What Are the Best Tips for Making Shrimp Risotto?

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  • Written By: M.R. Anglin
  • Edited By: S. Pike
  • Last Modified Date: 02 June 2020
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One of the best actions a person can take when making shrimp risotto is to use the proper kind of rice. The rice should then be toasted before liquid is added. Since the flavor is concentrated as the risotto cooks, it is often recommended that the liquid being used, often stock, has a milder flavor. The stock should also be preheated to a simmer before being added to the rice. Lastly, a person should make every effort to make sure the shrimp is not overcooked.

The star ingredient of shrimp risotto, the shrimp, is a quick-cooking ingredient, so care should be taken to cook it properly. If it is overcooked, the shrimp could become rubbery instead of being tender. Many recipes require cooking the shrimp first, removing it from the heat, and then returning it to the almost finished risotto to be reheated. Another method is to add the raw shrimp to the rice when the risotto is finished. In either case, whole shrimp is finished when the meat has turned pink and the tail springs back when pulled.

As with most risotto, the key to a good shrimp risotto is in the rice. Short-grain rice should be used to make this dish. This type of rice has more starch, and the starch is what develops the risotto's creamy texture. In the United States, arborio rice is often readily available, but there are also other varieties such as carnaroli and vialone nano. Long-grain rice should not be used for this dish because it does not contain enough starch to achieve the proper consistency.

Many shrimp risotto recipes also include toasting the rice in olive oil before any liquid is added. This process coats the rice in the oil and gives it a barrier that prevents the liquid from getting into the rice too quickly. Without this step, the risotto could end up being soggy rather than creamy. Preheated liquid, often kept at a simmer before being added, should also be added slowly to the rice — about ½ cup at a time. No more liquid should be added to the risotto until the previous dose has been absorbed.

The creaminess of a shrimp risotto recipe is also dependent on the stirring method used. Once liquid is added, the risotto should be stirred often, if not continuously. Stirring the risotto allows the starch to come out of the rice and thicken the recipe. In addition, the rice used should not be washed before use since washing can remove the starch that is necessary for the desired texture. When the risotto is finished, it may be best to serve it immediately on preheated plates.


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