Shiitake & Crimini Mushroom Risotto with Aged Parmesan and Chives


November 7, 2023

Over the weekend we enjoyed Shiitake and Crimini Mushroom Risotto at home on a crisp autumn evening. Earlier in the day we hit our gourmet grocer, armed with our shopping list for a date-night-in. We set a warm and cozy ambiance in our dining area and the delightful aroma of a gourmet dish was sizzling in the kitchen and it filled our home.

Recreating Five-Star Dining at Home with Shiitake and Crimini Mushroom Risotto

The secret to easily transforming your dining room into a five-star restaurant lies in this 30-minute recipe, and a simple yet styled table with candlelight. 

It’s the perfect season to introduce your taste buds to the trendy umami flavor of mushrooms…just as the leaves turn with that slight chill in the air.

Umami Magic in Mushrooms

Umami, often described as the fifth taste alongside sweet, sour, bitter, and salty, is a savory sensation that mushrooms excel at delivering. It’s that rich, satisfying flavor that’s often associated with deep, complex dishes. This elusive umami flavor, which is really hard to describe, is the secret ingredient in making your meal feel like a five-star restaurant experience.

In the next part, we’ll dive into the essential elements of this culinary masterpiece, starting with the key ingredients.

Ingredients for Shiitake & Crimini Mushroom Risotto

Olive Oil:

The journey begins with a drizzle of olive oil. It provides a rich and slightly fruity base, perfect for sautéing the shallots and garlic, and it contributes to the overall body of the risotto.


These small diced shallots add a subtle layer of sweetness and aromatic complexity to the dish. They form the flavorful foundation for your risotto, infusing it with depth and character.

Arborio or Carnaroli Rice:

The choice of rice is crucial. Arborio or Carnaroli rice varieties have a high starch content that, when cooked, releases gradually, creating the signature creaminess of risotto.

Dry White Wine:

A splash of dry white wine brightens up the flavors and balances the richness of the dish. It adds a layer of acidity and complexity that elevates the overall taste.

Chicken or Vegetable Broth:

The broth is the backbone of your risotto, infusing it with a rich and savory essence. It’s the canvas on which all the other flavors will paint their magic.


A pat of butter towards the end adds that luxurious finishing touch, making your risotto irresistibly creamy and indulgent.

Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese:

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese is the flavor powerhouse. It brings the nutty, salty notes that blend seamlessly with the earthy mushrooms, creating a harmonious flavor profile.

Wild Mushrooms:

Your choice of wild mushrooms, whether sliced or quartered, introduces rich, complex flavors. They infuse the dish with earthy, umami goodness that makes it a standout.

Garlic Cloves:

Smashed garlic cloves are the aromatic powerhouse, releasing their garlicky charm into the risotto and enhancing its overall flavor.


A sprig of fresh thyme leaves adds a layer of herbaceous goodness, elevating your risotto to a new level of flavor sophistication.

Fresh Parmesan for Presentation:

Because there’s no such thing as too much Parmesan! A final sprinkle adds a burst of cheesy goodness and a delightful visual appeal.

Fresh Chives:

These finely sliced fresh chives provide a pop of color and a hint of oniony freshness to your dish, enhancing the overall flavor profile.

Equipment to Cook Shiitake and Crimini Mushroom Risotto

Now that you’re familiar with the stellar cast of ingredients, let’s talk about the equipment that will bring your Shiitake Mushroom Risotto to life. The good news is, you don’t need a fancy, high-tech kitchen. Here’s what you’ll need:

A large skillet or heavy-bottomed pan:

This is your risotto canvas, where all the magic happens. Make sure it’s spacious enough to accommodate the rice, mushrooms, and liquid without crowding.

A wooden spoon or ladle:

Essential for stirring the risotto. The wooden utensil prevents the rice from sticking and allows you to maintain the creamy consistency.

A good chef’s knife:

You’ll need this for chopping the shallots, smashing garlic cloves, and slicing wild mushrooms. A sharp knife makes prep work a breeze.

