Is any local rice good for risotto?

Which of the easily available local rices would be a good substitute to the expensive imported types like Arborio or Carnaroli?

Any ideas?

[Title edited by mod for clarity – DB]

None, really, are ideal, but all are better than long grain rice. Risotto needs a high amylopectin rice, and all the local varieties that I know of are a similar amylopectin variety, mostly of Japanese descent. Risotto rice from Italy has a slightly highr protein content too, i think. Long grain rices have much more amylose (simple starch) than the shorter rice and the arborio/carnaroli types from italy.

You may be able to experiment with an unhulled rice (wild rice) or a semi-hulled rice (unpolished brown rice). At a pinch, try cooking with a local short-grain white rice and use a little less liquid and a shorter cooking time, and keep the heat down so the rice does not absorb the liquid so fast. Be prpared for a sticky mess! oh, and like all risottos, stir gently, but keep stirring, and use a wooden spoon if you can.

I am more than happy to be corrected. DB? Anyone?[/b]

you made me read up some more:
the Vialone Nano, the preferred rice varety of some for risottos is a high-amylose rice rather than a high amylopectin rice, so is suitable for making a risotto that does not need stirring. but at a quoted US$8 for 500g, I’ll look elsewhere…

:laughing: I’m just sitting here basking in my ignorance. And moving this to the Food Forum. :stuck_out_tongue:

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I’ve been using some organic brown rice, made in Taiwan, and although I haven’t tried it yet I reckon it would be good for Risotto.

GreenMe Brand.

Excellent replies. Many thanks.

The terms ‘high-amylose & high amylopectin’ threw me for a while, but will surely be mentioned when I serve the risotto at my next dinner party. Even if my cooking tastes like XXXX, I will at least have the awe of my victims!

I’ve found the regular short grain rice does a great risotto. I you can control the ‘starchiness’ with how you wash the rice before preparation. I’ve found that you usually need to reserve a bit more liquid than the recipie would normally call for and it does create the proper texture w/out too much fuss. However, if you overcook it, it will become a gloopy mess. A heavy pot helps since many local stoves don’t do low or even medium even heat well.

No need for the $$$ rice, just a little care in preparation.

a bit more liquid rather than a bit less? hmm, perhaps i cook it harder than you do.

starting a risotto

heat 3 tablepsoon olive oil on high in a heavy saucepan, when it starts to smoke, add a cup or more of arborio or carnaroli rice, stir and shake until the rice is just pearlescent with a final small white cigar remains in the centre of the grain. (the harder centre that results gives more texture to the final grain).
then add rapidly 1 cup dry white wine, like a good riesling. stir briskly until the fierce bubbling subsides, and then turn down the heat to low and continue slowly stirring. when the liquid has absorbed and the grains begin to stick to the bottom, add 1/4 cup chicken or fish stock. use fresh or home made stock if you can, rather than a cube… keep stirring and adding more liquid until nearly 30 minutes. use a wooden spoon if possible to keep the grains from being broken by the sharper edges of a steel spoon.

as the risotto nears the end of the absorption process (a cup and a half of liquid), you can begin to add your flavour of choice.

seafood risotto
raw shelled prawns, leave the tail on for effect. smaller rather than giant prawns are preferred here to give more even cooking and a chance to share them too… devein the prawns by slitting over the pootube in the back about 2mm down with a paring knife, and pulling out the exposed tube.
smoked mussels or whelks can help add depth, but avoid the anchovies as they’re overpowering. pipis or clams need to be well clenedd first (place in warm salty water for a few hours prior, and remove shells after they’re cooked, and return the meat to the dish for a final few minutes.)
fresh seafood like crab claws or substitutes well here too.
remember that seafood needs a lower cooking time.
the prawns are done when the centre of the prawn just turns white.

as you add the prawns, keep up the liquid addition, keeping the tenderness of the rice grains as a guide to when the dish is ready. better to have it a little too dry rather than a little too moist, but check that the white centre of the grain has disappeared before serving.

a minute before it’s finished, stir 3-4 tablespoons of caviar or otehr salted fish eggs through, and turn off the heat. at this point there should be nearly no liquid left in the mix, and the rice should be in danger of sticking if you left the heat on or stopped stirring…

serve in bowls, and top with a teaspoon of caviar in the centre, or add a curl of smoked salmon to the top as well, and garnish with a marjoram or sage sprig.

