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"Magic" Mushroom Brown Rice Risotto

What you need: 

6-8 dried shiitake mushrooms
4 cups water
3 tablespoons vegan margarine (I used Nuttlex)
2 small onions, finely chopped and divided
3-4 large stalks Swiss chard, silverbeet or rainbow chard, finely chopped
1/2 ground walnuts
4 tablespoons tamari, soy sauce or Bragg's, divided
1 1/2 cups brown rice, rinsed well
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white wine (dry, not sweet or too fruity)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 fresh mushrooms, sliced (I used Swiss brown)
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons flour (I used spelt)
1 tablespoon miso (I used brown rice)
salt, to taste
nutritional yeast, to taste, optional

What you do: 

1. Soak the shiitake mushrooms in the water in a saucepan on very low heat until they are soft and the water is brown; this usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes. When the shiitake mushrooms are ready, remove the hard stalks and dice the rest. Reserve the mushroom broth. Heat a pressure cooker on low to medium heat and melt the vegan margarine.
2. Add 1 diced onion and cook until slightly translucent, then add the diced shiitake, chard, ground walnuts and 1 tablespoon tamari. Cook for a few more minutes, then add the rice and garlic, stirring constantly. Saute the rice for around 5 minutes. If you find the rice is sticking, you can add a splash of the wine to help loosen it from the bottom. Next, add the wine and 2 1/2 cups of the warm shiitake broth.
3. Seal the pressure cooker, set it to the highest cooking setting and turn up the heat. When it reaches steaming point, turn down the heat to low and cook for 22 minutes. When the rice is ready, leave it sitting in the pressure cooker with the lid on top until you are ready to add the sauce. I think it works well if the cooked rice is allowed to sit for 5 or 10 minutes with the lid on top, especially if the rice is still slightly on the chewy side.
4. In a frypan, add the vegetable oil and saute the remaining onion for a few minutes. Add the fresh mushrooms, the remaining tamari, and the rest of the herbs and spices, and saute until the mushrooms are slightly brown. Remove pan from heat, and slowly stir in the flour until the mixture is like a paste without lumps.
5. Put back on a very low heat and slowly stir in the rest of the shiitake broth until the sauce reaches a creamy consistency. If it is too thick or thin, adjust accordingly using a touch more flour or a splash water. Turn off the heat and quickly stir in the miso until it has completely dissolved. Finally, pour the sauce into the prepared rice mixture in the pressure cooker, stirring it in gently until it is mixed evenly through. Taste, and adjust seasonings and salt. For serving, sprinkle nutritional yeast on top, if desired.
Et voila! Truly magic mushroom brown rice risotto that will get your tastebuds high! When I made this I wasn't sure of the cooking time in a pressure cooker for a brown rice recipe, so initially I cooked it for 15 minutes, checked the consistency of the rice (too chewy) so I added a dash more water and then put it back on for another 7 minutes.
Source of recipe: This recipe was based on bits and pieces of a handful of recipes that I played with as I went along. In particular, the sauce was modified from the Mighty Miso Gravy from Tanya Barnard's and Sarah Kramer's fail safe vegan cookbook How it all Vegan!

Preparation Time: 
40 minutes, Cooking time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 
25 minutes


I just checked this recipe and realised that you only need 3 and a half cups of water and should only add 2 cups of the shitake
broth to the rice, NOT 2 and half cups. Also, when you take the pressure cooker off the heat, use the slow release method and
let it sit for at least fifteen minutes before opening. This should leave it still slightly chewy but not too wet. I think the type of brown
rice you use can affect the end product so experiment and adjust if needed. The key to this is the final saucce/gravy which makes
it so tasty!

If you try it and have any suggestiond etc please let me know!

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