good actually. unfortunate not sure what was the combination of factors, i had either tired from the driving or taken too much of the risotto & pasta, or the wine, i was feeling drowsy & also not comfortable. in the end i took only 1 quarter off my plate & my wife & daughter were also too full to take any. the portions were also truly huge in italy. 🙂

45euros pax menu darsena #5 trio of desserts

45euros pax menu darsena #5 trio of desserts

#5 the dessert combo of custard with some crumble inside, apple tart & chocolate mousse was excellent. 🙂

overall, except for the crispy perch, i think it was actually a very good set for the price 45euros. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy


Far Surpassing Expectations @ The Movies Restaurant Amsterdam on 15Apr2014


venison with herb cream & beetroots

my very good dutch friend, hugo, knowing that we were in amsterdam, took a train from rotterdam where he was living to have dinner with the 3 of us on 15.4.2014. 🙂

he met us at our haarlemmerdijke apartment and took us across the street, about 30m, to the movies restuarant. that suited us fine as we were taking the first flight the next day to milan on way to lake como at leaving at 6am.

we had walked past the movie theatre several times to go to haarlemmerplein to take the trams and did not notice from across the road that it had a restaurant.

it had a pub like pleasant cosy atmosphere & we could be forgiven to think the food would be like average. how pleasantly wrong we were! 🙂 i realised that it was quite a place to go to for art house movies afterwards.

the service was also excellent, very warm, friendly & helpful! not sure they could smell the baron-ness in my aristocratic looking friend. lol. 🙂


green pea risotto

we ordered 4 appetisers & 3 mains.

#1 we did not try hugo’s venison (top photo) but it sure looked good!

#2 the green pea risotto was competent, the risotto done just right, al dente. nothing much to criticise, taste-wise i guess it was good (as could be good for a plain no ingredient risotto), nothing exceptional.


carrot soup with croutons

#3 my carrot soup was good, well above average. it was though not as good as the carrot & coconut soup we had at a cafeteria  during  a cycle stop earlier in the day (that soup was truly excellent & i intend to try out myself at home).


tuna rillette salad

#4 the tuna rillette was quite ok.salad was good.


duck confit & slow braised belly port


duck confit & slow braised belly port

#5 the duck confit & the slow braised belly pork were excellent, flavourful, moist (not dry & very sinewy like some were) and tender. duck confit not my favourite but this was 1 duck confit i would be quite happy to have, though the helping was too large & i would still prefer to share than to have one all by myself.


EXCELLENT slow braised lamb loin

#6 hugo’s slow braised lamb turned out to be the best dish, superbly tender & without the very strong gamey taste (the “hiang”=reason many could not take lamb) despite retaining lots of fat. there were 2 large pieces. once hugo started sharing, we ate so fast & polished off 1 of his 2 pieces in a blink! 🙂 i am working on how i can reproduce this dish or with variation, likely using miso marinade or vegetable ratatouille. 🙂


grilled skate wings

#7 the skate wing my wife had was probably the poorer of the dishes. i guess it was still an ok dish, but this method of preparation would probably render a bland tasteless fish, unlike singapore’s intense chilli bbq preparation which brings out the flavours of the fish with great texture lots of edible cartilage. even the very chinese style of frying with black beans would enhance the flavour a lot more.

overall, i guess this was not quite at the level of zazas though i would rate both mains as better than what we had at zazas. i guess that actually says a lot!

i did not know the total price, but the lamb i think was like euro 22 or euro24 & the duck was like euro18, so it was excellent value by comparison. this would be a very top comfort food restuarant i would be quite happy to return to in amsterdam if i am not specifically trying out other restaurants hoping to find another beulings.

c.h.e.f andy

Good Mansard Champagne Dinner @ Halia at Raffles Hotel on 2Dec2013

baked oysters in feta cheese gratin

baked oysters in feta cheese gratin

i have this group of friends who are always in the know when it comes to the finest wine dinner in town. 🙂

we got ourselves a table for 10 at the mansard champagne dinner at halia @ raffles hotel on 2.12.2013. halia looked to occupy the previous seah deli space, with a open bar area at the pavilion outside. the acoustic was very poor as 1 of my “expert” friends noticed right away, and we had to “shout” at each other to be heard as the place was full & echoes were flying off all the hard surfaces – walls & glass windows. the din was like fish market – very happening…haha. 🙂

