This Japanese-style risotto is vegan and gluten-free and doesn’t use wine, but more importantly, it’s also filling and delicious and a super comforting way to warm up on a chilly evening!
Kabocha is a Japanese variety of squash, and I decided to use it for this risotto recipe as it’s sweeter than pumpkin or butternut squash and has a silkier texture, meaning it adds the creamy texture to risotto that butter and cheese normally does.
I’ve added edamame (which are packed full of healthy protein) and chestnuts because they’re in keeping with the Japanese theme of the dish, and their flavour compliments the richness of the kabocha well.
I’ve also added soy sauce, which may seem a little out of place in a risotto, but it actually goes remarkably well with the other flavours in the dish. I got the idea to add it because in Japan, kabocha is traditionally cooked with soy sauce and sugar. I’ve also added miso because it works really well as a stock for vegan dishes!
You can find edamame and chestnuts in the frozen food aisle of most supermarkets.
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d love for you to take a photo and tag it #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! It would really make my day to see what you come up with!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 small kabocha squash
- Handful of edamame
- Handful of chestnuts
- 1 heaped teaspoon miso (ensure gluten-free if necessary or sub vegetable stock)
- 1 ½ cups of risotto rice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari if gluten-free)
- Heat the olive oil in a shallow, wide-bottomed pan with a lid
- Add onions and garlic once the oil is hot and fry until they’re soft and slightly browned
- Meanwhile, cut the kabocha into small pieces (keeping the skin on)
- Place the kabocha pieces into a separate pan, cover with water, and boil for 15 minutes (or until soft)
- Once the kabocha has cooked, drain it (you can keep the water the kabocha was boiled in to add to the risotto later), peel off the skin, cut it into cubes and leave it to the side
- Add the rice, edamame, chestnuts, stock cube and soy sauce to the onions and garlic in the other pan and add enough water to cover everything
- Keep stirring the rice as it cooks, adding more water when necessary. It’s important to keep stirring as this releases the starch from the rice, which makes the creamy texture of risotto
- Add the kabocha cubes towards the end and mix together – don’t worry if some of the pieces get broken up, this is what makes the dish colourful!
- Once you think the rice is as soft or as hard as you want it to be, turn off the heat and leave the pan with the lid on for five minutes before serving