The Triforce, Divine Beasts, and Good Ol’ Mushroom Risotto
Mushroom risotto is a classic Italian recipe that Link can whip up in Breath of the Wild. All you need for this meal in-game is a mushroom, Hylian rice, goat butter, and rock salt in a wok over a campfire. The dish is plated with the risotto rice on the left side of the plate in an omelette shape, one large uncut mushroom resting at the top center of the plate, smaller uncut mushrooms dispersed around the plate, and fresh herbs laying under the large mushroom and on the right side of the plate.
This recipe will not recreate the in-game recipe in terms of identical ingredients or aesthetics. Instead, I’m going try to teach you some risotto fundamentals and how to make what I imagine the mushroom risotto in BotW should taste like. Also I just really enjoy making and eating this dish.
What Exactly is a Risotto?
Topping and seasoning-wise, a risotto is a very versatile and riffable base for a delicious side dish. You can even use leftover risotto to make arancini — a fresh mozzarella ball covered in risotto, fried in an egg dip and panko like fancy mozzarella sticks. But in order to get creative with this dish, you need to understand the foundation of what a risotto is and how to make one for yourself.
A risotto is a creamy, Northern Italian dish made by cooking a high-starch, short-grain rice in cooking liquid like stock or seasoned water. The creamy texture, type of rice, and use of stock are generally what differentiates a risotto from a rice bowl or something served over rice.
Your main goal when making a risotto is to sweat some variety of allium, add the rice, deglaze with white wine, add parmesan cheese, then slowly stir in small amounts of your cooking liquid until the rice has absorbed the liquid to the point of creaminess and doubling in size.
Since I love mushrooms and mushroom risotto makes an appearance in BotW, we will be adding herbed and sautéed mushrooms to this lovely risotto recipe.
Fancy Cooking Terms
- Allium ~ A family of plants that includes garlic, onions, scallions, shallots, leeks, and chives.
- Sweat ~ To gently heat vegetables in oil or butter over a low heat to release the juices, but not add color to the ingredients.
- Deglaze ~ To heat a liquid, typically wine, in order to thicken the consistency and strengthen the flavor by evaporating excess liquid and/or cooking off any alcohol.
- Sauté ~ Using a higher heat in a shallow pan with oil or fat to quickly cook and add color to ingredients.
- Chiffonade ~ A technique used to prepare larger leafed herbs in which you stack the leaves into a pile, roll them up like a tiny burrito, and cut from end to end to create little ribbons of herb about the width of a typical shoelace.
- Mise en place ~ Your set up or your workspace layout.
- Al dente ~ Dente as in dentist as in teeth. “Toothsome” is the typical English translation of al dente. It means cooking rice or pasta to the point where it is somewhat pliable, but not overly soft/mushy/overcooked. The pasta or rice shouldn’t have any hard crunch to it. It should be bendy with a slight firmness.
Breath of the Wild Mushroom Risotto: The Recipe
Note: This is a medium difficulty recipe. IT’S NOT EASY. No shade, we all start somewhere, but if you are the kind of person who does not know that you need to add water to the pot when making pasta, this recipe might not be for you (presently).
That being said, baking is like making art you can eat, cooking is the most basic way to tell someone you want them to keep living, and great cooking is the most basic way to tell someone you want them to keep living, and you want them to enjoy it — so perhaps try stepping out of your comfort zone with this recipe! You might surprise yourself with what you can do.
To make things a little easier on you, I’m going to separate the instructions and ingredients for the risotto from the mushrooms. That way if the risotto part doesn’t pan out, your mushrooms should come out just fine and you can have them over plain rice or in another dish. And this way you can just follow the risotto instructions if you want it plain, to make arancini, or to add something besides mushrooms to it.
Makes four small or three medium bowls. Gluten free. Can be made vegan, and/or alcohol free. Takes about an hour to make, start to finish. This is not a set it and forget it recipe — you’ll need to stir a lot.