this the second time my wife & i joined the wine dinners. the last one at fordham & grand was one of the best dinners i had. 🙂

mansard champagne dinner menu

mansard champagne dinner menu

i looked at the halia mansard dinner menu & it looked great too. the concept was communal dining so the courses came in platters for sharing for 2pax. i had been to halia @ botanic gardens once, perhaps twice, likely more than 5 years ago. the experience was good, perhaps not compelling. i did remember it served 1 of the best lamb racks then. but halia standard should be fine. 🙂

the oyster gratin was a good, tasty, competent dish. most of us would prefer freshly shucked oysters or sashimi but if you had to have it baked, this was good. 🙂

spicy prawn salad

spicy prawn salad

the spicy prawn salad was 1 of my favourites. very refreshing. love especially the sharp spiciness that added kick to the dish. prawns & salad were fine but nothing special.

pan-fried foie gras risotto with shredded duck leg

pan-fried foie gras risotto with shredded duck leg

the foie gras risotto with apples & duck leg rillette was great too, the duck imparting some flavours to the risotto, which was nicely done al dente. this was perhaps a finer preparation than that served at jamie’s italian & alfresco gusto but taste-wise i preferred the latter 2 which were creamier & more hearty & intense. certainly it was not the best risotto experience i had. 🙂 a few friends did not like the al dente texture. 1 quipped that it was duck porridge..haha. 🙂

palate cleanser sorbet

lime & lemon sorbet palate cleanser

before getting on the main, we had a very nice lime sorbet palate cleanser.

seared yellow fin ahi tuna loin

seared yellow fin ahi tuna loin

the ahi tuna loin was another competent dish (maguro not quite my favourite sashimi as it is plain in taste, not so sweet like hamachi or kajiki or aji). these were very lightly seared. the japanese aburi (torched) sashimi preparation would be better. the capsicum & white beans garnishing were good & complement the fish rather well.  overall i liked the dish though i had better ahi tuna loin in california & aburi maguro in japanese restaurants. the dish did not win many votes among my companions though, 1 was shaking his head. 🙂

sous vide wagyu rump & polenta

sous vide wagyu rump & polenta

next was the sous vide wagyu. i thought it was rump as most restaurants served this cheaper cut braised in course meals & confirmed with the server that it was so. it was strange that after sous vide (slow vacuum low temp cooking) the beef was still slightly tough & not tender enough, something not usually associated with the tender consistency if anaemic colour that sous vide produced. it was still not a bad dish for a rump cut, perhaps fine preparation & kind of average taste. 🙂

white & dark chocolates

white & dark chocolates

the dessert was fabulous, especially the white chocolate. the caramel honeycomb had an interesting & pleasant after taste. some of us thought of it as “terng chan po piah” the vanishing food with a honeycomb wrapped in po piah skin. 🙂

many of my friends, having been schooled in (or just “spoilt” by) many good wine dinners, didn’t think the food was great. it was ok though for my wife & me. i guess everything is relative & depends on the point of reference. perhaps many other wine dinner were better & this would not rank high. but i didn’t see much difference between this (comparing over all the courses) & what one could get at oso, otto, absinthe or forlino at S$88 even w/o the champagne,  so to me dinner was quite good, & especially fun & enjoyable with the company, though the food at fordham & grand i had last was much better. 🙂

& that’s not the end. there was a lucky draw for a magnum (1500ml) champagne. there were 64 diners so we had 10 in 64 chances, & 1 of our friends took home the magnum, with the few among us trying in vain to coax him to let us do the safe-keeping! hahaha. 🙂

c.h.e.f. andy

10pax Homegourmet 9-course Dinner on 1Jul2013

had a wonderful dinner get-together with friends on 1.7.2013. 🙂

got the usual faithful to come over to try out a few new dishes like Nobu miso cod, simmered crispy skin salmon &  kurobuta steak. 🙂 few other dishes like Jap chashu belly pork, funghi risotto, pistachio lamb etc, some have tried before but many have not.

