Asian Oven-Baked Risotto
This Asian Risotto recipe is made in the oven. No need to stand at the stove stirring for 30 minutes, and yet you’d never know it. It’s just as creamy and delightful as the classic method. The development of this recipe was sponsored by Columbia Crest. See all of the recipes that I have paired with Columbia Crest Wines here.
Risotto is something that I always order in a restaurant. Why?
Because it’s such a pain to make.
I figure, let the restaurant make it for me and then I don’t have to stand at the stove for 30 minutes stirring and stirring.
At least, that’s how I used to feel. That was before I discovered that you can make creamy delicious risotto in the oven. No standing over the stove stirring and waiting for the starch from the rice to develop. Instead, it somehow miraculously happens in the oven while the risotto bakes. You just need to follow a few simple steps. My method for Oven-Baked Risotto was developed after consulting two reliable sources: Martha Stewart and Joy the Baker. The Asian spin is all mine.
Here’s what you do:
Get your oven preheated. Fill a kettle with water and put it on to boil. Warm a bit of oil in a pot and then add your Arborio rice. It’s very important to use this specific type of short-grain starchy rice if you want the creamy texture. If you use your usual long-grain stuff, it won’t work. You’ll have fluffy rice instead of creamy rice.
Stir the rice until it’s well coated in the oil, a minute or so. Then add a splash of wine or other flavorful liquid. Stir continuously until the liquid is fully absorbed into the rice.
Up until this point the instructions are similar to regular stove-top risotto. The difference is, we preheated the oven. And now, we’re going to use it! We’re definitely *not* going to stand at the stove dribbling liquid and stirring for the next half an hour. Instead, we’re going to pour a glass of wine and go read The Red Tent (you can read something else if you’d like. But this is my book club’s book this month so that’s what I’m reading).
Pour boiling water onto the rice (not just randomly. Read the recipe below for the correct amount). Cover it and bake it until the liquid is absorbed (about 20-25 minutes). Add a bit more warm liquid and stir it gently. (You can add butter, cream, parmesan or, in the case of my Asian risotto, coconut milk, at this point as well). Serve.
But don’t tell anyone how easy it was to make. Let them think that you’re as brilliant as a restaurant chef and that you just spent 30 minutes at a hot stove. They’ll be nicer to you because of it. Someone might even offer you a foot rub and a cup of tea to sip on later when you’re reading your book in bed. Definitely don’t tell anyone about the oven. Definitely.
I’ve paired this Asian Risotto with the Columbia Crest 2012 Grand Estates Pinot Gris because this wine loves Asian flavors. The subtle heat of the ginger and chili in the risotto is cooled by the crisp, tropical fruit, pear and peach flavors in the wine and balanced by the bright acidity.
Here’s my Asian Baked Risotto recipe:
- 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. vegetable oil, divided
- ½ inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- ½ red chili, seeded and minced
- 1 and ½ cups Arborio rice
- ½ cup Columbia Crest 2012 Grand Estates Pinot Gris white wine
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ pound sugar snap peas, roughly chopped
- ¾ cup coconut milk
- 2 tsp. lime juice
- ⅓ cup chopped chives
- ⅓ cup cilantro leaves
- 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges
- Preheat oven to 425. Fill a kettle with water and put it on to boil.
- In Dutch oven or large oven-proof sauce pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add ginger, garlic, and red chili. Cook for 30 seconds while stirring.
- Add rice, stir for 1 minute. Add wine. Stir until absorbed, 1-2 minutes.
- Add 3 cups of boiling water from the kettle and the salt. Stir.
- Cover and bake until most of liquid is absorbed, about 20-23 minutes.
- Five to ten minutes before the rice is done, refill the kettle and put it back on to boil. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add sugar snaps. Toss and cook until browned in spots and bright green, 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add the coconut milk. Bring to a simmer. Turn off heat.
- Gently stir the lime juice and the coconut milk mixture into the rice. Add up to 1 cup boiling water to attain the desired creamy texture. Taste and add a touch more salt if needed. Top each serving with one-sixth of the chives and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.