Shiitake Mushroom Risotto: The Lowdown
Risottos are a creamy rice dish hailing from northern Italy. They often feature on restaurant menus, or they’re what your friends cook at dinner parties to make it seem like they’re culinary experts. However, risotto does not have to be complicated. This shiitake mushroom risotto, exclusive to WayofLeaf premium, is a real crowd-pleaser, but it’s also delightfully straightforward.
It contains a short list of ingredients, including two types of mushrooms. Shiitake is the star of the show. This medicinal fungus can potentially promote heart and bone health, boost the immune system, and more. Shiitake has been employed in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for centuries, and it’s about time you incorporate it into your diet with recipes like this.
Alongside shiitake, we have added mushroom powder to our dish. This is an optional ingredient, but rather essential if you’re seeking the best health benefits from your dish. Plus, it adds some incredible earthy undertones to the risotto. Using mushroom powder makes it easy to add as much or as little mushroom extract as you want.
What You’ll Need
- 5 oz dried shiitake
- 1x vegetable stock cube
- 1 brown onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 8oz chestnut mushrooms
- 2 cups risotto/arborio rice
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp oil
- ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 glass white wine
- 1 tbsp mushroom powder of choice (we used turkey tail)
- Handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Step-by-Step Mushroom Risotto with Shiitake Recipe
Add the dried shiitake to a large bowl and pour over 1L of boiling water. Allow the mushrooms to soak for about 20 minutes until rehydrated, then drain. Reserve the liquid. Crumble the stock cube into the reserved mushroom liquid, mixing well to dissolve. Gently squeeze any excess water from the mushrooms.
Meanwhile, dice the onion. Peel and mince the garlic cloves, then finely slice the chestnut mushrooms.
Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a large, deep pan with a heavy bottom. Make sure to use a low heat so as not to burn the butter. Add the oil with the onion and garlic, turn the heat up slightly, and cook for about 5 minutes until soft.
Stir in the chestnut mushrooms and the dried shiitake. Season with salt and pepper, then fry for a further 8 minutes to soften the mushrooms.
Add the risotto rice and toast for one minute, stirring to coat into the butter and oil. Pour in one generous glass of white wine and bubble until the liquid is gone.
Add just one ladle of the mushroom stock to the pan. If you’re using mushroom powder, add it now and stir to incorporate. Simmer the risotto and allow the liquid to absorb, then add another ladle full. Keep going until the rice is al dente – you should have used all or most of the stock.
Remove the risotto pan from the heat, then add the remaining butter and melt into the rice. Stir through the parmesan cheese and add the parsley.
Divide between bowls, garnishing with extra parsley, and serve.
Additional Recipe Info
Risotto can be a super healthy recipe to make at home. There are not many fatty ingredients, with the exception of parmesan and butter. This particular risotto is loaded with plant-based protein and fiber from the mushrooms, making it rather healthy as well as delicious.
Shiitake mushrooms are a key part of this dish. They have numerous potential health benefits, including:
- NUTRIENT RICH: Shiitake contain plenty of macronutrients, like 11g of carbohydrates per 4 shiitake mushrooms, or 1g of protein.
- LOADED WITH VITAMINS: Alongside macronutrients, shiitake also contains lots of vitamins and minerals. For example, 4 mushrooms contain 39% of the recommended daily intake of copper, and 10% of the RDI for selenium. Not to mention, this fungus also contains plenty of vitamins D and B.
- AMINO ACIDS: Shiitake contains a similar amino acid profile to meat, making it a fantastic source of plant-based protein.
- MAY BOOST IMMUNITY: According to a 2015 study, 2x dried shiitake mushrooms per day can reduce inflammation levels and improve immune markers. While it requires more research, it’s a compelling argument for shiitake supplements.
- COULD PROMOTE BONE HEALTH: Since shiitake contains so much vitamin D, it could help to strengthen the bones. Notably, shiitake mushrooms exposed to UV light during growth will contain more vitamin D.