10pax Homegourmet 9-course Dinner Menu

10pax Homegourmet 9-course Dinner Menu

i did a 9-course dinner – the first 4 were served as tapas for sharing, followed by baked funghi risotto & spicy seafood alio olio with white wine, and then 2 main courses Nobu miso cod & Spanish slow-braised beef ribs OR pistachio crusted rack of lamb, and finish off with the usual chocolate lava cake. 🙂

as i had learned earlier, everything was about planning, so planning what could be precooked & the cooking/reheating. serving sequence was the key. the kurobuta steak & wagyu of course had to pan-fry on the spot when all the diners arrived. likewise tossing of the mesclun salad with olive oil, balsamic vinegar & sea salt only when about to serve. the best that could be done for risotto was to precook (mine was a baked version in oven) but still needed to add stock & cream, reheat & reduce w/o overcooking the rice. for the seafood alio olio, the prawn & squid & spaghetti were pre-cooked but the wine, reduction etc & tossing was best done on reheating, again to keep the pasta al dente w/o overcooking. 🙂 likewise the rack of lamb took 22mins in the oven, and i had to start that while reheating the risotto, so that the lamb could be served not too long after the spaghetti which came after the risotto. the beef ribs was precooked but needed reheating and the miso cod which took 11 mins had to be done after the lamb. 🙂

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first 2 tapas were pan roasted brined chicken breast & thigh (i used to serve only breast but seemed like many preferred thigh) and a sampling of pan-fried kurobuta steak & Japanese chashu oven slow-braised belly pork in mirin, sake, sugar & light soy sauce. these served together with mesclun salad. 🙂 after resting the meats & cutting, i saw that the kurobuta was slightly pink so i decided to re-fry 2 of the 3 pieces. that delayed the start of the dinner a bit, but seemed that many friends actually did not mind the less well done piece, so i think would be better to serve it just slightly pink (about medium well) next time. 🙂


next up was pan-fried MBS 4/5 wagyu steak. the above left photo showed the kurobuta steak which looked more marbled than the wagyu. i did the wagyu medium rare at the centre, so it was a bit well at the ends. i think i would do it rare the next time. 🙂


ebi miso yaki

as WL did not take beef (everytime he had to repeat the story, this time to Oonch), i did ebi miso yaki (the medium prawns were marinated in miso for 3 days & stored in the chiller) for him from the miso i made to use for Nobu miso cod. 🙂

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i did 2 fillet of salmon first simmered 8 mins skin-up in mirin, sake, sugar, then pan-fried to get the crispy skin. this dish was quite easily done & just needed to heat up before serving. i cut the 2 fillet into 10 bite-size pieces & served in a white bowl & just poured the slightly sweet tasty sauce over it.  the salmon did look nice & tasted quite ok, but i think it was kind of a “nothing” dish that just looked good but could do with or without. 🙂


everyone liked the baked funghi risotto which had nice, intense mushroom flavour from button mushrooms & shimeji. this time the rice (i used a cheaper USA sushi rice & not real stuff – italian arborio rice) was al dente. JK felt it was too wet. that was because i did not estimate well the stock + cream to add on reheating but had to leave it wet as it would overcook before i could make it drier. 🙂

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next, spicy seafood spaghetti alio olio. so far this had turned out quite well in taste everytime & visuals too. 🙂

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then we had a choice the pistachio crusted rack of lamb (i cooked only 1 rack of 8ribs to serve 4) OR Spanish slow-braised beef ribs (which had 2x3ribs to serve 6). 🙂


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the Spanish ribs were inspired by a lunch last year at La Cicala with my son. my son preferred La Cicala’s beefy brown sauce. i decided though to pick up an internet recipe with a sweet vegetable ratatouille to balance the beefy ribs. i used carrots, celery, yellow onions, & red pepper, i did not get chorizo so substituted with chinese sausage & also used tumeric for the colour in place of expensive saffron. 🙂

Nobu miso cod

Nobu miso cod

the last main course was Nobu miso cod. like the rack of lamb, kurobuta, & wagyu, i got the cod from mmmm at West Coast Plaza. the key was to marinate in miso for 3days or more. the result was a very “jit bee” 入味 tasty cod.  the cod was firm, tasty & quite tender. my personal preference is a firm & springy (& oily) fish, so i like cod but i like chilean seabass a bit better, though it is not so environmentally correct to consume them. 🙂

chocolate lava cakes with cherries, strawberries & grapes

chocolate lava cakes with cherries, strawberries & grapes

the last up was chocolate lava cake. this took just 3mins 40secs in the oven so anything could go wrong. this time it was my phone timer (phone was in silent mode! OMT!) so i thought the first batch might turned out to be brownies.  but it turned out to be ok with quite a bit of lava. the second batch though had lots of lava.

