Italian Seafood Risotto

Presented by Swiss hobby chef Urs Heggli and his two pretty assistances

Luxury version of a Italian staple


I like to share a wonderful recipe, easy to prepare and guaranteed to earn you full marks as chef. I prepared and served it as starter earlier this week during a dinner among friends at home. I practiced the cooking three days before. I had to make sure I got it right because one of the guests was not an ordinary guest it was the highly acclaimed chef Mr. Lee Man Fai “A-Kei” , author of several popular Chinese cook books and executive chef of Fu Ka Restaurant in Quarry Bay Hong Kong.

It is an original Italian Risotto recipe. It appeals to both Chinese- and Western palates … and bound to make every oversea Italian homesick! Serve it in small portions nicely decorated as starter together with a good dry white wine.
Buon appetito! Happy times!


  • 250g risotto rice (i.e. Arborio, available in City Super etc.)
  • 1 liter of chicken, fish or vegetable stock (you may not need all of it)
  • 1/2 can California Mexico or TellMama South African abalone
  • 10 fresh shrimps
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic


  • 1 knob of butter
  • 30g extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic
  • 1 glass dry white wine
  • the brine of the abalone


  • sea salt (careful, the brine is salty)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • nutmeg
  • a little dry white wine
  • a pinch of saffron (to colour the rice yellow)
  • 1 knob of butter


Remove impurities but do not wash the rice. Boil the shrimp, remove heads and shells. Dice the abalone into about 1cm big pieces. Finely chop the onion, garlic and parsley. Add the brine of the abalone to the stock. Season the stock well. Open the white wine and keep ready


  • Heat up and keep the stock hot
  • In a separate pan (i.e. wok) heat the olive oil and butter, addthe finely chopped onions and garlic and fry them slowly without colouring for a short while
  • Add the rice, turn up the heat and stir. After a minute the rice will look slightly translucent. Do not burn it!
  • Add the wine — it will smell fantastic — and keep stirring
  • Once the wine has cooked into the rice, pour in enough hot stock that the rice is just covered
  • Turn down the heat and let the rice simmer. Too much heat will over-cook the outside of the rice
  • Keep adding stock, stir well and allow each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next
  • Towards the end add the shrimps, the diced abalone and saffron
  • Carry on adding stock until the rice is soft but with a slight bite
  • Check the seasoning, add a little wine and the butter


  • Prepare small individual portions
  • Decorate with the finely chopped parsley
  • Serve as soon as possible so that the rice retains its texture


  • The rice is important; it should not be of the pre-cooked variety
  • Real risotto should be cooked “al dente” i.e. retain some bite and never be mushy or sticky
  • The risotto should still be wet when served
  • Italians don’t add cheese to seafood risotto

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