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.
Keemun Mushroom Risotto
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
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.