3 Types of Rice You Should Use to Make Risotto

3 Types of Rice You Should Use to Make Risotto


Risotto is so comforting yet elegant at the same time. I love that you can make it with virtually any kind of stock or broth you have on hand, stir in whatever vegetables you like, and top it with anything from roasted shrimp to big shavings of Parmesan cheese. But the rice? Buying the right kind is key — here’s what you need to know!

Why Rice Is So Important in Risotto

Risotto, at its most basic, is rice cooked in broth. Rice is the star here because it produces starch — the constant stirring during the cooking process rubs the starch off the surface of the rice, where it dissolves into and thickens the cooking liquid. Choosing a rice that doesn’t have enough starch means that the hallmark creamy texture of a good risotto will never be achieved.

So what makes a good risotto rice? Look for rice that’s short- to medium-grain in size, plump, and has a high amylopectin (starch) content. These types of rice also hold up well to the constant stirring — the final texture is soft, but has a slight chew at the center of each grain.

The 3 Most Popular Types of Risotto Rice

Sometimes packages are just labeled “risotto rice,” which is an easy way to find the right kind. Otherwise, here are the three most popular kinds of rice for risotto.

1. Carnaroli

Carnaroli by Clove n Honey Brisbane

Called the “king” or “caviar” of risotto rice, chefs like to use this one for its great flavor and because each grain maintains its shape. It also produces the creamiest risotto and is more forgiving to cook with.

2. Arborio

Arborio by Clove n Honey Brisbane

This variety of rice is not as starchy as carnaroli, but it is the most widely available. This medium-grain rice can be easy to overcook or turn mushy, but with careful attention, can still make a great risotto.

3. Vialone Nano

Vialone Nano by Clove n Honey Brisbane

This shorter-grain rice is grown in the Veneto region of Italy and cannot be grown with chemicals. It has a high starch content, cooks up more quickly than carnaroli, and yields very creamy risotto.

There are other harder-to-find types of risotto rice — such as baldo, cal riso, and maratelli — that are great options, too. You may see superfino, semifino, and fino on packages of risotto rice, but they only refer to the width of the grains, not quality.

Source: thekitchn.com


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