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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Thai Inspired Risotto with Salt and Pepper Seafood

Since coming back from Italy I have been making all manner of Italian food - which has meant lots and lots of pasta.  "The Darlings" love it, so I figure why not?  Sometimes its best to take the road of least resistance, when it comes to meal times.

Last night though I craved something like a thai curry but with an underlying urge for seafood.  Mmmm what should I make?  I have always wanted to make an Asian style Risotto, so I decided to give it a go!

So while last night's dish may have had its origins in Italy, it has travelled a completely different path.

I used all the basic principles of a true Italian risotto, I just altered the flavour combinations.

Instead of my "soffritto" having onion and garlic, I used garlic and lemon grass with a dollop of thai red curry paste.

I still added the white wine to coat the rice, but instead of the usual chicken stock I used fish stock and coconut milk - this resulted in a lovely creamy texture.  While it may not win the MasterChef Risotto challenge, it certainly won our taste buds over.

I have used the Thermomix to make this risotto, but if you use the basic principles of cooking a traditional risotto - adding hot stock slowly, and stirring, stirring, stirring - you will end up with the same results.

Thai Inspired Risotto with Salt and Pepper Seafood

Serves 4

3 cloves garlic
1 stem lemongrass, white part only
4 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
30g olive oil
400g arborio rice
100g white wine
375ml fish stock
400ml coconut milk
water (to make up 1000g or 1 litre)
1 piece (approx 300g) salmon fillet, skin removed, and pin boned - cut into thin strips
3 squid hoods, scored, and sliced into 3cm strips
500g green prawns. shells removed - tails intact on 16
salt to taste
100g white rice *
2 tsp rock salt
1 tsp mixed peppercorns

chopped red chilli, for garnish

oil for frying

Firstly make your coating for the salt and pepper seafood.  Place 100g white rice, the rock salt and peppercorns in the TM bowl.  Mill on speed 9 for 1 minute.  Remove from bowl and keep to one side.

* If you do not have a thermomix - simply use rice flour, and sea salt flakes, and freshly ground black pepper.

Place garlic and lemongrass into TM bowl, process on speed 7 for 3 seconds.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add the olive oil and the red curry paste.  Saute for 2 minutes at 100 degrees on speed 1 with the MC off.

Insert the butterfly.  Add the rice and the wine to the TM bowl, and saute for 2 minutes at 100 degrees and Reverse and Speed Soft.

Add the coconut milk and fish stock, and enough water to equal 1000g.  Add 3/4 of the shredded kaffir lime leaves.  Cook for 14 minutes at 100 degrees on Reverse and Speed Soft.

Add the prawns that have the tails removed, and 3/4 of each of the salmon slices and squid strips.  Season to taste with salt.

Cook for an additional 3 minutes at 100 degrees and Reverse and Speed Soft.

Remove from the TM bowl and place in a Thermoserver, or large bowl and keep warm.

Meanwhile in a large ziploc bag add the rice and salt and pepper mixture, and the reserved seafood.

Shake well to coat the seafood in the rice mixture.

Heat 2-3cms of oil in a wok, or large frypan over high heat.  Cook the seafood in batches, until all cooked, and crisp - 2-3 minutes.

Serve the risotto topped with a selection of the salt and pepper seafood, reserved kaffir lime leaves, and chopped red chilli.

The verdict was split on this - Mr. CCC loved it the way it was, but I loved the addition of a slurp of ketchap manis.  I leave this totally up to you.

The flavours in the meal were just what I was looking for.  You have the punch of the curry, the zip of the salt and pepper seafood, and the lovely creaminess of the rice in the risotto!!!

Just what the doctor ordered!

So Dear Readers, what basic recipes have you tweaked to travel on a totally different path?


  1. Wow this sounds fantastic and I have all the ingredients. I love pasta we always have it the night that Nigel does the cooking! Have a great weekend Diane

  2. A fantastic tweak on the classic! As most of my daily cuisine passes for Oz/Asian fusion, I am going to try this step by step soonest :) ! Even tho' it will have to be without the Thermomix!! On the Oz Masterchef Masterclass Friday night George Colombaris did his own version of risotto which I also want to try. Looked great, but no sofrito, no wine, no stirring at all: just shaking! And the stock was added in just 2-3 bigger amounts! Served with raw ham rolled egg atop! I believe the stock WAS extra rich, but . . . .

  3. What a great twist! Such a good idea :) Love the addition of the coconut milk as well.. and the presentation is so pretty!