Miso risotto with chicken livers & plum compote

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Preparation info

    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

Fusion: A Culinary Journey

Fusion

By Peter Gordon

Published 2010

  • About

Italian purists may hate this ‘so not classic’ risotto recipe - but they should remember that rice is Asian in origin, as are miso, mirin and soy. So actually one could argue, and I often have, just to be annoying, that this dish sticks to its roots more properly than your usual risottos that come out of Italy. But then, I think anything that tastes good is worth doing, so what do I really care? The combination of earthy miso, tasty soy and rich butter gives a lovely unexpected sweet-savoury taste to the dish. The livers and plums really do complete the dish, but if you’re liver-phobic then I’d suggest you replace them with either bacon lardons, pecan nuts or just leave them out.

Ingredients

  • 50 g butter
  • 260 g ( cups) risotto rice
  • 2 smallish red onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • ½ leek, thinly sliced, washed if gritty
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 60 g miso - any miso will work - I used hatcho miso
  • 60 ml mirin (or 2 Tbsp sugar)
  • 30 ml (2 Tbsp) soy sauce
  • 1.2 litres unsalted chicken stock, keep it simmering
  • 80 g mascarpone
  • 20 g Parmesan, grated
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) vegetable oil
  • 250 g chicken livers, cleaned of sinew and fat
  • 4 red plums, halved and stone removed, then thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Chinese black vinegar, balsamic or sherry vinegar
  • a handful of flat parsley leaves

Method

Heat up a 2-3 litre pan then add the butter and cook until it stops sizzling, stirring as it melts. Add the rice and cook for a few minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly until it begins to turn a light golden colour. Add half the sliced onions, the leek, garlic and star anise and cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until the onions and leek wilt. Add the thyme, rosemary, miso, mirin and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Stir in enough simmering stock to cover the rice by 1 cm. Bring to the boil, then turn to a simmer. As the rice cooks, absorbing the stock, keep topping it up, stirring really well each time you add more stock. Make sure the rice is always covered by at least 1 cm of stock. The rice will take 20-30 minutes to cook.

If the stock has run out before the rice has cooked, simply add boiling water. When the rice has the faintest bite to it, stir in the mascarpone and Parmesan and taste for seasoning. Put a lid on the pan, turn the heat off and leave to rest for 5 minutes.

While the risotto is cooking, place a wide pan over moderate heat, add the oil and remaining sliced onion. Sauté to caramelise the onions, then add the livers and cook evenly all over to colour them. Mix in the sliced plums and cook for a minute to soften them, then add the vinegar, a little salt and lastly the parsley.

To Serve

Stir the risotto once more, taste it, then divide amongst eight warmed bowls and spoon the liver and plum compote on top.