A medium-sized saucepan:

This is for keeping your chicken or vegetable broth warm. Warm broth is crucial for a seamless risotto cooking process.

A grater for the Parmesan cheese:

Freshly grated Parmesan is the way to go, as it melts beautifully into the risotto.

A wineglass:

For the dry white wine. But don’t forget to save a little for yourself to sip on while cooking, if you like. It’s all about the experience, after all.

These are the everyday tools that will help you bring this restaurant-inspired dish to life. Now that you’re equipped, let’s step into the rich history of Shiitake Mushroom Risotto, a dish that has delighted palates for generations.

A Brief History of Shiitake Mushroom Risotto

Shiitake Mushroom Risotto, a dish that marries the umami depth of shiitake mushrooms with the creamy comfort of Italian risotto, has a history as rich as its flavor. While risotto itself has its roots in Italian cuisine, the addition of shiitake mushrooms infuses it with an unmistakable umami twist.

Risotto, a staple in Italian kitchens, is often associated with the northern regions of Italy, particularly Lombardy and Piedmont. The dish’s history can be traced back centuries, with some of the earliest documented recipes dating to the late 18th century.

The key to a good risotto lies in the rice variety and the meticulous cooking technique. Arborio or Carnaroli rice, with their high starch content, are the preferred choices. The slow, gradual addition of liquid and constant stirring create the signature creamy consistency.

Shiitake mushrooms, on the other hand, have their origins in East Asia, particularly in Japan and China. Known for their rich, earthy flavor and umami undertones, shiitakes have been used in Asian culinary traditions for centuries. They are often heralded as the “king of mushrooms” due to their robust taste.

The fusion of these two culinary traditions – Italian risotto and umami-packed shiitake mushrooms – results in a dish that marries flavors and techniques from across the globe. It’s a testament to the way food transcends borders and cultures, creating delightful new traditions and tastes.

While there may not be a single definitive source on the history of Shiitake Mushroom Risotto, its roots can be traced back to the individual culinary legacies of Italy and East Asia. The dish’s popularity and global appeal have only grown over the years, making it a delightful addition to the repertoire of any home cook.

A Special Weekend Ritual

Before we go deep into our Shiitake Mushroom Risotto, let’s talk about the joy of weekend cooking. It’s become quite the special tradition in our household – Raf and I wake up early on a Saturday, the anticipation of a day filled with gourmet cooking, and a visit to our favorite gourmet grocer. The day begins with lattes and a quick breakfast, our simple yet incredibly special morning date.

This dish holds a special place in our hearts because it’s one of the first recipes we cooked together for friends when we were still dating back in the early 2000s in New York City. The rich flavors of mushroom risotto is a classic in the fall and winter season. 

You can never get tired of it.

Shiitake and Crimini Mushroom Risotto: Aphrodisiac in a Dish?

You might be wondering about the cultural and romantic significance of this recipe. While research suggests that some ingredients in mushroom risotto, like garlic and shallots, are considered aphrodisiacs, the real magic lies in the shared experience of cooking and savoring this dish with someone you love. The cozy atmosphere, the irresistible aroma, and the intimacy of preparing a special meal together can make any evening feel like a romantic occasion.

So, whether you’re planning a special weekend, a romantic dinner, a date night, or simply want to elevate your dining experience, our Shiitake and Crimini Mushroom Risotto is the recipe that will transport you to a five-star restaurant right in the comfort of your own home.

Let’s start cookin’!

Step-by-Step Instructions to Cook the Perfect Shiitake & Crimini Mushroom Risotto

Step 1: Keep the Broth Warm

In a medium pot, ensure the broth is gently simmering on low to medium-low heat, ready to infuse your risotto with flavor.

Step 2: The Flavor Begins

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a 12-inch pan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until they turn soft and translucent (about 3-5 minutes). Now, stir in the rice to toast it, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Step 3: A Splash of Elegance

Pour in the white wine and stir as it sizzles and evaporates, introducing a touch of elegance to your risotto.

