These wild mushroom fritters may only be bite-sized, but they go long on flavor.
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons arborio rice
1/4 cup dry sake, divided
1/4 cup low-sodium shoyu (soy sauce), divided
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chopped assorted mushrooms (such as oysters, shiitakes, and chanterelles
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs, plus more for breading
Generous 2 teaspoons chopped Thai basil
2 eggs, divided
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup goat cheese
Flour for breading
Oil for frying
In a small pot, heat the chicken stock over medium heat. As it warms, heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until they become soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat. Toast the rice until it’s translucent, about 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the sake and cook until nearly dry. Add about 1/3 cup of the warm chicken stock to the rice. Stirring constantly, cook until the rice has absorbed all of the stock. Repeat until the rice is al dente. Add 2 tablespoons of the shoyu and stir until absorbed. Stir in the Parmesan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reserve.
In a separate sauté pan, heat the remaining butter. Add the mushrooms and sauté until browned and soft, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then add to the risotto and mix to combine. Let cool completely.
When the rice mixture is cool, stir in the bread crumbs, Thai basil, and one egg. Refrigerate until needed.
In a small pot, bring the remaining sake, remaining shoyu, and sugar to a boil over medium heat. Reduce by roughly half, about 5 minutes. Refrigerate until cool. Stir a tablespoon of the shoyu mixture into the goat cheese.
To prepare the rice balls, gather enough rice mixture to make a 1-inch ball. Roll the rice in your hands until it forms a round fritter. Poke a hole in the center with your finger. Use a small knife or a chopstick to put a small amount of shoyu goat cheese inside the fritter. Seal. Repeat with the remaining rice mixture.
Lightly beat the remaining egg until foamy. Place the flour, beaten egg, and panko in separate, shallow bowls. Roll each ball in the flour, then dip in the beaten egg, shaking off the excess. Finish with a coating of bread crumbs. Store the balls on a tray in the refrigerator until ready to fry.
Heat 3 inches of oil in a deep pot to 350ºF. Fry the rice balls until golden brown and hot all the way through, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.
Full Recipe: James Beard.