It may not seem obvious, but this recipe takes inspiration from a Malaysian favourite: sambal. Instead of using sambal, Anna opts for some pickled jalapeno. Though it’s not quite sambal, the pickled jalapeno adds some heat to this dish.
Remember to use short-grain rice for this dish, so no basmati or jasmine. As tempting as it is to wash the rice, Anna says, don’t wash the rice! If you do, it results in the early release of starch, resulting in a congee-like texture, and that’s not what we’re looking for in a risotto. Also, when boiling the risotto, make sure that it’s a gentle bubble, and avoid adding salt and pepper during the reduction. To check if the risotto is done cooking, the risotto will be soft but firm in the middle.
Also, make sure to add the stock, bit by bit, to avoid making the risotto too watery. For the end product, you want the risotto to have some sauce left – so don’t cook it till it’s dry.
- Shrimp and coconut risotto
- 30 ml vegetable oil
- 80 g cooking onion yellow or white onion, diced
- 225 g Arborio rice *can be replaced with Carnaroli rice)
- 1 clove garlic (minced_
- 6 g fresh ginger (finely grated)
- 625 ml premade shrimp or chicken stock
- 250 ml fresh coconut milk
- 180 g red bell pepper (about 1 medium pepper, diced)
- 400 g fully peeled shrimp
- 2 green onions (chopped)
- 45 ml fresh coriander (chopped)
- salt and pepper
- 100 g fresh spinach leaves
- roasted peanuts (chopped, for garnish)
- pickled jalapeno peppers (for garnish)
- Pickled jalapeno peppers
- 12 fresh jalapeno or other fresh chili peppers (stemmed and sliced to 1/4 inch thick (leave seeds in))
- 250 ml white vinegar
- 250 ml water
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 10 g salt
- 60 g sliced red onion
- 1 clove garlic (sliced)
- 2 g coriander seed
- Heat a medium sized heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat with the oil. Add the onion and sauté, stirring often, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir this for 2 minutes, to coat the rice. Stir in the garlic and ginger and then add 250 ml of the stock, reducing the heat to medium-low and stirring with a wooden spoon until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add another 250 ml of stock and stir regularly (you don’t have to stir constantly now) until this is almost absorbed. Add the coconut milk and cook this in stirring regularly.
- After the coconut milk is half absorbed, check the rice for tenderness (it will still be a little crunchy, but starting to soften). Add the red pepper and shrimp and cook until the coconut milk is absorbed, but the mixture is still creamy. If the rice is still not cooked through, add the remaining 125 ml of stock and cook in while stirring. Season to taste and stir in the green onions and coriander. When ready to serve, stir in the spinach leaves, to wilt them slightly.
- To serve, spoon the risotto into bowls and top with the peanuts, and pickled jalapeno peppers.
- Place the sliced jalapenos into a mason jar or a bowl.
- In a small saucepan bring the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, onion, garlic and coriander seeds up to a boil over high heat. Pour this over the peppers and let them cool to room temperature.
- Cover and chill until ready to use. These can be enjoyed right away or they will keep for 3 months refrigerated.