Step 4: Patient Perfection

It’s time to add the broth ¾ cup at a time. Stir as it simmers and evaporates, then repeat. This patient process transforms your risotto into creamy perfection. Taste it around the 15-minute mark to check for doneness and seasoning.

Step 5: Mushrooms Awaken

While the risotto works its magic, heat up a 10-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When it’s hot, introduce the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and stir. After 3-4 minutes, add garlic and thyme. Watch as the mushrooms awaken with flavor.

Step 6: Creamy Finish

When the risotto is tender and oh-so-creamy, taste it for seasoning, adding a careful pinch of salt and pepper. Now, turn off the heat and introduce 4 tablespoons of butter and ¼ cup of freshly grated parmesan. Gently mix it all together.

Step 7: Mushroom Elegance

Heat up those sautéed mushrooms once more. Remove the thyme sprig, and add 2 tablespoons of butter, stirring until it melts. Your mushrooms are now dressed in elegance.

Step 8: Plate Like a Pro

In a bowl or on a plate, place your creamy risotto at the center. Top it with those delectable mushrooms, sprinkle fresh chives, and be generous with more freshly grated parmesan.

Shiitake & Crimini Mushroom Risotto Recipe Variations

Variation 1: Lemon Asparagus

This variation adds a zesty twist to the classic recipe. Sautéed asparagus is incorporated, bringing a bright, fresh flavor to the creamy risotto. Lemon zest or juice is used to enhance the dish with a citrusy kick, balancing the richness of the other ingredients.

Variation 2: Pumpkin Sage

In this variation, the velvety richness of pumpkin puree combines with the earthy notes of sage. The result is a comforting, autumn-inspired risotto with a creamy texture and a subtle, herby aroma.

Variation 3: Roasted Cherry Tomato

For a burst of sweetness and a hint of tanginess, roasted cherry tomatoes are added to the risotto. The roasting process intensifies their flavor, complementing the creamy base with a delightful contrast.

Variation 4: Crab and Corn

This variation takes a departure from mushrooms and introduces the sweet and succulent flavors of crab and corn. The combination of tender crab meat and sweet corn kernels brings a delightful seafood twist to your risotto.

Variation 5: Saffron

Saffron, known for its distinct and luxurious flavor, is the star of this variation. A pinch of saffron threads infuses the risotto with a golden hue and a subtle, slightly floral taste. It’s a classic choice for those looking for a touch of opulence.

Variation 6: Squid Ink

For a dramatic twist, squid ink is incorporated into the risotto, adding a deep, inky black color and a briny, oceanic flavor. This variation is a unique and adventurous take on traditional risotto.

Chef’s Notes on Shiitake and Crimini Mushroom Risotto

Patience and Stirring: Patience is the key to creating the perfect risotto. It’s not a dish to rush. Stirring continuously is of utmost importance. Don’t leave it unattended. This process, where the rice absorbs liquid gradually, releases starch, and creates that creamy consistency, can’t be rushed. Each addition of broth requires stirring until it evaporates, ensuring a silky texture and full flavor development.

Butter at the End: The addition of butter at the end is a chef’s secret for amping up the flavor and achieving that luxurious, velvety texture. It’s the final touch that adds a rich, indulgent dimension to the dish, making it even more restaurant-quality.

Fresh Grated Parmesan: Freshly grated Parmesan is the ONLY way to go. I always teach my students in my free workshops or inside the Academy this simple tip that makes all the difference, not just for risotto but for everything else. The pre-shredded variety often contains anti-caking agents that can affect the texture of your risotto. Freshly grated Parmesan delivers a creamier, more authentic result.

Saving Broth and Reheating: The golden ratio of 1 part rice to 4 parts broth is a fundamental rule for perfect risotto. You can save any extra broth when making the dish, and it comes in handy when reheating risotto the next day. While it may not be as exquisite as freshly cooked risotto, it still imparts flavor and helps bring new life to your leftovers.

