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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, June 14, 2006

TASTE
Chef laces steamed moi, risotto with decadent flavors

 •  Fired up at the Pineapple Grill

By Wanda A. Adams
Advertiser Food Editor

Truffle butter and bamboo-flavored rice add sophistication to Macadangdang's steamed moi and risotto.

Photos courtesy of Pineapple Grill

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For a recent benefit dinner at the Pineapple Grill on Maui, chef Joey Macadangdang prepared a steamed fish and rice dish that's remarkably easy by chef standards. He used a few tricks, however, to intensify the flavors and to give the dish more than usual decadence.

His secrets include a knob of rich truffle butter (you can easily make it at home; find truffles in jars at specialty food stores, such as R. Field or Williams Sonoma) and the use of an unusual rice variety called bamboo rice, plus a garnish of mushroom and shrimp. Bamboo rice is a short-grain rice that has been infused with the flavor of bamboo kind of woody and nutty.

Alter this recipe to fit your needs and preferences and what's in the cupboard. If you can't find bamboo rice (we haven't located it in Honolulu despite scouring Chinatown and checking Asian Grocery), use Arborio or other rice designed for risotto. If you can't find shimeji mushrooms, use fresh shiitake, oyster, crimini or even plain old brown mushrooms. If you don't want to add the shrimp, skip it. Do use a very good quality of chicken broth, preferably made at home. And when Macadangdang made this dish for us, he added some minced shallots to the risotto along with the rice; you could also use minced onion.

STEAMED MOI WITH BAMBOO RICE RISOTTO

  • 2 (7-ounce) skin-on fillets of moi
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 ounces fresh bamboo shoots, chopped
  • 6 caps shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 ounces small shimeji mushrooms
  • Drop or two of truffle oil
  • 4 ounces truffle butter*
  • 1 cup clear chicken broth
  • Pinch of dashi powder or bonito flakes
  • Shoyu to taste
  • 1 green onion, sliced fine
  • 1 cup steamed rice or risotto (recipe follows)

    Season moi with salt and pepper to taste. Place moi skin side down on rack and scatter bamboo shoots, shiitake, shimeji and truffle oil over top. Steam moi on rack over simmering water, covered, until tender. A toothpick pushed into the fish should meet no resistance. This takes just minutes, so have risotto or rice and other ingredients close to ready before you start steaming the fish.

    In a small saucepan, combine the truffle butter, chicken broth and dashi. Bring to a boil, taste and season with a little shoyu; gently simmer until ready for use. Just before using, add green onions.

    Have ready a warm, shallow soup dish. Mound rice or risotto in center of dish; top with moi fillet, skin side down. Ladle hot broth around rice and fish. Serve immediately.

    * To make truffle butter, in a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter and a few shavings of black truffle. Or blend a few drops of truffle oil into the butter. Store, tightly covered, in refrigerator.

  • Per serving (1/2 cup of risotto below, no optional shrimp, no salt): 900 calories, 63 g fat, 33 g saturated fat, 220 mg cholesterol, in excess of 1500 mg sodium,40 g carbohydrate, 4 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar, 45 g protein

    BAMBOO RICE RISOTTO

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup bamboo rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3-4 cups chicken stock (preferably not heavily salted)
  • 4 ounces cooked shrimp (optional)
  • 2 ounces small shimeji mushrooms
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    Preheat a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and, when it is warmed, add rice and stir to coat rice. Toast rice, stirring, for 6-8 minutes over medium heat. Add white wine and continue stirring. When all the wine is absorbed, begin to add chicken stock, one ladle at a time. Stir constantly and do not add more chicken broth until all the broth has been absorbed. When the rice is tender and a creamy broth has formed, add shrimp and mushrooms. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. Finish with butter, stirring and tasting again. Serve immediately.

    To prepare risotto in advance: Cook the rice until it's just about done but still a little al dente. Spread in a shallow dish, cover and refrigerate. Before serving time, bring the dish to room temperature. Have some simmering stock ready. Return rice to pot, add some broth, finish cooking and add shrimp, mushrooms, salt and pepper and butter as directed above.

    Reach Wanda A. Adams at wadams@honoluluadvertiser.com.