c.h.e.f andy

Nice Food & Ambience @ Ochre at Orchard Central on 25Feb2013

antipasti platter

antipasti platter

a friend close to me now resident at Cupertino California with his family came calling and a few of us arranged to have a quiet 5pax dinner.  I had an expiring 50% discount voucher from Kitchen Language which owns Ochre, Salta, Kumo etc so decided to do dinner at Ochre @ Orchard Central. 🙂

Ochre has a nice dining setting & ambience. It was one of the restaurants that had earlier offered palate discounts so I frequented it quite a few times then. The food was good for the price after palate discounts and as Ochre does not charge service, I used to provide the equivalent 10% in tip to the waiting staff.

For this evening, we had 7 dishes-

  1. antipasti platter
  2. beef carpaccio
  3. seafood linguine
  4. meat-eater pizza
  5. sous vide beef cheeks & kurobuta pork
  6. osobucco on a bed of risotto
  7. funghi risotto

using UOB Kitchen Language 50% discount voucher, we paid S$124nett for 7 dishes for 5pax, so its just S$25nett pax, truly great value for such food quality & ambience. 🙂

the anitpasti was good & substantial – with buffalo mozzarella, parma ham with rock melon, smoked salmon with caviar, artichoke. olives & cherry tomatoes with feta cheese.

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the beef carpaccio with rockets & parmesan shavings was also good.  the seafood linguine though was really average. I think I consistently do mine better!

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the meat-eater pizza was again very average (pizza not my thing but currently I like quatro fromage (4-cheese) pizza after trying a very good one some time back at Alfresco Gusto)- which is not saying so good for an Italian joint to have very average pizza & pasta..well, can’t have everything cheap & good I guess..

the duo sous vide beef cheek & kurobuta pork was quite ok, and actually my friends quite liked this savoury dish.

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the osobucco was the usual good for osobucco in most italian joints, but the bed of risotto not good – not creamy & “pang” (fragrant”) as it should be. clearly they were not good at risotto as the next dish – a funghi risotto which like a vongole dish should define good risotto & pasta dishes – was mushy & not fragrant, again below par!

The restaurant was maybe 40% full on a Monday night & we had a good quiet table though likely not for the other diners as we were laughing quite a bit & quite noisy. 🙂

after dinner we moved to the lobby level and had a nice cuppa to continue our chat. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Great Pasta Lunch @ Alfresco Gusto at Ion Orchard on 17Feb2013


linguine carbonara – S$22

I bought some vouchers for Alfresco Gusto @ Ion Orchard & the family decided to go for Sunday lunch. Ion Orchard happens also to be a convenient location for other members of the family for after lunch shopping..haha. 🙂

the Alfresco Gusto vouchers were S$10 for S$20 & you can redeem unlimited number of vouchers, so effectively (nearly) it was quite close to a 50% discount, so relatively a good deal if the food & prices were good. 🙂 We don’t do Italian out so much as the ala carte main courses are quite expensive in the good restaurants and both my wife & I as well as our domestic help do quite good pasta dishes ourselves, but we do visit from time to time a few like Al Borgo (update –  i had excellent dinner there recently on 22.11.2013), Valentino, Spizzico, Covelli, Ochre & a good cheaper place like Capri. 🙂

tuna salad - S$20

tuna salad – S$20

We ordered the tuna salad. It was well plated, looked pretty. The mesclun salad with olives was great, the tuna was very average (kind of tasteless) though.

antipasti platter - S$26

antipasti platter – S$26

We also had the antipasti platter which had parma ham, beef, salami & sun-dried tomatoes, olives & baguette. It was good & S$26 was ok but Capri served a much better version at S$18, so w/o the near 50% discount Capri would do better on this item.