Repurposing Leftovers: If you find yourself with leftover risotto, don’t let it go to waste. One delightful option is making Arancini, those crispy, golden risotto balls. They’re a treat on their own and a creative way to give new life to your risotto.

Story Behind Shiitake and Crimini Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Risotto is not just a delightful dish; it’s the heart of Italian culinary tradition. In Italy, this recipe has deep roots that reach back through generations. It’s a reflection of the Italian way of life, where food isn’t just sustenance but a celebration of culture, family, and love for good flavors.

For centuries, Italians have been perfecting the art of risotto, turning it into a cornerstone of their culinary heritage. It captures the earthy essence of the Italian countryside, where mushrooms are treasured ingredients.

Each region in Italy boasts its own twist on this classic, whether it’s the delicate porcini risotto of the north or the morels and truffle-infused versions of the south.

So, when you prepare Mushroom Risotto, you’re not just cooking a meal; you’re experiencing the heart and soul of Italian tradition, connecting with centuries of passion for good food and the joy of sharing it with loved ones.

Serving Suggestions for Shiitake and Crimini Mushroom Risotto

Side Dishes:

Truffle-Infused Arugula Salad: A delicate arugula salad drizzled with truffle oil and garnished with shaved Parmesan adds a touch of luxury to your Mushroom Risotto.

Herbed Focaccia Bread: Serve warm slices of herbed focaccia, brushed with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt for an artisanal touch.

Grilled Asparagus with Salsa Verde: Tender asparagus spears accompanied by fresh herbs are the perfect indulgence.


Pinot Grigio: with its citrus notes, it a perfect complement to the risotto

Barolo: if you’re in the mood for red wine, it pairs wonderfully with mushrooms.

San Pellegrino Sparkling Water: Sip on San Pellegrino sparkling water served in a chilled glass, complete with a wedge of fresh lime for a refined refreshment.

Aperitif – Aperol Spritz: Start your meal with an Aperol Spritz, a classic Italian aperitif, to set the mood for an exquisite dining experience.


Affogato al Caffe: Conclude your meal with an Affogato al Caffe – a scoop of rich, velvety vanilla gelato drenched in a shot of piping hot espresso.

Pistachio Panna Cotta with Raspberry Coulis: A meticulously crafted Pistachio Panna Cotta topped with a vibrant raspberry coulis is a visual and taste sensation you’d find in the finest Italian restaurants.

Classic Tiramisu: The delicate layers of mascarpone, coffee-soaked ladyfingers, and a dusting of cocoa in Tiramisu provide the perfect sweet counterpoint to the savory depth of Shiitake Mushroom Risotto, making it a classic Italian pairing worth savoring.

Plating and Presentation for Shiitake & Crimini Mushroom Risotto

The Plates

Plate Selection: Start with the right plate. A simple, wide, and shallow bowl or a classic white ceramic plate can make the creamy risotto pop.

Clean Plate: Ensure the plate is clean and free from any spills or smudges. A well-presented dish looks even more appetizing when the plate is spotless.

Dinnerware Choice: Select elegant dinnerware and flatware to complement the presentation. Crisp linen napkins and polished silverware can complete the fine dining experience. Never underestimate the beauty and simplicity of large white dinner plates or pasta bowls. Or if you’re like us, charming vintage china.

The Presentation

Center Stage: Place a generous scoop of Mushroom Risotto in the center of the plate. The creamy texture should naturally spread outward. Then carefully lay the mushrooms on top then….

Garnish with Fresh Herbs: Add a touch of color and freshness by garnishing with fresh herbs like parsley, chives, or basil. The vibrant green against the creamy risotto is visually pleasing. In this recipe, I used fresh chives. Remember to only chop the chives right before serving. This is one thing I won’t mise en place at the beginning because you want them fresh.

Shaved Parmesan: A light scattering of freshly shaved Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese on top of the risotto adds a delightful contrast of colors and flavors.