- Stove top with at least two burners, preferably three
- Wooden spoon (as recommended by Gennaro Contaldo in this video)
- Sauté pan or skillet
- Medium saucepan
- Large, walled saucepan or wok
- Chef’s knife and cutting board
- Measuring tools
- 3 cups (710ml) stock or water with salt and black or white pepper
- 2 small shallots, minced
- 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup (60ml) Sauvignon Blanc, or substitute with 2 tablespoons (30ml) lemon juice
- 1 cup (230g) high-starch, short-grain rice (I like arborio or carnaroli)
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) unsalted butter or butter substitute
- 1/2 cup (1.75oz or 50g) parmesan or parmigiano reggiano, finely grated
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons (20ml) fresh basil, which you’ll want to chiffonade for presentation
- Salt and pepper to taste
Herbed, Sautéed Mushroom Ingredients
- 8oz (225g) your favorite mushrooms (I like to get a blend of wild mushrooms)
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil
- 2 teaspoon (10g) dried oregano
- 2 teaspoon (10g) dried basil leaf
- 1 teaspoon (5g) red pepper flake
- Salt and pepper to taste
La Mise en Place (The Set Up)
- First, put your stock or water in your medium saucepan on high heat and leave to warm up. Continue the recipe as the water heats up, but make sure it’s at least almost boiling before adding ingredients. You want the heat of the water to help cook the rice.
- Next, coat the sauté pan or skillet with 2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil and set to medium heat.
- Coat large saucepan or wok with 1 tablespoon (15ml) olive oil and allow 2 tablespoons (30ml) unsalted butter or butter substitute to melt on medium-low heat. Add your shallots and garlic. You want to stir them occasionally until they become somewhat transparent.
- So your mise en place (set up) should look like three different pans warming up to three different temperatures. One with a lot of liquid, one with some oily, buttery minced shallots and garlic, and one with just a bit of oil.
- Now in the sauté pan or skillet, add your mushrooms, dried herbs and seasoning. If your oil is up to temperature, you should hear some sexy sizzling upon adding the shrooms.
- Don’t stir the mushrooms right away. You want to leave them be for a little bit so they can develop color before you stir to coat them completely in oily, herbaceous goodness.
- Sauté until they reduce in size, become softened, and develop a golden brown color.
- Bring the mushrooms to a very low heat or cover and set aside. Congrats! You made herbed and sautéed mushrooms!
- While your mushrooms are still sizzling, add the rice to the largest pan. Give it a little mix to get it acquainted with the buttery, oily garlic and shallots and let the rice toast there for a bit.
- After a few minutes, when it’s time to stir the mushrooms, add the white wine or lemon juice to the rice mixture and let most of the liquid absorb or evaporate.
- Add your parmesan at this point and stir until a loose sauce with rice in it forms. If you’re making a vegan risotto, I would recommend adding something like the zest of a lemon or more white wine and butter substitute just to reinforce the creamy, lightly acidic flavor and texture you might be missing from the parmesan in this recipe.
- Begin adding small amounts of your heated stock or seasoned water, stirring the rice almost constantly.
- Throw in the fresh parsley.
- When you can drag your wooden spoon across the bottom of the pan to leave a trail without any liquid following your spoon, add in a little more liquid.
- Continue adding liquid and stirring until you run out of liquid. Your rice should have just about doubled in size by now. Ideally, you want the rice to be somewhat creamy, but al dente.
Putting It All Together
- Stir the mushrooms into the risotto until they are evenly dispersed.
- Turn off any burners you are no longer using.
- Cut your fresh basil into ribbons (chiffonade).
- Divide the mushroom risotto into bowls or portions and garnish with the basil chiffonade. You want to add the fresh basil last because fresh basil leaves can wilt and blacken when exposed to heat.
- Take that ‘gram and dig in! You made a gotdang mushroom risotto! Look at you go!
Thanks so much for reading my recipe. I would love to see comments or photos if anyone makes this delicious dish or if you have risotto tips! Please leave them here on this article or, though I’m not particularly active, you can reach me on Twitter @its_exar.
For more Breath of the Wild content, check out this article ranking every NPC in the game.