Miso Butter Risotto with Pan-Roasted Prawns and Peas

The first time I made risotto, I literally stood at the stove for hours, stirring. I thought my arms were going to fall off. I was under the impression if you didn’t stir risotto constantly it would be an epic fail. The risotto that time was an epic fail, but it wasn’t due to my constant stirring, it was the fact that I didn’t heat the broth before adding it to the arborio — the recipe I used didn’t mention this fundamental step.

Despite — or maybe due to — the long hours at the stove, the risotto tasted great. I was hooked and determined to figure out how to cook risotto a little faster. I figured, if restaurants can cook risotto to order, why can’t I do it in under an hour?

A little Google research and I learned: toast your grains of rice in oil or butter until they are translucent at the edges and solid in the middle and always add hot stock. With a basic risotto, you can pretty much add anything to season it, your imagination is the limit.

I like adding peas because I love the textural contrast between the peas and the rice. Peas also remind me of spring, even though I use the frozen variety. A little romano cheese, miso butter, and topped with pan-fried prawns and you have a fast, lovely appetizer or meal.

Miso Butter Risotto with Pan-Roasted Prawns and Peas Recipe

Miso Butter Risotto with Pan-Roasted Prawns and Peas Recipe

1 cup arborio rice
1 liter chicken stock (or your favourite stock)
1/2 cup of peas
1/4 cup of diced onion
1/8 cup of grated romano cheese
1 tablespoon of butter
2 teaspoons of shiro miso
1 teaspoon oil

10 prawns, shelled and de-veined
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the stock to a simmer and keep it on the burner while you ready your rice.

Melt the butter with a teaspoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and stir, cooking, but not browning.

Add the rice and stir to coat in the melted butter and oil. Toast the rice over medium-high to high heat while constantly stirring. Do not let the rice turn brown. You want the rice grain to be glossy and see through, with a tiny speck of white in the middle of each grain.

Turn the heat to medium-high and add a ladle of hot stock and stir into the rice until the liquid is mostly absorbed. Continue stirring and adding hot broth as the rice absorbs it. You do not need to stir the risotto constantly; give it a stir every once in a while to ensure that the rice grains are not sticking to the bottom of the pan. The rice will start to release some of it’s natural starches as you are cooking it and will take on a creamy appearance. The risotto might be done after 20-30 minutes, depending on how much stock you’ve added. The risotto is cooked when the grains of rice are tender, but still firm. You do not want crunchy rice. It’s possible that you won’t use all the stock, make sure you’re tasting as you cook.

While your risotto is cooking, pan-fry your prawns. Season them with salt and pepper and pan fry them in a hot pan with a touch of olive oil, flipping once, until pink and cooked.

When the risotto is done to your al dente preference, stir in the peas, romano and miso paste. Salt and pepper to taste and top with the pan fried prawns. Enjoy hot.

11 Comments add yours

  1. I LOVE your photo with the ingredients in the measuring spoons/ cups. It would be a really cute piece of artwork. Thanks for the recipe!

    No problem, I hope you get a chance to try it!

    steph on April 21st, 2010 at 12:11 pm
  2. I love that photo as well! And that shrimp looks absolutely perfect. Thanks for the tip, I really want to try making risotto now. Sounds easy!

    It’s not as hard as people make it seem, it just takes patience!

    steph on April 21st, 2010 at 12:12 pm
  3. The Romano cheese and miso butter sound like such a good combination.

    Restaurants actually go about halfway through the cooking process. They toast the rice and aromatics and start adding the stock. When they get through half the process, they take it off heat and let it cool off, sometimes on sheet pans to speed up the cooling. Then when they need it, they just take what they need from the container it is in and finish off the cooking.

    Cook’s Illustrated has a method where they only stir at the end, although I really haven’t looked into it.

    Oh, so that’s what restaurants do! I always wondered how they “cooked it to order.” Thanks for letting me know Andy!

    I’ve heard of the Cook’s Illustrated method too, but haven’t tried it either.

    steph on April 21st, 2010 at 12:13 pm
  4. Miso butter is such a great idea! I must try this. I love risotto.

    Thanks! Hope you get a chance sometime!

    steph on April 21st, 2010 at 12:14 pm
  5. I’ll offer an inside tip from a professional cook – we make huge batches of risotto almost cooked through (still crunchy), then cool them on sheet pans. Then we container-ize the lot of it and hold that in the fridge. When we get an order for risotto, we’ll take a portion and finish it in a saute pan. This takes less than 10 minutes. Risotto freezes well, and keeps in the fridge a week.

    Thanks for the tip! It’d be convenient to have frozen risotto in the fridge for a quick meal.

    steph on June 5th, 2010 at 8:58 am
  6. Looks fabulous how do I print just the recipe? Thanks

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