Mushroom Medley: If you have some sautéed mushrooms left, arrange them on the risotto as a flavorful garnish, creating an appealing focal point.

Drizzle of Truffle Oil: For an extra touch of elegance, drizzle a small amount of truffle oil over the dish. The glossy finish enhances the presentation and adds a layer of aroma.

Use a Ring Mold: If you want to create a structured look, consider using a ring mold. Pack the risotto into the mold and then gently lift it, leaving a neatly shaped risotto mound.

Microgreens: Tiny edible microgreens such as basil, arugula, radish sprouts, or pea shoots can add a touch of elegance and a pop of color when delicately placed around the risotto.

Remember, presentation is an art, and how your Mushroom Risotto looks on the plate can be just as important as how it tastes. Take your time arranging the elements, and let your creativity shine through in the presentation.

What They Always Ask Me about Mushroom Risotto

How do you get it so creamy?

Constant stirring throughout the whole process. Then at the end, when adding the butter and cheese, stir gently and don’t agitate the rice. Just incorporate the ingredients. Be gentle with the rice. Don’t break it.

Is it good for the next day?

You can eat it, but it won’t be as good as fresh. If reheating, save the leftover broth to add to your plate and reheat. Or if you want to try something new, try Arancinis which are risotto balls, fried to a crisp.

Recommended Products to cook Shiitake & Crimini Mushroom Risotto

I like to use Arborio or Carnaroli rice.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

While we don’t recommend having leftovers, if you do, follow these instructions.


Cool Down Quickly: After enjoying your Mushroom Risotto, allow it to cool to room temperature. Don’t leave it out for too long, as it’s a dairy-based dish.

Portion and Package: Divide any leftover risotto into airtight containers or zip-top bags. Smaller portions are easier to reheat.

Refrigerate Promptly: Place the containers in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking. Mushroom Risotto can be stored for up to 3-4 days.


Stovetop: For the best results, reheat Mushroom Risotto on the stovetop. In a saucepan, add a splash of chicken or vegetable broth to prevent it from drying out. 

Heat on low to medium heat, stirring frequently until it reaches the desired temperature. This method helps restore the creamy consistency.

Microwave: If you’re in a hurry, you can use the microwave. Place the risotto in a microwave-safe dish, add a tablespoon of water (or the broth), and cover it. Heat in 30-second intervals, stirring between each round, until it’s hot throughout. Be cautious not to overcook, as it can lead to a loss of creaminess.

Enhance Flavors:

To refresh the flavors, you can add a bit of grated Parmesan, a drizzle of truffle oil, or a few sautéed mushrooms while reheating.

By following these storage and reheating tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your leftover Mushroom Risotto with minimal loss of quality. Remember to cool, store, and reheat it properly to maintain its delightful taste and creamy texture.

People Also Ask


Restaurants achieve that incredibly creamy texture in risotto through a combination of techniques, ingredients, and experience. Here’s how they do it:

Ingredient choice and ratio

Quality Ingredients: Restaurants use high-quality Arborio or Carnaroli rice, known for their starch content, which is essential for creating creaminess. Quality stocks, fresh vegetables, and real butter and cheese contribute to the richness of the dish.

Proper Rice-to-Liquid Ratio: The rice-to-liquid ratio is crucial. Restaurants measure and control the ratio carefully to ensure that the rice absorbs the liquid gradually, releasing starch and creating creaminess. The golden rule: 1 part rice to 4 parts broth.

Cooking Process

Continuous Stirring: We stir the risotto almost constantly during the cooking process. This movement encourages the rice to release its starch, creating the creamy consistency.

Gradual Addition of Liquid: Liquid, typically in the form of warm broth or stock, is added gradually in small amounts. The chef adds just enough liquid to keep the rice moist without drowning it. This slow addition allows the rice to release starch and absorb the liquid effectively.

Sautéing the Rice: Before adding liquid, chefs often sauté the rice in butter or olive oil. This toasts the rice slightly, providing a nutty flavor and helping to seal the grains, which contributes to the creamy texture.

