Keemun Mushroom Risotto

A while back, the hubby and I decided to make at least 1 evening meal a week meat-free. It’s a great idea for many reasons, and nowadays there are so many amazingly tasty recipes to choose from.

This Keemun Mushroom Risotto is so hearty and satisfying that you’d never think it’s completely vegetarian. There are 2 star ingredients here…the first being Asian mushrooms (shiitake, maitake, and shimeji) and the other, Keemun black tea. The Keemun used in this recipe is malty, slightly smokey, and not at all astringent. You can swap out another black tea with similar character for this tea, but I love the earthy, smooth, sweetness of Mandala Tea’s Black Beauty Keemun. In this recipe or by itself, this is great stuff.After the tea steeps in the vegetable stock, the broth instantly becomes a rich, reddish shade of copper. With an appearance similar to beef stock, this is the most savory version of veggie stock you’ll ever taste. After the dried (and rehydrated) shiitake, maitake, and shimeji mushrooms are added, the risotto is rich with meaty umami flavor.Don’t feel like you have to stick to only Asian varieties of mushroom here…use the ones you love! A mix of dried and fresh mushrooms are ideal, and of course don’t forget a last minute drizzle of truffle oil to finish! Keemun Mushroom Risotto makes a fancy weekend or date night meal, one that magically transforms carnivores into vegetarians.

The Black Beauty Keemun used in this recipe is courtesy of Mandala Tea.

Keemun Mushroom Risotto

Serves 4-6.


7 cups vegetable stock

1/4 cup Keemun black tea, placed into tea filters so that it has room to expand/steep

1 stick butter or 8 Tbsp olive oil

7 oz. fresh mushrooms (I used maitake and shimeji)

10 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated in warm water and stems removed

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 large brown onion, diced

1 1/4 cups Arborio rice

1/2 cup white wine

3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

salt and pepper


extra sautéed mushrooms

fresh chopped herbs

extra grated parmesan

truffle/olive oil


large pot


stock pot

large tea filters

ladle, for stock


1. Melt 4 Tbsp of butter in a large pot over high heat. Add the mushrooms and garlic and sauté them for about 5 minutes until they are lightly browned and golden. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer these to a plate and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in another large stock pot, heat the 7 cups of stock on high heat. When it comes to a boil, turn off the heat, then steep the tea in the stock for 5 minutes. When the tea has steeped, remove it from the stock and discard. Place the stock back on low heat to simmer.

3. In the same large pot you originally used, again melt 4 Tbsp of butter over medium heat. Add the onion, and sauté for 5 minutes until translucent and lightly browned. Increase the heat to high, then add the rice, and cook for 1-2 minutes until also translucent. Add the white wine. Cook the wine out.

4. Lower the heat to medium, then start adding the stock a 1/2 cup at a time. Make sure to let the stock absorb into the rice after every addition. Continue stirring constantly in between each stock addition (don’t walk away!) until there is no more stock left.

5. Add the sautéed mushrooms back into the risotto, then mix in the cheese. Finish with extra sautéed mushrooms, chopped mushrooms, extra grated parmesan, and/or a drizzle of truffle or olive oil to finish.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

georgia | notes on tea

(Eeks, the Internet ate my first comment.) great idea, Bonnie. I make a risotto at least once a month and think a tea broth will add depth and interest to my standard vegetarian version.


Not only does this sound delicious, but it doesn’t sound too daunting for a cooking-shy person like me, too! Sounds like a great idea for using all the fresh Asian mushrooms available to me here. Although the Keemun sounds great, I’ll probably experiment with some Orange Pekoe I received recently since I have a lot of it to spare.

Bonnie Eng

Buri-chan, if they’re available (which I’m sure they are for you), Asian mushrooms make this recipe that much more tasty! I love the ones that have an almost crunchy finish after being cooked. Orange Pekoe will also work great here…hope you love! 🙂

Frugal Hausfrau

Bonnie, my friend, I just realized I have not been by in awhile! What a gorgeous looking dish this is! Hope you’re having the happiest of New Years!


Bonnie Eng

Hey there, Molle!! Hope you are doing great…wishing you and your sweet yellow-haired boy a wonderful year in 2016! 😉

Regina L. L. Wells

Oh, this sounds and looks just delicious! Love the idea of having a meatless night…now, if I can just get my husband to go for that with any regularity. This recipe should help!

Bonnie Eng

Ya, it was hard for my hubby to get used to (even with the one day a week), but i think it just depends on how hearty you can get the recipe to taste…this is a great one to start with, Regina! 🙂

Bonnie Eng

Thanks Lokness! I know you know where to get good ‘shrooms around your area, and for the tea there’s always Wing Hop Fung in Monterey Park…have you been? Hope you love this, girl! 🙂

Thalia @ butter and brioche

This risotto looks divine Bonnie. Mushroom risotto is one of the dishes that I love but rarely make as I do have no patience when it comes to risotto cooking – but I am so craving this right now!

Bonnie Eng

Thank you so much Thalia! I know, risotto is such a labor of love. Good thing there are yummy results to show for it. 😉


I made this last night. It was decadent! I really enjoyed the maitake and shimeji mushrooms. My husband and I also try to eat a meat-free meal once a week. This is definitely a keeper recipe! Thanks for posting.

Bonnie Eng

I’m so pleased that it worked out for you, Rosanna! It’s not a common ingredient to add to a risotto, but I think it works great here…glad you agree! 🙂