I've been making risotto with a brown rice blend (Long Grain Brown Rice, Sweet Brown Rice, Wild Rice, Whole Grain Wehani Rice, Whole Grain Black Japonica Rice), and I quite like the texture, and how easy it is for the rice to cook al dente. However, I'm missing the creaminess that comes from arborio's high starch content.

So, a few questions:

  1. Could I add starch (say, arrowroot powder) to get a similar creaminess?
  2. If so, how much, and would this change the amount of water I would need to add to cook the rice?
  3. Is there a better source of starch than arrowroot powder?
  • 4
    Rice starch is available for consumer purchase, I would try it first. – Debbie M. Mar 18 '19 at 19:28
  • 1
    Rice flour would also work ... as the thickening for risotto is just bits of rice that rub off the outside of the grains. – Joe Mar 18 '19 at 21:20

The "dissolved" starch is going to make a sauce or "gravy". Different sources of starch will have a somewhat different taste. So experiment a bit with different sources of starch and see which tastes best. You could even grind some of the brown rice in a mortar and pestle to get a brown rice flour that you could use for thickening.

My experience with a risotto is that the rice is breaking down somewhat when it gets to the point where it is cooked. So to make a gravy I'd have some extra water/stock for the rice, and then add a small amount of a starch solution which would thicken when heated. You wouldn't want to start out with a starch solution since that would be easy to burn. You can't add a dry starch to a hot liquid or it will lump.

  • Thanks for the answer, MaxW! I didn't follow the last part---if I can't start with the starch solution, when in the cooking process would I add it? – Khashir Mar 20 '19 at 1:21
  • @Khashir - So as not to burn the starch solution, cook the rice in a bit of excess water, then add enough "concentrated" starch solution to thicken it to the desired consistency. As I said you don't want to add a dry starch to a hot liquid lest you get lumps. – MaxW Mar 20 '19 at 1:34
  • After the rice is fully cooked you mean? – Khashir Mar 20 '19 at 1:46

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