Maintaining Low Heat: Risotto is typically cooked over low to medium heat. This slow and gentle cooking process is essential for the gradual release of starch, ensuring creaminess without overcooking the rice.

Finishing Touches: Just before serving, restaurants often add a touch of butter or grated cheese to enrich the flavor and texture. This step is what makes the risotto truly velvety. DO NOT USE heavy cream. You take away from the authenticity of the dish.

Consistency Checks: Experienced chefs rely on their senses to determine when the risotto is done. They look for the perfect balance between a creamy, yet slightly al dente texture.

Patience: Making risotto is a labor of love and requires patience. The process can take some time, but it’s this dedication that results in the luxurious creaminess we associate with restaurant-quality risotto.

It’s important to note that practice and experience are key in mastering the art of making creamy risotto. Chefs develop a keen sense of timing, knowing precisely when to add more liquid and when the risotto has reached the ideal consistency. So, if you want to replicate restaurant-quality risotto at home, practice and patience are your best allies.


While there isn’t a single “secret” ingredient that universally defines risotto, the magic of this dish largely lies in the combination of key elements and techniques rather than a single hidden ingredient. However, if there’s one element that plays a significant role, it’s the rice itself. The choice of high-starch rice, such as Arborio or Carnaroli, is essential for achieving the creamy texture that’s characteristic of risotto.

These rice varieties have grains with a high starch content, which is released gradually during the cooking process. The starch creates the creaminess as it combines with the cooking liquid and agitates with constant stirring. The choice of rice is crucial in ensuring that the risotto absorbs liquid without becoming mushy, resulting in that creamy yet slightly al dente consistency that is the hallmark of a well-executed risotto.

While the rice is a critical component, it works in harmony with other factors, including the quality of the stock or broth, proper technique, patience, and the addition of flavorful ingredients like sautéed onions, wine, butter, cheese, and seasonings. These elements all come together to create the delicious and creamy risotto we love.


Mushroom risotto is a versatile dish that can be paired with a variety of complementary foods and beverages. Here are some excellent pairings to elevate your mushroom risotto experience:


Grilled or Roasted Chicken: A simple grilled or roasted chicken breast or thigh can provide a protein balance to the creamy risotto.

Pan-Seared Scallops: The delicate sweetness of pan-seared scallops pairs beautifully with the earthy flavors of mushroom risotto.

Seared Steak: A well-seasoned and seared steak, such as a ribeye or NY strip, creates a hearty and satisfying pairing.

Braised Short Ribs: The rich and tender texture of braised short ribs complements the creaminess of the risotto.


Asparagus: Steamed or grilled asparagus spears add a vibrant, fresh element to the dish.

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes: Roasted cherry tomatoes bring a burst of sweetness and acidity to cut through the richness.

Sautéed Spinach: A side of sautéed spinach with garlic and a squeeze of lemon can provide a healthy contrast.

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms: Grilled portobello mushrooms can enhance the mushroom flavor and provide a meaty texture.


White Wine: A crisp Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio complements the creamy risotto with its acidity and citrus notes.

Red Wine: A light and earthy Pinot Noir or Barolo can be a good choice if you prefer red wine.

Sparkling Wine: A glass of sparkling wine like Prosecco can add a touch of elegance and effervescence to the meal.

Mineral Water: A quality still or sparkling mineral water with a wedge of lemon can be a refreshing choice.

Note: Keep the choices Italian, just like how it would be in your favorite Italian restaurant.


Arugula Salad: A simple arugula salad with a lemon vinaigrette offers a peppery contrast to the risotto.

Caprese Salad: A classic Caprese salad with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and balsamic drizzle can add a burst of freshness.


Tiramisu: Conclude your Italian-inspired meal with the classic tiramisu for a perfect finish.

Panna Cotta: A creamy and light panna cotta with berry compote can provide a delightful dessert option.

These pairings can add depth and variety to your mushroom risotto experience, allowing you to customize your meal to your taste and occasion. Whether you prefer a meaty main or a refreshing side, the choices are abundant.


