Smoked Salmon Risotto



by Cat, Nov 2007 (photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

See also: 1. Basic Risotto2. Sides & Condiments Menu3. White Rice; 4Brown Rice;

I don’t know what it is about salmon and vodka together, but it is definitely a good marriage. Some time ago, I found what seemed like a great recipe for salmon & vodka risotto, but by the time I got around to wanting to make it, I couldn’t find it.  In the process of trying to find another one, I happened upon this one.

The salmon used in this recipe is cold-smoked, such as lox or gravlax. I don’t recommend using hot-smoked salmon as its smokey flavor is too strong for this dish.

Risotto is a creamy and slightly chewy, nearly orgasmic rice dish. Traditionally it is made with the Spanish Arborio rice, a short-grain rice. Today it is most commonly made with white Arborio (or other white short-grain rice), but it is far more healthful if you use brown Arborio. However, I advise pre-soaking it for at least 7 hours or overnight, to maximize its nutritional value and shorten the longer cooking time required for brown rice. See Pre-Soaking Brown Rice for details.

Smoked Salmon Risotto

This recipe is adapted from Three Monkeys Online (1), and serves 4. I’ve not yet tried this.

The recipe is written for white Arborio rice; if you want to use brown Arborio, see instructions for Pre-Soaking Brown Rice to maximize nutritional value and shorten the otherwise lengthened cooking time required for brown rice.


Ingredients & Equipment:

Lox (on bagels)

Lox (on bagels)

(Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)


  1. Prep: Prepare mineral vegetable broth (you may omit the turnips and parsnips if you prefer). Alternately you can use fish stock or potato peel broth.
  2. Cut the salmon into thin strips.
  3. Cook: Heat butter in a cast iron or other heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat.  Stir in chopped onion and rice grains until well coated with the butter, and crispy. Add brandy or vodka and let it evaporate.
  4. Add hot broth,one ladle-full at a time (¼ – ⅓ cup to a ladle-full) to the rice mixture, waiting after each addition for the liquid to be absorbed while stirring vigorously.  When it is nearly done, taste it until the right consistency.  Adjust the seasoning.
  5. Turn off the heat and add the salmon right before ready to serve. Let the salmon and rice rest for a few minutes, off the heat.

Assembly or Serving Suggestions

  • Garnish with chopped flat (Italian) parsley
  • Add blanched green peas with the salmon.


  1. Three Monkeys Online recipe (

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