A fusion between Italian and Filipino, Kalamansi Coconut Risotto is a creamy rice dish I like to refer as “the ultimate comfort food”. It calls for simple cooking steps yet results in complex flavors that gradually reveal in every bite.
Risotto is traditionally Italian but the Kalamansi citrus and the Coconut make it Filipino.
One important note: Cooking risotto takes easy steps but constant stirring of the rice is required.
Here’s how to make it:
1 1/2 cup Arborio rice
1/2 pound white button or portabello mushroom, thinly sliced
1/2 onion, finely chopped or 2 shallots diced
1 stick celery, finely sliced
1/2 cup Dry white wine
2 tbsp earth balance or any vegan butter
3 tbsp olive oil
3/4 can coconut milk
2-3 tbsp kalamansi juice
1 1/2 tbsp Harvest vegetable broth
4-5 cups of water
*If you are using liquid vegetable stock and not in powder form or bullion, use 5 cups of that instead of water.
Salt and pepper to taste. It’s best to use sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
1. In a pot over low heat, simmer the coconut milk for about 3 minutes then add in the vegetable bullion or powder. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Set aside. (If you are using liquid vegetable broth, don’t add it to the coconut milk. Heat the broth separately).
2. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add about two tbsp of olive oil and saute the mushroom until it’s tender. Remove the mushroom and set aside.
3. Using the same pan, add another tbsp of olive oil, then add the butter.
4. Once the butter has fully melted, add the onion and celery and saute for about a minute.
5. Add the rice. Stir well to coat with oil.
6. When the rice is slightly translucent, pour in the white wine. The mixture will produce a wonderful aroma!
7. Once the wine is fully absorbed, add the coconut milk, then stir again.
8. Once the coconut milk is absorbed, add a half cup of water stirring continuously. If you are using liquid broth, add this instead of water.
9. Continue adding half cup of water (or liquid broth) at a time until the liquid is absorbed. Keep the process until the rice is soft but firm in the center or “al dente”. The risotto will be creamy but not mushy.
10. Stir in the Kalamansi juice
11. Transfer the mushroom to the mix
12. Season with salt and pepper
13. Garnish with chives or in my case, I used celery leaf
The coconut milk produces a rich creamy flavor that cancels out the need for Parmesan cheese.
I’m proud to say that not only I successfully veganized this Italian favorite, I’ve also added a Filipino touch.
Enjoy and happy cooking!
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