Risotto and plain rice differ in several key aspects:

Type of Rice: The most significant difference is the type of rice used. Risotto is traditionally made with short-grain rice varieties, such as Arborio, Carnaroli, or Vialone Nano. These rice varieties have a high starch content, which is crucial for creating the creamy consistency of risotto. In contrast, plain rice, such as long-grain rice, is low in starch and cooks to a separate, fluffy texture.

Cooking Technique: Risotto is cooked using a specific technique that involves sautéing the rice in butter or olive oil before gradually adding hot liquid (usually broth or stock) while stirring constantly. The slow addition of liquid and constant stirring releases the rice’s starch, creating a creamy, luxurious texture. Plain rice is typically boiled or steamed in water with no additional steps, resulting in individual, separate grains.

Texture and Creaminess: Risotto is known for its creamy, velvety texture, with the rice grains enveloped in a rich sauce. The starch released during cooking contributes to this creaminess. Plain rice, on the other hand, has a more distinct and separate grain structure.

Flavor Infusion: Risotto is highly versatile and often infused with various flavors. It can be prepared with a wide range of ingredients, such as mushrooms, seafood, saffron, or cheese, which are added during the cooking process to create a deeply flavored dish. Plain rice typically has a neutral flavor and serves as a side dish or base for other dishes.

Cultural Origins: Risotto is a traditional Italian dish and is deeply ingrained in Italian cuisine. It has a history dating back centuries and is celebrated for its culinary versatility. Plain rice is a staple in many cuisines around the world, used as a side dish, main course, or ingredient in various dishes.

In summary, the primary differences between risotto and plain rice lie in the choice of rice variety, cooking technique, resulting texture, flavor infusion, and cultural context. Risotto is a creamy, flavorful Italian dish, while plain rice is a versatile staple in global cuisine with a different texture and cooking method.

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Shiitake and Crimini Mushroom Risotto with Aged Parmesan and Chives

  • Author: Rafael Gonzalez
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Indulge in the rich, creamy delight of Shiitake Mushroom Risotto, where earthy shiitake mushrooms harmonize with perfectly cooked Arborio rice, enhanced by the umami essence of Parmesan and the final touch of butter for a restaurant-quality dining experience at home.


Units Scale


  • 3 tb Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup shallots small diced
  • 1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 tb butter
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese



  • 1 pound wild mushrooms sliced and/or quartered
  • 2 tb olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves smashed
  • 2 sprig thyme
  • 2 tb butter


  • Fresh Parmesan for presentation
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Chives finely sliced


  1. In the medium pot have the broth hot, low to medium low heat.
  2. In the 12-inch pan heat to medium heat add 3 tb olive oil, when hot all shallots and cooks till soft/translucent but no color about 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the rice and stir for about 3 minutes to toast the risotto, season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the white wine and stir till it evaporates.
  5. Add the broth ¾ cup at a time, stirring till it evaporates and add more broth and repeat process. Risotto should take about 20 to 25 minutes, taste after 15 minutes to check doneness and seasoning.
  6. While risotto is cooking , heat up 10-inch sauté pan to medium high heat, add 2 tb olive oil and when hot add the mushroom and stir.  Season with salt and pepper.
  7. After 3 to 4 minutes of sauteing the mushrooms add garlic and thyme and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes
  8. When risotto is tender and creamy, taste for salt and pepper(be careful on the salt as parmesan cheese is salty).  Turn of heat and add 4 tb butter and ¼ cup fresh grated parmesan and mix gently.
  9. Heat up Mushrooms again and remove thyme sprig and add 2 tb butter and stir to melt.
  10. In a bowl/plate add the risotto to the center of the plate top with mushrooms, sprinkle chives and add more freshly grated parmesan

Keywords: shiitake mushroom risotto, wild mushroom risotto, shiitake and crimini mushroom risotto, restaurant inspired mushroom risotto, gourmet recipes, five star restaurant recipes

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