Fresh, flavourful and simple to make too. This perfectly cooked crab risotto with asparagus is light, creamy (without the addition of cream), has just enough bite and bright citrus notes to it.
Why I Love Risotto
- great for dinner parties
- feeds a crowd
- the basis of risotto is cheap to make
- so versatile
It's no secret that I'm a fan of risotto. Once you have made it a few times you realise it's not as hard or as scary as many people think. It's a great dish to serve on a cooler evening in front of the fire or like this crab risotto uses lighter more delicate flavours and it's a perfect appetizer with a nice cold glass of white wine!
I often serve risotto as an appetizer when we have guests over for dinner. There is minimal preparation involved in the kitchen and there is always a wow factor to homemade risotto. I like this crab risotto as crab has a certain stature to it but you can
How To Make Risotto
Once you have mastered risotto you will never look back and I can guarantee you this delicious crab risotto will become a firm favourite in your home year-round. Beautiful salinity from fresh crab meat, bright spring flavours from asparagus and chives it's a dish that I just keep coming back to time and time again.
The basis of making risotto is actually very simple. Like any recipe gather your ingredients, make sure your surfaces are clean and read the recipe - full instructions in the recipe card below.
- Fry your onion/shallots with garlic on low to medium heat
- Next, add your rice and toast it slightly - literally cook it for 2 minutes
- Once the rice has been toasted add your white wine and cook it on medium-high heat until the alcohol has evaporated
- Next, gradually add your stock (make sure it's hot) one ladle at a time.
This is the basis of making any risotto and if you follow these simple instructions then you can master the simplest and fanciest risottos out there 😉
TOP TIP - makes sure your stock is simmering in a separate saucepan so that your temperature doesn't drop when cooking
Tips, Tricks & FAQ's
Risotto can seem quite daunting to make but here are my top tips and answers to some questions I have been asked. Follow these and you will perfect my crab risotto in no time!
- prepare all your ingredients - unless you have made a dish loads of times it's always best to start with having everything prepared so you remain calm and organised in the kitchen
- have your stock simmering in a seperate pan - this helps the risotto maintain a high temperature
- cook your risotto on medium-high heat. This speeds up the process so you don't overwork the rice
- don't overwork the rice - stirring is necessary but don't spend the whole time stirring as the more you do the more gluten you release
- Add butter & parmesan at the end. When the risotto is just about done, remove it from the heat and add grated parmesan and butter and stir it in. DON'T try thicken your sauce by adding tons of cheese as the cheese will split leaving you with an oily mess
- it's not porridge so leave just a slight bite to the rice
You sure can - in fact I would say 99% of restaurants worldwide do. They cook the risotto rice about 1/3 of the way and then remove it and lay it flat on large trays making a crisis cross design (this helps to cool it quicker). Once ready to serve add it to your pan with hot stock and finish it. Simples!
Of course - there is an old saying fresh is best BUT it's not always feasible because of time of year, budget or where you live. For a 100% authentic crab risotto I would advise using fresh crab meat but I would be lying if I said I didn't substitute sometimes 😉
You sure can. The addition of wine is to add acidity and a little extra flavour. We actually burn/cook off the alcohol so no fear of getting your kid drunk but you can either add a little dry vermouth instead or leave it out totally. I would add a splash of vinegar or maybe a little extra lemon juice for that acidity kick
Ideally not. The texture of the rice isn't great after being frozen BUT it won't hurt you to do so. If you make too much either use it for lunch the next day, freeze it for a family meal the next day OR roll it into small balls and freeze it. Then you can defrost, breadcrumb it and fry up some crab risotto arancini.
Risotto Wine Pairing
Wine is used in both the making and consumption of risotto - the wine being equally as important as the food in my home 😉
I've been fortunate enough to taste a number of wines from Journeys End & Mount Rozier in South Africa and have been blown away by the range. From everyday drinking Chardonnay, delightful Chenin Blancs to bigger & boulder Bordeaux blend reds.
My crab risotto has been prepared, cooked and consumed with the Mount Rozier 2021 Beekeeper Chenin Blanc and what a pairing it turned out to be! The lovely citrus notes in the Chenin elevated the fresh crab meat and the salinity in the dish also pairs beautifully with the acidity in the wine. This wine is one that is perfect drunk ice-cold on a warm day at a picnic or in your backyard but has enough going on that when drunk with my delicious crab risotto there is perfect balance and harmony to it. Neither wine nor food overpowers one another and you are able to just kick back and enjoy two wonderfully made things!
Alternative Risotto Dishes
Inspired by my crab risotto and reckon you can nail other tasty risotto recipes? Glad to hear it! Check out these dishes on my website and other foodies to get you inspired!
Prawn and Tomato Risotto w/ Miso Butter by Yours Truly
Porcini Mushroom Risotto w/ Scallops by Etienne Karner of 'Between 2 Kitchens'
Pumpkin Pork Risotto by Yours Truly
Pea & Bacon Risotto by Yours Truly
Happy Cooking & Happy Eating Friends!!
- 200 g crab meat
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 100 g butter split 75g/25g
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- 75 ml white wine
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 2 tbsp chives – chopped
- 75 g shallots
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 lemon zested
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pinch salt
- Chef Knives
- Chopping board
- Measuring utensils
- high sided frying pan
- wooden spoon/spatula
- Chop asparagus stems into 1cm pieces leaving the tips whole (about 2-3 inches)
- In a bowl toss the asparagus tips in 1 tbsp oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice and salt. Set aside in the fridge
- Finely dice the shallots and crush the garlic
- Have your stock heated in a saucepan ready to go (see tips)
- In a high sided pan heat 25g butter and 2 tbsp olive oil, cook the shallots and garlic on medium heat for 2 minutes
- Add rice cooking for a further 2 minutes (stirring regularly)
- Pour in the white wine, increase the heat to high and cook off the wine – approx. 1 minute
- Add 1 ladle of vegetable stock to risotto stirring gently until almost all the stock has been absorbed, repeat until you only have 1 ladle of stock left
- One you add the last ladle of stock add the asparagus stems to the risotto and cook until ½ the stock has been absorbed.
- Turn the heat down to low and stir in the remaining 75g butter, parmesan cheese and crab meat
- Serve with marinated asparagus tips, fresh chives and a little parmesan cheese
- cook risotto on high heat so it absorbs the liquid quickly - this helps the rice to retain its structure better
- stir your risotto to stop it from sticking but be careful not to overwork the rice as this will release more starch making the risotto gummy and also break the grains down. High heat is the key!
- i always make a little extra stock just in case. You need to taste the rice for doneness as it may take a little more/less liquid. Properly cooked risotto will taste slightly al dente.
- risotto can be made in advance. Cook the risotto about ½ way, remove and spread it thinly onto a baking tray making a criss-cross pattern to allow the heat to leave. Reheat it exactly as you would cook it