Taiwanese Pumpkin Soupy Risotto

Ingredients

5 shiitake mushrooms, sliced

5 shallots, peeled, and sliced 2cm thick

3 tablespoons oil

½ cup germ rice or brown rice

2-3 cups chopped pumpkin

1 cup chopped taro

1 liter vegetable stock

1 liter water (add the water when the soup gets too thick)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon white pepper

Garnishing ingredients

3 tablespoons chopped coriander

3 tablespoons chopped Chinese celery

Instructions

1. Warm a deep-frying pan or pot, cook the shiitake mushrooms and shallots – with lower heat at first. When they are becoming a bit dry, add the oil. Keep cooking the ingredients at medium heat until they are aromatic and brown. This will take about 10 minutes.

2. Add the brown/germ rice, and stir-fry together with the shiitakes and shallots. After a few minutes you will smell the rice fragrance, then add the pumpkin and stock, and cook at medium heat for about 30 minutes. Prevent the starchy soup bubbling up by checking if it needs more water and stirring occasionally.

3. When the liquid level is reducing and the rice soup is thickening, add the taro and some more water and keep cooking.

4. When the rice is well cooked, the rice will become very soft, and the rice starch will thicken the soup – then add the salt and white pepper. It takes about one hour from step 1 to finish step 4.

5. Serve in a bowl, garnish with coriander and celery, add more white pepper if needed.

Additional Notes

1. Instead of germ rice or brown rice, you could also use white rice, but the texture will be softer. And it's also possible to use Italian risotto rice.

2. The texture of this Taiwanese pumpkin risotto dish is softer than Italian risotto.

3. You can freely change the topping ingredients – for example, salted egg, century egg.

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