Rich in umami, this Japanese-inspired vegan risotto seriously satisfies with savory caramelized mushrooms, white miso, and creamy Forager Project Cashewmilk reduction. A blend of two different cultures. Risotto is a traditional Italian rice dish, while miso originates from Japan. Mushrooms are common in both Italian and Japanese cuisine, although the specific varieties may be different. This recipe recommends either maitake or oyster mushrooms. Risotto takes about 30 minutes to prepare. It is easy to cook but requires a lot of attention as you add small portions of broth at a time and stir until the rice absorbs it.

Risotto
The name “risotto” comes from the Italian word for “rice.” Along with pasta, it is recognized as a quintessential Italian dish. Part of what gives risotto its characteristic creamy consistency is the way it is cooked. It is prepared in broth, which you add to the pan a little bit at a time. Cooking the rice gradually causes it to give up its starch. As you’re cooking it, the rice should flow back together after you run a spoon across the bottom of the pan. Once you transfer it to a plate, if you tilt one side up the risotto should flow slowly like lava to the other side.

Mushrooms
Rich in vitamin D, maitake mushrooms are popular in Japan but also grow in Canada and the United States. Oyster mushrooms are native to North Africa, Europe, and the Middle East and are among the largest of edible mushrooms.

Miso
Miso is a Japanese condiment that gives dishes an “umami” flavor. “Umami” doesn’t translate well from Japanese, but is often described as a savory, meaty flavor. What makes it so great, is that it delivers savory deep flavor as a vegan ingredient. It is typically made from a combination of grain (e.g., barley or rice), soybeans, and koji, which is a type of mold. Miso is fermented for weeks or even years and is usually formed into a paste. There are essentially two types of miso you will run into, light and dark. Light or white miso consists of more grains and less soybean content and doesn’t ferment as long. As a result, it is sweeter and lighter in flavor. We recommend starting with light if you are new to miso as a flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Forager Project Organic Cashewmilk
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 12 oz mushrooms, such as tree oyster or maitake
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onion
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds for garnish

Prep

First, prepare your milk reduction, which functions similar to a creamy Half & Half.  To do this, place 1/2 cup of Forager Project Organic Cashewmilk in a wide rim pan. Bring the Forager Project Cashewmilk to a boil on the stove and then reduce to very low heat, allowing the milk to thicken. Make sure to stir frequently with a whisk so that the solids do not stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. The reduction has finished when you have approximately 1/4 cup remaining.

Bring vegetable broth to a simmer in a small pot over medium heat. Once simmering, reduce the heat to low to keep warm. Prepare mushrooms, by breaking up any large bunches and tearing larger mushrooms into bite sized pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Cook mushrooms until golden brown (about 5-7 minutes), stirring minimally to get some good browning. Set mushrooms in a bowl, drizzle 1 teaspoon of soy sauce over the mushrooms, toss to coat, and set aside.

In the same pan that you cooked the mushrooms, heat 2 more tablespoons of olive oil. Add diced onion and minced garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook for 3-5 minutes until onions are translucent and soft, stirring occasionally, scraping up any burnt mushroom bits from the bottom of the pan. Add rice and stir to coat in oil. Add 1 tablespoon of mirin plus 1 teaspoon of soy sauce. Cook until reduced, about 1 minute.

Add ½ cup of warm broth to your rice, stirring frequently, until the liquid is nearly absorbed into the rice, about 2-3 minutes. Continue to add broth to the pan, 1/2 cup at a time and stir until absorbed. Repeat this process until rice is creamy and tender, about 20 minutes.

Stir in miso paste, milk reduction, and remaining 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Add mushrooms to risotto, toss to combine. Ladle risotto into bowls and garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.

Vegan Miso Risotto

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