Last week I shared a recipe for making classic shellfish stock with you. This week I am using that stock to make a pretty bomb ass seafood risotto.
Variations on seafood risotto
I used prawns for my first batch, which leaves you with more heads, which equals more stock, which equals more risotto. But you can also use the stock to make a risotto with plane old fish, like I did for my second batch, though I can’t recommend fattier fish like mackerel for this. Or have yours mussels, lobster, or whatever you fancy in the seafood department.
You can also make this using store bought stock, though I’d recommend going for a fancier liquid brand rather than cubes as those tends to be waaaaaaaaaaaay too salty for risotto making.
I like to add green veggies to mine, like frozen or fresh peas or some grilled asparagus. But you do you. I think some grilled fennel would also be dope.
To cheese or not to cheese
A lot of people think Parmesan or some kind of cheese is essential to making your risotto nice and gooey, but if you’ve stirred your risotto well enough and in doing so have released plenty of starches from the rice, you should end up with a gooey, unctuous risotto either way.
A word on prawns
I used to make this dish with prawns, but there are a lot of problems with how prawns are farmed. Prawn farming produces huge quantities of greenhouse gases and is largely founded on abusive labor practices. So check where your prawns are from and how they are produced or omit them al together.
Super Easy Seafood Risotto
- Baking sheet
- Large pot for holding stock
- Small saucepan for risotto
- Wooden spoon
For the asparagus, optional
- 1/2 bunch green asparagus or other veg to taste
- 1 T - 15 ml olive oil
- pinch salt
- pinch black pepper
- 1 t - 5 gr za'atar optional
- juice of 1/2 lemon optional
- 2-3 cloves garlic smashed, optional
For the risotto
- 2 c - 500 ml (shell)fish stock home-made or store bought, avoid cubes in this case
- 1/2 c - 100 gr Arborio rice some say other rice variaties work as well, I'm not so sure
- 2 T - 30 ml olive oil
- 1 T - 15 gr butter
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
- 2 small shallots peeled and finely chopped, 1/2 an onion will also do nicely
- 10 oz - 300 gr seafood of choice
- 1 c - 125 gr peas frozen or fresh, or your veg of choice
- 3/4+1/4 c - 100 + 25 gr Parmesan grated, optional
- pinch salt
- pinch white pepper
Bake the asparagus, if using
- Preheat an oven at 350° F/ 175° C.
- Snap the bottoms off your 1/2 bunch of asparagus. They will snap roughly where their bottoms are too coarse for eating.
- Spread asparagus over a pre-lined baking sheet, cover lightly in olive oil, salt and pepper and whatever spice you like (my go-to is za'atar) and roast for 25-35 mins until crisp at the edges. This method is also suitable for broccoli, if that's your thing. You can liven it up a bit more with a squeeze of lemon juice and 2-3 smashed garlic cloves as well if you like.
To make the seafood risotto
- Preheat 2 c - 500 ml of (shell)fish stock in a large pot. It should be warmed through but not boiling. Be sure to keep it next to the pan you are cooking your risotto in, with a good sized ladle for easy transfer.
- In a saucepan, melt 2 T - 30 gr of butter and 1 T - 15 ml of olive oil together over a medium low heat.
- Add 3 finely chopped cloves of garlic and 2 finely chopped small shallots and saute gently until they start to become translucent and soft, avoiding getting any color on them as this will make the garlic bitter.
- Now add 1/2 c - 100 gr of rice and stir continuously for 5 minutes or so, coating the rice in the fats until they also get a transparent sheen to them. Skipping this step may result in your rice not taking up enough of the liquids to cook in time, so be sure to follow this step properly or you’ll be very upset later.
- Once 5 minutes of vigorous stirring have passed, add your first ladle of stock to the rice. Keep stirring vigorously until all the liquid has either been absorbed by the rice or evaporated into thin air.
- Add your second ladle of stock, stir until absorbed. And so on and so forth, until roughly 20 minutes have passed and all your stock has been added to and absorbed by the rice.
- When to add your seafood will depend on the kind of seafood you’re using. Precooked prawns, mussels and the like can be added at the very last minute, just to heat them through. Frozen fish should be thawed and flaked before use and can also be added in at the last minute. Anything bigger you will probably want to pre-cook and serve it separately so you have a better handle on whether it’s cooked through or not.
- In the final 2-3 minutes add your peas and 3/4 c of parmesan, if using.
- Season to taste before serving. There is a lot of salt in the stock already, so it may not need any more. Pepper however is always a good idea. Top with the asparagus and the remainder of the Parmesan if using.
To make seafood risotto in an Instant Pot
- Follow steps 2 to 3 from the previous section, using the saute function of your Instant Pot.
- Add 2 c - 500 ml of warm stock and 1/2 c - 100 gr of rice and stir.
- Seal your Instant Pot and set the timer for the pressure cooking function to 7 minutes.
- Use the quick release and stir in pre-cooked seafood, vegetables and Parmesan cheese.