my comfort food: chinese risotto

Chinese Style Risotto
Chinese Style Risotto

Just came back from almost two weeks holiday in South West France, I have decided to cook something simple and chinese. My mom used to cook rice this way very often, as kids, my brother and I love it. And then when I was in University in UK, I cooked this Chinese Risotto almost once every week as it is so easy and fast to prepare; healthy and tasty at the same time but more importantly reminds me of my childhood. 

As a matter of fact, my Swiss friend told me she always cooks the Italian Risotto using a rice cooker, I have not tried myself, I still prefer the traditional way if I want to cook Italian risotto. I suppose we just have to keep our mind open not bound by rules. Vice versa I found recipes of Chinese risotto cooking using the Italian way too….. 


Serves 2


  • 200g minced pork or diced chicken breast
  • 30g dried Chinese mushrooms or dried Japanese shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 fresh egg (optional)
  • 250g long grain or jasmine Rice


  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil, e.g. Sunflower, maize but not olive oil, somehow I find Olive oil does not go well with Chinese food)
  • 1 tsp Sesame oil
  • 3 pinches white Pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine



  • Prepare in advance: 2-3 hours before cooking, hydrate the dried mushrooms in a bowl of hot water.  Marinate the pork or chicken with the above ingredients.
  • Chop the hydrated mushrooms in cubes and mix in with the pork and set aside (Fig. 1).
  • Wash the rice and cook it using a saucepan or even better if you have a rice cooker (see notes below).
  • When the rice starts boiling (about 10 mins), add in the marinated meat onto the surface of the rice. Cover the pan or rice cooker (Fig. 2).
  • If you use saucepan, this may take another 10-12 mins until cooked. For rice cooker, it will stop automatically, if it is still not cooked, press the ‘cook’ button again.
  • If you like you can add an egg, I like it personally as it makes the rice tasting smoother (Fig. 3).
  • Immediately use the rice spatula to mix the meat throughoutly with the rice.
  • Ready to serve (Fig.4) 
    • you can drizzle a few drops of soy sauce to enhance the taste
    • Recently I even started serving it with a little Korean chili sauce (Fig. 5).

*I actually prepare this dish in the camp site last week but without mushrooms, just minced pork and egg, so don’t worry if you don’t have mushrooms at home.


Notes on how to cook rice (my mom’s way):

I am sure most of you know how to cook rice but occasionally I have friends asking me how to make the rice sticks together and how much water should be added. Here are some practical tips which you may be interested how we do it at home.

  • To wash the rice, you just swirl the rice and water in the pan, make sure the rice to push against the side of the pan or the rice container of the rice cooker which would help rubbing the dirt out. Discard the water and repeat 2 more times, the water should be clearer by this time.
  • A practical tip from my mom is to put my middle finger on top of the rice, the water level should reach about one-third of your middle finger (Fig. 6). Of course this may vary a little according which pan or type of rice you use. It’s really a bit based on experience. My hubby sometimes can even cook better rice than me.
  • Don’t forget to dry the bottom of the pan or the rice cooking container before you put them on the stove or esp. rice cooker.



5 thoughts on “my comfort food: chinese risotto

  1. Looks nice! Do you eat it with vegetables later, or can you add some the same way you add the meat?

    Thanks, I boiled some chinese leaves to eat with it. I actually had a bigger bowl aside but not in the picture. I was thinking of you how to adapt it to become a vegetarian dish. Perhaps try with chopping up some tomatoes (skin removed) and auberge (egg plants) and some courgettes, all in cubes and saute with a bit of oil before putting on the rice. I would also dissolve half cube of vegetable bouillon to the water in the rice to make it more tasty. Season with salt and pepper. I will not use egg for this version. This will be like a ratatouille version of chinese risotto ? : ) I would love to try once too. What do you think of the suggestion?

  2. This reminds me of some Japanese rice dishes! MMMM!
    Vegetarian ideas: green peas or endomame; mushrooms, abura-age (fried thin tofu), gingko nuts, and shiso leaves; chestnuts and black sesame seeds; mushrooms, hijiki sea vegetable, peas, carrots, pan-fried tofu, sesame oil…
    Mostly I made these before I started my blog, so I’ll be making them again. Now I’m really hungry!

    Hi there, at first I thought this dish is too simple and not special to blog about but I think it would be nice to share something real and practical in our daily life as most of us cannot afford that much time in the kitchen. I have tried a ‘nabe’ when I was little in a Japanese restaurant in HK which they served the Japanese flavored rice in a Cast iron pot wrapped with wooden and a wooden top. I love it as the rice can be kept warm until we finish the dish. But this is not easily found these days. I found one in HK lately but it’s not as nice. Is this still common in Japan?

    Will you blog your version, would love to try.

  3. Sounds interesting! I never used to like aubergine and courgettes, but lately I’ve started to appreciate them.

  4. Gasp! And all this while I thought that the finger in pot measuring trick was just something my dad did!

    Glad to see it wasn’t patented… um just “parent-ed” 😉

  5. Wow, this looks really delicious and simple to make. I think I’m gonna try this soon. I got this little rice cooker and never thought of adding stuff while it was boiling. What a great idea!

    Hi Peter, hope you will like it, it certainly is a great idea when you feel lazy, face with lots of work, prepare for exams but still want to eat something simple, nice and satisfying.

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