Have you heard of black garlic before? I first heard about them from an instant ramen noodle. An instant ramen brand, Nissan Demae Ramen is the most popular ramen brand in Hong Kong. A few years ago, they have started to sell a ramen with black garlic oil tonkotsu flavour. I was drawn to black garlic ever since.
These black looking garlic cloves are actually regular garlic that have been fermented at high heat for a few weeks. They are not as scary as you may think. They don’t have a funky taste like kimchi. I took a bite out of a raw black garlic clove. It was sweet and soft, and very much taste like balsamic vinegar with a mild garlic taste.
When Melissa’s Produce sent me a few black garlic bulbs, I was over the top. Finally, I can try the black garlic that aren’t in a ramen seasoning packet. The garlic came nicely sealed in a little package. There were about 2 bulbs in a package. The best thing is that they can be stored at room temperature for up to 6 months, so I don’t have to rush and finish using them in a short amount of time. But I am sure that they will be still be getting into all the savory dishes that I made. 🙂
The very first black garlic dish that I made is this black garlic and mushroom risotto. Garlic and mushroom always go well together, so I knew black garlic would fit in very well too. The complex flavors of the black garlic gave the risotto sweetness, garlic flavors and a hint of tanginess. Combine with the meaty and earthy mushrooms and a dollop of creamy mascarpone cheese, this risotto came out to be the best risotto I have ever made. I can’t wait to make this again very soon! Enjoy!
Black Garlic and Mushroom Risotto
– 4 – 4½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
– 2 tablespoons butter (divided)
– 1 tablespoon olive oil (divided)
– ½ small sweet onion (finely diced)
– 3 black garlic cloves (chopped and divided)
– 1 cup Arborio rice
– 1/3 cup dry white wine
– 6 ounces assorted mushrooms (shiitake, oyster, cremini)
– 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
– ½ cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
– 4 chives (finally chopped)
- For the mushrooms, wipe clean with paper towels. Remove the stems (only for shiitake and cremini) and reserve the stems for broth. Slice the mushrooms into ¼-inch strips and set aside.
- In a small pot over medium heat, combine the vegetable broth and mushroom stems. Bring to a simmer. Reduce to low heat to keep hot.
- In a large heavy pan over medium-high heat, heat the 1 tablespoon butter and ½ tablespoon olive oil. Stir in the onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add 2 chopped black garlic cloves. Stir for 1-minute. Add rice and stir continuously until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the white wine and cook until all liquid almost evaporated. Reduce heat to medium, add ¾ cup of vegetable broth. Season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add another ½ cup of broth and stir until most of the liquid is absorbed. Repeat this process until the risotto is creamy and the rice is al dente, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium pan over medium heat, heat the rest of the butter and oil. Add the mushroom and season with salt. Cook and stir occasionally, until the mushroom are slightly golden brown, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside. Season with more salt if needed.
- Back to the risotto, add the cooked mushrooms. Stir in the mascarpone, parmesan cheese and 1 chopped black garlic clove. Season with salt and pepper and adjust to your own taste. Transfer to servings plates. Top with extra parmesan cheese and chives. Serve immediately.
- Black garlic can be bought from online store, like Melissa’s Produce.
- If you can’t find the mushrooms I suggested, use portobello or any other flavorful mushrooms. I will avoid white button mushroom, because they don’t have much flavors.
- Always go for low-sodium broth. You can always add more salt, but you can never take salt out. If you can’t find low-sodium vegetable broth, use low-sodium chicken broth instead.
- Bryan doesn’t like al dente rice, so I usually cook my risotto a bit longer, about 3 – 4 minutes extra.
(Inspired by The Kitchn)