I was never much into carbonara. My son actually taught himself to cook a pretty good one, but the one here was really good – creamy & flavourful & looked amazing (top photo), the best among all the good dishes. 🙂


veal ragout – S$24

I would put the veal ragout as the second best item. It was creamy, savoury and nicely sprinkled with chopped parsley & grated cheese & sun-dried tomatoes. 🙂

prawn linguine in tomato sauce - S$30

prawn linguine in tomato sauce – S$30

The prawn linguine in tomato sauce came with very good helping of large prawns – my daughter counted 7! it was good too but I guessed more towards the ordinary & boring – something we could do at home with equally fresh ingredients almost equally well. 🙂

crabmeat risotto - S$32

crabmeat risotto – S$32

the last item we ordered was the crab meat risotto. It was good as well but I distinctly remembered that I had tried the funghi risotto here once before a while back & that was the best I had for that meal & this crab meat version was not near as good even though it cost S$10 more.

all in all, the 6 dishes for our 5pax lunch cost S$101 nett using the vouchers which was really a very good deal considering the quality of the dishes. without the vouchers it would cost S$181 nett or about S$31++pax. as ala carte order it would not be overly expensive however there were many good lunch set places & better deals to be had elsewhere, so I would do this but not often w/o the discounts.

c.h.e.f andy

Baked Mushroom Risotto

my first risotto - a funghi risotto

my first risotto – a baked mushroom risotto

cook my first risotto last evening!

It was just so satisfying but also spoke volumes of Chef John’s baked mushroom risotto recipe that I could reproduce such a great dish with ease even though this was my very first risotto. 🙂

I have the bulk of a 2.5kg bag of USA 松鹤 (no english name but I guess it is matsutsuru in literal translation?) Shakaku premium rice – which I think is a medium grain rice – lying around. I bought these in Giant hypermarket when I was trying out a paella mixta for a homecooked (kind of Spanish theme) dinner for friends as I didn’t know where to get aborio rice (still don’t!). Though the paella turned out kind of ok taste-wise (quite good tasting) based on the recipe I used, the texture was really quite far out. Anyhow I have not found other use for the rice and I don’t quite fancy cooking paella mixta that often when it is not quite ideal in the visual & texture departments & also it takes a bit of effort to prepare (when c/w this mushroom risotto which requires almost no effort!).

So I actually decided only at very last-minute to cook this & it was done like in 35minutes (only because you needed to put it in the oven for 16minutes).

I cut and washed the only mushrooms I had in the fridge (a packet of 150g shimeji mushrooms and another packet of 100g enoki mushrooms). I put these in an oven-proof skillet with 1 chunk of butter (20g) and a large pinch of salt on high heat and cooked/sweated for 10 minutes on medium heat OR until the liquids evaporated off, then I added chopped yellow onions and cooked for a few minutes until softened. Next I added a cup of the Shakaku rice, stirred to coat the rice completely and then added 1 cup of chicken stock, brought it to boil and dropped to low heat and stirred. When the liquids were evaporated, I added another cup of chicken stock and when it started to simmer, I placed the skillet in a 205degC preheated oven for exactly 16minutes (following Chef John’s instructions to the had been kind of fool-proof which explained my relative success thus secrets haha!) 🙂

my first risotto - a funghi risotto

my first risotto – a baked mushroom risotto

I then returned the skillet to the stove, added another cup of chicken stock, brought to boil and stirred on low heat. At this point, as Chef John said, you needed to be your own boss & decide how you wanted the risotto to turn out. I tasted the rice, flavour was great (quite super really!) 🙂 very slightly not cooked-through the centre, so I added another cup of chicken stock and stirred. Last I added 2 tablespoon of heavy cream and sea salt to taste. The result was a truly marvellous dish – creamy but not overly, with very nice infused mushroom flavour, just like any good funghi risotto I would have gotten in a good restaurant. 🙂

It was far better than I expected as I was also not certain whether my Shakaku rice would do for this recipe. So yes it really made my day!

c.h.e.f andy


  • 150g shimeji mushrooms
  • 100g enoki mushrooms
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 20g butter
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 cups chicken stock


  1. cut and wash the mushrooms, put these in an oven-proof skillet with 1 chunk of butter (20g) and a large pinch of salt on high heat and cook/sweat for 10minutes on medium heat OR until the liquids evaporated off. add chopped yellow onions and cooked for a few minutes until soften. add a cup of washed Shakaku rice, stir to coat the rice completely and then add 1 cup of chicken stock, bring to boil and drop to low heat and stir. When the liquids evaporate off, add another cup of chicken stock and when it started to simmer, place skillet in a 205degC preheated oven for exactly 16minutes.
  2. return skillet to stove, add another cup of chicken stock, bring to boil and stir on low heat.  taste the rice for texture & flavour to see if it is cooked to your preference, add another cup of chicken stock (if required) and stir. add 2 tablespoon of heavy cream and sea salt to taste. Serve.