It’s hard to photograph a risotto that is almost all white and make it look appealing, well hard for me anyway, but I can assure you that this crab risotto from Donna Hay is very delicious and very indulgent. I love the use of miso and ginger that give this risotto just a little nudge towards Asia. You’ll need to use fresh crab meat for this recipe, tinned or vacuum packed crab won’t be good here. In Sydney you can buy picked blue swimmer crab meat from most fish mongers and also from the fish market, it’s expensive but in a dish like this well worth the cost. This risotto would make a lovely starter for a special occasion dinner. The prep work involved is quite easy and a good tip for when you want to cook risotto for company is to prepare the recipe to the stage just before the first ladle of stock is added then keep the pot covered and at room temperature. When you’re 20 minutes away from wanting to serve just bring the pot back up to heat with your first ladle of stock and continue as normal. Doing it this way minimises the amount of time you’re away from your guests and your risotto won’t suffer in the slightest – this is how risotto is prepped in a lot of restaurants.
Ingredients – Serves 4-6 Adapted from Donna Hay
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 sprigs tarragon
3 eschalots (French shallots), finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
⅓ cup dry sherry
1 tablespoon white miso paste
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 cups arborio rice
1.25 litres fish stock, heated – I used a light chicken stock
Miso Crab Butter
150g unsalted butter chopped
1 ½ tablespoons white miso paste
500g cooked crab meat
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Carefully add the tarragon, in batches and cook for 30 seconds or until crisp. Set aside on a paper towel.
Add the eschalots and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally for 6-8 minutes or until translucent, being careful not to get any colour on them. Add the sherry, miso, salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook stirring for 1-2 minutes. Add the stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring until each cup is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 25 minutes.
To make the miso crab butter, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the miso and cook for 1 minute. Add the crab and lemon rind and cook for a further 2 minutes or until the mixture is foaming and the crab is heated through. Add the ginger and lemon juice and stir to combine. Divide the risotto between bowls, spoon over the miso crab butter, sprinkle with black pepper and serve with the crispy tarragon.