Calrose rice is a staple in many American households. You can use it for soups, salads, and even sushi! However, what if you want to use it for Italian dishes? Can you use Calrose rice for risotto?
Since Calrose rice has many similarities to Arborio rice, I decided to cook risotto with it. It turned out so delicious that my family thought of me as Gordon Ramsay (just kidding)! There are just a few things to take care of, which I have discussed in this article. Let’s get into it!
You can use Calrose rice for risotto as long as you use the proper cooking technique. The one major drawback is that a risotto made with Calrose rice won’t have the texture of an authentic Italian risotto. Calrose rice also may not fluff up as much as Arborio rice.
Which Rice to Use for Risotto?
Throughout the years, I have cooked risotto with many types of rice.
I have found that three medium-grain varieties work the best – Arborio, Carnaroli, and Vialone Nano. These Italian kinds of rice have a high starch content, which helps impart the right creaminess to your risotto.
Can You Use Calrose for Risotto?
Like the Italian rice varieties mentioned above, Calrose rice is another medium-grain rice with a good amount of starch. It is famous for dishes requiring a sticky texture, including sushi.
The good news is that you can also use Calrose rice instead of Arborio or Carnaroli rice for your risotto.
However, remember that the consistency of Calrose rice risotto isn’t as creamy as authentic risotto.
Calrose rice grains are smaller and thinner than the Italian rice varieties, so they won’t absorb all the flavors.
The one advantage of using Calrose rice in my risotto was that it reduced some cooking time, as it cooks more quickly.
How to Prepare Risotto With Calrose Rice?
If you only have Calrose rice on hand, don’t worry. I have got the perfect Calrose risotto recipe for you!
- 1 cup of unwashed and uncooked calrose rice
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- ½ cup of diced onions
- 3 sliced garlic cloves
- 4 sliced mushrooms (I have used button; you can use portobello or porcini mushrooms as well)
- 4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
- Salt (to taste)
- Pepper (to taste)
- One lemon
- Parmesan cheese and parsley (for sprinkling)
1. Pour two tablespoons of olive oil into a pot over medium-high heat.
2. Then, sauté three sliced garlic cloves until slightly golden.
3. Combine ½ cup of diced onions with garlic and cook them until they turn translucent.
4. Add four sliced mushrooms and sauté everything on medium-high heat. In this step, you can use more vegetables, like broccoli or asparagus.
5. After five minutes, add one cup of calrose rice to the cooking pot and stir it with the other ingredients.
6. Lower the heat, and add two cups of vegetable or chicken broth to the rice. Stir for a minute, and let the rice cook.
7. Once the rice has absorbed all the liquid, add two more cups of broth.
8. Stir the rice-broth mixture and squeeze a lemon into it. If you want a more authentic approach, add one cup of white wine in this step.
9. Sprinkle salt and black pepper and mix them well.
10. Let the Calrose rice cook for at least 10 minutes.
11. If the rice looks undercooked, add more broth, as per the requirements, and give it a good stir.
12. Once the risotto looks creamy and the rice is cooked, add two tablespoons of butter. Add parsley and cheese on top of the risotto.
13. Mix everything well, and serve it hot!
Things to Remember While Making Calrose Rice Risotto
Risotto looked like one of the easiest dishes to me until I tried it myself. So many things can go wrong if you use an improper cooking technique or ingredients.
Here are a few things to remember if you plan to cook a Calrose rice risotto and don’t want to make the same mistakes as me.
1. Don’t Stir Continuously
Risotto needs proper stirring as it helps release the starch from the rice and ensures a thick consistency.
Yet, you should refrain from stirring your risotto continuously because it might break the delicate calrose grains.
According to Bon Appetit, stirring may incorporate excess air in the mixture, which can turn your risotto gluey. Instead, just stir your risotto once every 30 to 45 seconds.
2. Use Unwashed Rice Only
You must wash and soak the rice before using it in almost every other dish. This step removes the starch from the grain’s surface and reduces stickiness in the cooked rice.
I cannot say the same for risotto because it thrives on additional starch content! If you wash the calrose rice, you may remove the extra starch. This error can produce a less creamy and smooth texture in the final product. Therefore, always use unwashed rice for your risotto.
3. Use Warm Broth
You may accidentally use broth taken straight from the refrigerator in your risotto. Trust me, it is a huge mistake, as the cold broth can drop the temperature and ruin the cooking process. You might end up with undercooked rice in certain parts of your risotto! Instead, use warm broth while cooking.
4. Don’t Cook the Rice Too Much
Italian cooking is all about getting the “al dente” feel. The same goes for risotto!
Note that you should never cook calrose rice to the extent that it gets mushy. It should feel tender on the inside and slightly firm on the outside.
5. Don’t Pour Stock All At Once
Always add your broth in parts instead of pouring it all at once. If you pour it in all at one time, the rice grains only absorb some broth, whereas the rest simply evaporates! Therefore, the rice may remain undercooked, and the risotto won’t be as creamy.
In my opinion, Calrose rice is one of the suitable substitutes for Arborio rice due to its starchy nature. All you have to do is follow the same method as any mushroom risotto, and you will get satisfactory results!