wild mushroom risotto

when you start the risotto, use a knob butter on top of the olive oil after you have added the rice. use a poultry (chiocken or duck, or even keep the thanksgiving turkey frame and boil it down) or a chicken and mushroom stock, a little white wine, maybe some chinese rice wine too, as your liquid. not fish stock.

prefry, or have a good hand and do at the same time, a pan of assorted mushrooms, chopped to the same size, longer or smaller according to your preference, (shorter is easier to keep cooking), including perhaps, swiss browns, cepu, enoki, etc. choose smaller rather than larger mushrooms as the texture is different, and larger mushrooms overpower with flavour. avoid dried chinese mushrooms for the same reasons.

pan fry in butter, enough butter to stop them from sticking bu not too much to make them really heavy. season with pepper, sea salt, dried basil, maybe a dash of saffron, but avoid bay and sage (my taste). fry till becoming crispy on smaller edges. by this time the risotto should be more than half done. add the mushrooms, keep stirring another ten minutes, check for season (looking for less salt than normal here) and finish cooking, and then grate some cheddar or tasty cheese through the risotto before serving right to the edge of a bowl. sprinkle with a good parmesan or a little romano cheese, and some oregano flakes, and top off in the grill. careful, the plate’ll be hot.

So, nobody imported risotto at a resonable price yet?

It depends what you call reasonable.
They sell tiny little bags with risotto rice in CitySuper for NT$250-300 which is enough for a meal for two :smiley:
That’s not reasonable to me, but hey…
Had “risotto” here in a restaurant in Xindien which even had an Italian chef (I saw him in the kitchen) and it was as dry as… :eh:
So I asked the owner as he came and asked if the meal was ok, and he goes, well the people here don’t like wet risotto and we use Thai rice…
Then please for the love of all things holy don’t call it risotto! put Italian style rice or something on the menu, a risotto is meant to be creamy!
Not that he understood what I was trying to say…
Oh, and if anyone finds decently priced risotto rice, please don’t be stingy, post it up on here

You can get a whole box of risotto for $200 at this place; they had another kind, maybe what the OP mentioned, but I’ve never heard of it so I can’t recall the name:

They also have an interesting assortment of imported foodstuffs, mostly European:

P&P Food & Spices 東遠
Taibei, Zhong1zheng4 District, Jin1men2 Jie1, 9-14, 1F
金門街9-14, 1F
This street runs southwest off of Roosevelt, just southwest of Shida. Take Heping westward to Roosevelt; turn left, go about 200+ yards, and turn right; after a ways it’s on your left (small entrance, not well marked)

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does anyone know where to find rice
suitable for making a risotto, or what
type of local rice is suitable for making risotto.

thank you

The supermarket in Breeze center (on Fuxing north road just north of the elevated highway) has a better-than-average selection of Italian products like flour and rice.

Hi ricky_tick, and welcome to Forumosa! :slight_smile: First, you’ll find food-related items in the Food area of the forum. If you run a search for ‘risotto’ in thread titles you’ll find an existing thread on where to buy imported Arborio / Carnaroli (risotto) rice and what substitutes work. I’ve merged your thread with it. There’s a separate, similar thread for Taizhong (Taichung), with some info that’s still relevant, too.

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k thx

Can anyone confirm this? I also got some normal short grain rice, which looks similar to arborio, but don’t to want to waste fresh prawns in a rice mush.

I’ve not tried it, but if I were to, I would probably start with Truant’s suggestion and use GreenMe’s organic brown rice (this is what we almost always use for our daily rice), as it cooks up very firmly, and I suspect it would be less likely to turn into a mushy mess in risotto. It’s also cheaper than imported risotto rices I think, and is certainly the healthiest choice of all.

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If you don’t cook for the Queen or want to get a star in the Michelin … just use local short-grain rice … Italian import is expensive and is not that much better in the end … you have so many different rice from all over Taiwan …

Or use Uncle Ben’s … microwave rice … :whistle:

OR get a bud to mail you a pound from italy?

why don’t i just vomit in a bowl and serve that up :no-no: but seriously you don’t have to be a queen to not appreciate soggy rice, or over-cooked pasta for that matter!

anyway after checking the import rice at breeze (NT$400LOL) i’m going with the local short grain, will report back…