Asian Fusion Bamboo Risotto

Asian Fusion Bamboo Risotto Recipe

Bamboo shoots are young, crisp and tender. They have a similar texture to asparagus, but a very different flavor. I've been thinking a lot lately about how to take a traditional risotto and make an Asian fusion version, and it occurred to me that bamboo would be an excellent flavor to add to the dish.

The basics of the risotto are still the same. A little oil, arborio rice, broth, and a vegetable.  I didn't put cheese because I was making an Asian version, and I added some turmeric and paprika for color.  The dish is finished with some red chili oil and fresh cilantro.


Yields: 4

2 Tbs peanut oil
2 Tbs unsalted butter
1 smal shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup melon-seed-shaped pasta
3/4 cup arborio rice
2 1/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth, warm
1 1/2 tsp fleur de sel, or regular sea salt
1 Tbs garlic powder
1 tsp paprika powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 cup bamboo shoots, marinated
1/4 cup baby bamboo, fresh
1 tsp black peppercorns, freshly ground
2 Tbs fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 Tbs red chili cotton seed oil


In a deep saucepan, heat some oil and cook the shallot until it is golden, then saute the bamboo shoots for about 2 minutes. Transfer the shallot and bamboo shoots on a plate and set aside.

Pour more oil to the saucepan and saute the baby bamboo. Transfer to another plate and set aside.

In the same saucepan, add a tablespoon of butter and wait until it bubbles. Add the garlic until light golden, then add the pasta and rice. The butter should coat all the grains. Pour 1 cup of broth and stir constantly.

After bringing the liquid to a boil, add turmeric, paprika and garlic powders, then lower the heat to medium low for about 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and add the sliced baby bamboo. Check the liquid and periodically add 1/4 cup of stock when all the liquid is absorbed.  Let simmer for another 15 minutes

When rice is almost cooked, add bamboo shoots and remaining butter. Adjust seasonning with salt and pepper.

Garnish with the sauteed baby bamboo. Drizzle some red chili cotton seed oil and sprinkle cilantro before serving.

Bon appétit!


I think mixing macaroni to the arborio rice brings a lot more starch. The most similar shaped pasta to arborio rice is the melon seed shaped one. I buy the Mexican brand, El Mexicano "Semillas". It is sold in a 7 oz pack.

Coating each grain in butter prevents them from sticking to one another.

You can also use chicken broth, which is actually the more standard way of preparing risotto. My hubby is a vegetarian so I use vegetable broth.

It's important to pour ladleful of warm stock. The key is to incremently pour the liquid and never let the dish dry out, it would burn the rice at the bottom.

For this dish, I used exactly 2 1/4 cups of broth. The quantity of liquid may vary depending on the heat of the stove and how long you're cooking the rice. At the end, I let it simmer uncovered, sometimes adding another 1/4 cup of liquid until I achieve the right consistency and level of doneness. I like the rice al dente, not all mushy.

The bamboo shoots are sold in sealed package in their juice.

The bamboo shoot strips are sold fresh in any Asian market. They are usually in buckets of water.

If you can't find red chili cotton seed oil, you can substitute with roasted sesame oil if you like.

If you're interested in more fusion recipes, check out my tarte tatin de petits oignons perlés à  l'Indienne.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on February 13, 2009.



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