Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Chinese Mushrooms and Bok choy risotto

Risotto is not the easiest of dishes to present well on a plate, so you will have to bare with my poor chef like attempts in presentation.

This fusion rice dish where the Italian Arborio rice meets Chinese mushrooms actually worked out very well indeed, but then again why not?! One of the most popular options for vegetarians at mainstream restaurants continues to be a standard mushroom risotto.
I must Thank those of you who gave me suggestions on what to do with the dried Chinese mushrooms. I really appreciated each and every comment. Guess what, on deciding what to make with some of the contents in the packets I turned it over only to read the small print in 'English'!. The black mushrooms are Pak-pui Black fungus and the white stemmed mushrooms are Cha-Shu-Gu. I rehydrated them in hot water and my goodness the black mushroom literally 'mushroomed' in size looking almost like floppy ears of a cuddly toy animal.

On tasting, the black mushrooms texture was a bit like husky seaweed and the white mushroom head and stems were meaty in texture and actually tasted like mushrooms. I found this Asian inspired mushroom risotto quite flavour packed, so did not serve it with a Vegetarian style Parmesan cheese, but you may if you wish. You could also sprinkle it with some nutritional yeast flakes to keep it completely vegan. I also found the mild turnip flavour and crunch of the bok choy rather refreshing.
D said his mother might enjoy this dish as she does like mushrooms. I nodded quietly. We enjoyed it though, clearing our plates but that is not a surprise we normally do.
Chinese Mushrooms and Bok choy risottoServes 2
Ingredients25g dried black mushrooms
25g dried white mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, finely sliced
1 -2 cloves garlic, crushed
150g risotto rice
700ml vegetable stock
200g bok choy, sliced in half or quarters
Salt and pepper to taste
MethodSoak the dried mushrooms in boiling water for 20 - 30 minutes. Strain the liquid through a sieve to remove grit and keep for the risotto. Roughly chop the mushrooms, removing any tough bits.
Heat the oil in a wide shallow pan and cook the shallots and garlic until softened. Add the reconstituted mushrooms, rice and stir until coated. Saute for a few minutes. Gradually adding the stock alternating with the mushroom liquid. Stir until the rice is tender but has a little bite – this will take about 30 minutes. You may not need all the liquid.
About 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the bok choy. This will ensure that the leaves will and the white stalks are tender but remain crunchy. Finally season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.


  1. I think this is beautifully presented! Also, having used the black mushrooms before and other dried mushrooms, they seem to pack more flavor than those not dehydrated. I expect this was delicious and your MIL will love it)).

  2. Dried mushrooms really do pack flavor, Mango. This sounds like a lovely way to make risotto - with bok choy. Did you saute the rice with the oil, garlic and shallots?

  3. What a beautiful dish! I love mushroom risotto, and with the addition of bok choy or other greens it revvs up the nutritional value. Love it!

  4. This looks lovely and I think I will try it over the weekend. We have a wonderful Asian grocery nearby, and I've been wanting to go anyway.

    Tomorrow on the menu are the carrot biscits you have pictured. I'll let you know how they turn out.

  5. ciao, passavo per invitarti a un gioco di scambio ricette! ti va di partecipare? ti aspetto qui

    a presto

  6. Thanks Soumya.

    Thank you so much Gardeningbren :)
    My mother does like mushrooms, but I think she woudl approach the risotto with some reservation. Sadly she is not very experimental with her food and sticks with what she is familair with, so I do sadly actually struggle to cook for her.

    Thank you Barbara GF.
    Yes I did saute the rice with the oil, garlic and shallots before adding the stock.

  7. Thank you so much Rosaria.
    I'm such a greedy person, I often overlook the nutritional value of what I eat.

    Thank you Sherry.
    Please let me know how you find it if you so make it over the weekend.

    Enjoy your trip at the Asian grocery. I love marvelling at the jars and frozen products.

    I do hope your carrot biscuits turn out well and you enjoy. I look forward to hearing from you on how they turn out. Have a lovely weekend.

    Thank you so much for letting me know Zasusa.
    Yes, of course I would be interested in participating in a game of exchanging recipes. I will be over in due course.


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