Japanese Risotto with Tempura Squid

Japanese Risotto with Tempura Squid

The late, hugely influential Valli Little changed the Australian food landscape forever. Her work with delicious magazine will remain in the hearts of Aussie home-cooks always, as will her wonderful recipes that are equal parts elegance and simplicity. Valli had an English background but such was her contribution to food and cooking in Australia, she has been inducted into the hall of fame of Australian foodies for her sumptuous food styling and admirable sense of aesthetics.

Her recipe for Japanese risotto with tempura squid is from My Kind of Food Cookbook which features other exotic dishes and is full of treats for the modern cook. Fusion dishes like house smoked salmon with cucumber fettuccine and chilli butter, and pears poached in Hibiscus syrup bring unique ingredients to the average kitchen in an easy, approachable way.

Valli challenges cooks to experiment with style and food, and this recipe shows how a beautiful collaboration of cultures and a little daring, can produce a stunning result. 

Japanese risotto with tempura squid

This East-meets-West recipe is packed with delicious umami flavours found in ingredients like parmesan, miso and soy. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making the tempura, simply serve the risotto with some extra fried shiitake mushrooms.

Ingredients

4 cups (1 litre) chicken stock

2 tbs olive oil

2 red (Asian) eschalots, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced

300g arborio rice

1/2 cup sake

1 tbs mirin

1 1/2 tbs white miso

8–10 baby squid, cleaned,

tentacles intact

Plain flour, to coat

Sunflower oil, to deep-fry

1/2 cup (50g) parmesan, grated

1⁄3 cup (50g) pine nuts toasted

1 cup wild rocket

Tempura batter

1/2 cup (65g) plain flour

50g cornflour

5g baking powder

For the tempura batter, combine the flour, cornflour and baking powder in a bowl. Using two chopsticks, stir in enough iced water to make a batter the consistency of thickened cream (don’t overmix, a few lumps are fine). Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In a saucepan, bring the stock to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and leave to simmer. Heat the olive oil in a deep frypan over medium–high heat. Add the eschalots, garlic and shiitake mushrooms and fry for 1–2 minutes until the mushrooms are tender. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes. Add the sake and mirin and cook until the liquid has evaporated.

Stirring constantly, add the simmering stock to the rice a ladleful at a time, only adding the next when the last one has been absorbed. After 20 minutes all the stock should be added and the rice al dente.

Meanwhile, combine the miso with a little cold water until you have a smooth paste. Stir into the risotto. Keep warm while you prepare the tempura.

Half-fill a deep-fryer or large saucepan with oil and heat to 180°C (a cube of bread will turn golden in 30 seconds). Toss the squid in a little flour, shaking off any excess. Dip into the tempura batter and fry for 1–2 minutes until golden. Drain on paper towel. Fold the parmesan, pine nuts and rocket through the risotto. Divide among serving bowls and top with the squid.

Grab a copy here, or check out our full review.

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                Publisher details

                My Kind of Food
                Author
                Valli Little
                Publisher
                ABC Books
                Released
                27 March, 2017

                Synopsis

                Valli Little is one of Australia's food superstars. The author of 10 bestselling cookbooks, and for many years the food director of the popular and influential delicious. magazine, Valli's recipes have inspired a generation of home cooks to be more adventurous in the kitchen.For her legions of fans, Valli's recipes are synonymous with irresistible twists on unique ingredients, trends and clever reinterpretations of traditional favourites.Now in My Kind Of Food, her most personal cookbook yet, Valli shares 100 recipes that she has cooked time and again to share with the people she loves - recipes that are perfect for simple midweek meals and lazy Sunday suppers; slow-cooked sensations that will have you begging for seconds; dishes that burst with colour and flavour, making the most of incredible seasonal produce; as well as a wicked selection of Valli's signature cakes and favourite chocolate-inspired desserts.Whether you want to prepare a memorable meal for a special occasion, have some friends over for a leisurely weekend lunch, or quickly whip up something yummy for your hungry family at the end of a busy day, My Kind Of Food is the closest thing to having Valli cook for you at home.About the AuthorOne of Australia's favourite food writers and cooks, Valli Little is known for her imaginative, easy-to-follow and failsafe recipes. Born into a family of UK restaurateurs, Valli was destined to work in the food industry. After formal training at Le Cordon Bleu in London, she embarked on a career as a food consultant and caterer. For 14 years, Valli was food director of the highly successful delicious. magazine where she created up to 60 recipes each month inspired by her travels and her love of food. Valli continues at delicious. as senior contributing editor with a monthly feature in the magazine.
                Valli Little
                About the author

                Valli Little

                Valli Little is widely regarded as one of Australia's most exciting food writers. Her passion for food shines through in her recipes, which are imaginative, easy-to-follow and, most importantly, failsafe. Growing up in the United Kingdom in a family of food lovers, Valli was destined to work in the industry. After formal training in London, she embarked on a career as a caterer and food consultant before moving to Australia in the late 1970s. A return to the UK with husband Philip saw the two work as a cook-and-butler team in English country houses. Back in Australia, they owned highly successful gourmet food shop Gastronomes on Sydney's North Shore for eight years before Valli moved into publishing. After working on several food titles, such as Bill Granger's Sydney Food, and The Food of France and The Food of Italy series, Valli joined delicious. magazine as food director in 2001. Every month she creates recipes inspired by her travels and love of cooking and entertaining. When she's not working, Valli enjoys visiting farmers' markets, trying to grow things in her veggie garden and daydreaming about holidays to France.

                Books by Valli Little

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