China meets Italy in this delicious and fun recipe, easy enough to make on a weeknight but oh, so sophisticated!
Risotto is a classic northern Italian dish, usually prepared with meat, fish or vegetable stock, but here the trick is to swap stock for freshly brewed pu-erh tea. The tea’s earthy, woodsy notes pair perfectly with Gruyere cheese. Don’t skip the wine; it gives that subtle acidity that balances the creaminess of the final dish.
- 5 cups water
- 2 heaping tablespoons Numi loose-leaf Emperor's Pu·erh tea
- 5 spring onions, plus more for serving
- 1 cup Arborio or other risotto rice
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 cup finely grated Gruyere cheese
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring 5 cups water to a boil. Turn off the heat and steep pu-erh tea for 10 minutes, covered. Strain and set tea leaves aside. If you need more tea for this recipe or if you are doubling the recipe, you can re-steep the same leaves once more. Keep tea warm on a low heat.
- Finely chop spring onions. In a large skillet, sauté spring onions in extra virgin olive oil. When they are tender, add the rice and stir on high heat for a couple of minutes until evenly coated in oil. Add the wine and stir until evaporated.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add just enough tea to cover the rice, stir, then add one ladleful of tea at a time, waiting until the rice absorbs it before adding more. Stir vigorously. This helps the starch from the rice to be released and makes risotto creamier. It will take between 15-20 minutes.
- Check if rice is done and season to taste with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat, add butter and Gruyere cheese (reserving 2 tablespoons for garnishing) and mix thoroughly. Cover and let stand for a couple of minutes to allow the cheese and butter to melt completely and the flavors to mingle. Sprinkle with the reserved grated Gruyere cheese and sliced spring onions.
- Serve and enjoy!