15 minutes risotto with zucchini, dashi and bonito flakes

So am trying to keep the new year resolution and  keep posting at semi-regularly. So today I am going to post a new recipe which is also a method for making perfect risotto in less than 15 minutes. Yes 15. Less than.

I cooked this dish last week. I decided to make risotto with zucchini and when I opened the pantry door I saw bonito flakes looking at me. Immediately, I thought about those dashi stock packets in the cupboard and an idea started growing: what if I made this a “fusion risotto?


Once I though the thought, I knew I had to try. And it worked. This risotto turned out pleasantly salty and savory with the umami of the bonito combining perfectly with the sweetness of the zucchini.

And for the less than 15 minutes method part, how did I do it?The trick is to use a pressure cooker. Using a pressure cooker you can get a great risotto by starting the risotto as usual, adding all the broth at the same time and letting the risotto cook 5 minutes from the whistle (the moment in which the pressure cooker goes into full pressure).

To get the perfect risotto with the pressure cooker there is only one easy rule to follow, well two:

1) for each person, you need 1 cup of liquid for 3.5 oz of risotto rice

2) cook 5 minutes from the whistle.

If you are a perfectionist you can experiment with the specific rice and a little more or a little less water and/or time, but this rule works pretty well with most decent risotto rice and great with carnaroli rice.

Fusion risotto with zucchini, dashi and bonito flakes


  • 2 zucchini
  • 7 oz. risotto rice (I prefer carnaroli followed by arborio)
  • 1 quart boiling water
  • 1 dashi bag (i used one of these
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • bonito flakes
  • olive oil
  • salt


  1. Cut the zucchini in quarts and then slice them thinly.
  2. In a pressure cooker, saute the zucchini in hot oil until they are golden brown.
  3. Add the rice and toast until it is translucent. Pour the white wine and let evaporate.
  4. Pour all the hot water in the pressure cooker, mix well and add the dashi pack. Put the pressure lid on and close.
  5. When the pressure cooker starts whistling, turn the heat on low. Cook 5 minutes from when the pressure cooker start whistling. After 5 minutes take off the heat, release the valve to let of the steam and open the pressure cooker.
  6. Mix well and taste. Add the bonito flakes and adjust seasoning with salt if needed. If too liquid you can put back on the heat for a minute or two to let the last water evaporate, but if you used good risotto rice the liquid/rice ratio should be right.
  7. Serve hot.
  8. Notes: if you don't have a pressure cooker, you can cook this risotto with the usual method of ladling in broth a bit at a time. In this case, prepare the dashi in a pot by following the dashi instructions and laddle it in the rice as needed.

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6 Responses to 15 minutes risotto with zucchini, dashi and bonito flakes

  1. I love the idea of fusion risotto. Brava! The only thing the Italian food culture is missing in my opinion is the urge to transform and experiment. Probably because it is already perfect as is, but change is good and exciting.

    • PolaM says:

      Well i find myself experimenting mostly because i cannot find all of my go to ingredients… I think if i were in Italy i’d experiment much less…

  2. I love dashi flavor in your risotto! I got a machine that works as both pressure cooker and slow cooker and have been experimenting recipes with it. This is a fun recipe to try!

  3. Jess says:

    Whoa – I’m intrigued by this infusion, but savory bonito flakes seem like they would be an awesome addition to risotto. Too bad I’m afraid of pressure cookers. Might need to get over that fear in 2015. 😉

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