Recipe: Japanese Risotto with Tempura Squid »

From My Kind of Food by Valli Little

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<i>My Kind of Food</i> by Valli Little

My Kind of Food by Valli Little [©HarperCollins]

Japanese Risotto with Tempura Squid


Valli Little is the author of 10 bestselling cookbooks and her recipes have inspired a generation of home cooks to be more adventurous in the kitchen. Her new book, My Kind of Food,  contains 100 more recipes that are sure to continue that theme.

Valli's recipes have irresistible twists on unique ingredients and trends plus clever reinterpretations of traditional favourites. In this recipe, East and West combine for a distinctively delicious taste.

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 (serves 4)

  • 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 1/2tbs 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.

This recipe is reproduced with the kind permission of the publisher.

My Kind of Food by Valli Little is published by ABC Books/Harper Collins (Sydney, NSW; Mar 2017; Pb, 240pp, RRP A$39.99). It will be available in bookshops from 27th March 2017 and can be found to purchase online via »

Read the press release for My Kind of Food here » 

Here's Valli Little's recipe for Hot-smoked Salmon with Cucumber 'Fettucine' & Chilli Butter »

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