Creamy salmon risotto with fresh fish, dill and Parmesan, incredibly delicious and very easy to make. An elegant dish fit for guests.
Risotto is one of my favorite ways of cooking a rice dish. And this salmon risotto is one of my favorite risotto recipes. It is everything a risotto should be: a delicate, elegant dish, suitable for a regular or a more fancy dinner with guests. It is full of flavor, filling and makes a small amount of fresh salmon go a long way.
And the best thing about the recipe? Despite the constant-stirring requirements of most risotto dishes, you will not have to stir continuously here. Truth be truth: any chef will tell you have to, but if I had to, I would probably give up cooking risotto... I just don't have the patience!
I've cooked a continuously-stirred risotto a couple of time. Just to see the difference. I never did notice any difference, so I gave up. I stir often, but don't stress myself anymore. Maybe an expert would be able to taste the difference, but nobody else would probably do. Everybody who ever tasted any of my risottos just loves them, despite the “not-continuous-stirring” part.
What do you need?
- Fresh or frozen and defrosted salmon.
- I usually have Arborio rice, it is easily available here and it has a reasonable price.
- But any other brand of risotto rice you like is fine.
- I always insist on using fresh Parmesan grated from a wedge instead of already grated hard cheese, it makes a lot of difference, even when used in small quantities.
- Any kind of risotto relies a lot on the quality of the stock you are using.
- Make sure that the one you have is not too salty, it cooks down and too much salt at the end might ruin the dish.
- It is preferable to use a low-sodium version and add more salt, if necessary, at the end.
- Also keep in mind, that dishes containing Parmesan often need less salt than you would usually add.
- When I have it, I use salmon stock or fish stock.
- Otherwise, you can use chicken or vegetable stock.
- Wine is always a good idea when making risotto, but if you don't have it or don't want to use, just leave it out.
Other ingredients: lemon juice, onion, butter, dill.
How to make salmon risotto?
- Start by heating the stock in a jug pot. Leave it on the smallest heat, it should remain hot during the entire cooking process, but not start to boil.
- Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Cook the very finely chopped onion for about 2 minutes until translucent. (1)
- Add the rice and stir well to coat it with the butter. Stir for about 2 minutes, it should start looking glossy. (2)
- Add the white wine and stir until all the wine is evaporated. (3)
- Start adding the stock slowly, about 1-2 ladleful at a time. Stir well but gently after each addition. (4)
- As mentioned above, I never stir continuously, but often stirring is required. It helps release the starches in the rice, thus making the risotto creamy.
- This should take about 25 minutes, but check the packet's instructions concerning the cooking time and definitely check the risotto yourself to see if it is done. It should be soft, but not mushy. (1)
- Stir in the grated Parmesan and the butter. Adjust the taste with some salt, if necessary. Stir well to melt the butter and the cheese until the rice looks creamy and glossy.
- Remove from the heat source, cover, and let stand while you sear the salmon in the pan.
- Cut the fish into cubes, about 2 cm/ 0.8 inches. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan.
- Add to the pan and sear, stirring often but gently, for 3-4 minutes. It should just be cooked through, it will continue cooking once you've stirred into the risotto. (2)
- Add the salmon cubes and the chopped dill to the rice and combine gently. (3,4)
Tips for a creamy risotto
- Don't wash the rice. Washing it removes most of the starch which is very important for a creamy texture.
- Make sure that the onions are very finely chopped so that they can melt into the rice and you will not bite on pieces of it.
- Don't let the onions get any color before adding the rice to the pot. They should only be translucent and not golden or brown.
- Stir often to help release the starches. As mentioned above, you don't have to stir continuously, but still, do it often.
- Adding a little butter at the end at the cooking process is important, it definitely helps make the dish creamier. Don't leave it out, even a small amount really helps. The cheese as well.
- Once you've added the butter and the cheese, stir very well until the rice is really nice and glossy.
- Let rest for a few minutes before serving, but remove it from the source of heat, even if the heat is off. Residual heat might overcook it. The time needed to cook the salmon is enough.
What to serve with it?
- Green salad with lemon or classic vinaigrette is my first choice. It is fresh and tangy and complements the salmon perfectly.
- I often serve it with roasted broccoli or with buttered peas. They are both perfect fits for any kind of rice or fish dish.
- And if you've opened a bottle of white wine to make this salmon risotto, a glass of that would be great as well.
More rice dishes:
- 1 liter/ 34 fl.oz/ 4 ¼ cups stock Note 1
- 1 small onion
- 2 tablespoons butter divided
- 200 ml/ 6.7 fl.oz/ ¾ cup white wine Note 2
- 250 g/ 8.8 oz/ 1 ¼ cup risotto rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 250 g/ 8.8 oz/ salmon fillet without skin
- 4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
- small bunch of dill
- fine sea salt and black pepper
- Heat the stock in a jug pot. Leave it on low heat, it should remain hot while you cook the risotto, but it should not boil.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Chop the onion very finely and cook it for about 2 minutes until translucent, it should not get any color.
- Add the rice (unwashed) and stir well to coat it with the butter. Stir for about 2 minutes, it should start looking glossy.
- Pour white wine and stir until all the wine is evaporated. If you don't want to use wine, replace it with stock.
- Slowly, start adding the stock, about 1-2 ladleful at a time. Stir well but gently after each addition. You don't have to stir continuously, but stir often, it helps release the starches in the rice making the risotto creamy. This should take about 25 minutes, but check the packet's instructions concerning the cooking time. The rice should be soft, but not mushy.
- Stir in the grated Parmesan and the remaining butter. Stir well to melt the butter and the cheese, the rice should be creamy and glossy. Adjust the taste with some salt, if necessary.
- Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand while you sear the salmon in the pan.
- Cut the fish fillets into cubes, about 2 cm/ 0.8 inches. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan. Add the fish to the pan and sear, stirring often but gently, for 3-4 minutes. It should be just cooked through, it will continue cooking once you've stirred into the risotto.
- Add the salmon cubes and the chopped dill to the rice and combine gently.
- Use good quality fish, chicken or vegetable stock. I love using this easy to make salmon stock.
- If you don't want to use wine, you can replace with stock.