Overhead photo of Prawn Risotto (Shrimp Risotto) in a dark brown bowl, ready to be eaten.
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5 from 15 votes

Prawn Risotto (Shrimp)

This is a great everyday prawn risotto that’s a cut above basic risottos. Searing the prawn (shrimp) makes a terrific flavour base that compensates for not using a homemade seafood stock. And as long as you use a large pot, you don’t need to stand at the stove for 20 minutes to stir constantly and add hot broth a ladle at a time for ultra creamy risotto  – read more in post. Recipe video below.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main
Keyword: Prawn risotto, Shrimp risotto
Servings: 4 -5 people
Calories: 511kcal
Author: Nagi

Ingredients

  • 1 – 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 400 – 500g / 14 oz – 1 lb prawns/shrimp, raw, peeled (Note 1)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp / 20g butter
  • 1/2 onion , finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1/3 cup / 85 ml dry white wine (or water)
  • 1 1/2 cups / 270g risotto rice (Arborio rice) (Note 2)
  • 3 cups / 750ml chicken broth , low sodium, at room temp
  • 1 cup / 250 ml milk , room temp (full or low fat)
  • 1 cup / 150g frozen peas , thawed
  • 1/3 cup / 40 g grated parmesan

Finishing / serving:

  • 1 – 2 tbsp / 15 – 30g   Extra Butter
  • Grated parmesan
  • Finely chopped parsley (optional)

Instructions

  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large heavy based pot over medium high heat. Spread half the prawns in a single layer, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 1 ½ minutes, then turn and cook the other side for 1 minute. Remove into bowl.
  • Add a touch more oil and repeat with remaining prawns. Set aside and keep warm.
  • Turn heat down to medium. Melt butter in pot then add onion and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes until translucent.
  • Add wine, and stir, scraping the bottom of the pot to mix the brown bits from the prawn into the liquid. Bring to simmer and cook for 2 minutes until harsh alcohol smell is gone.
  • Add rice and stir for 30 seconds until rice is translucent on edges.
  • Add about 2/3 of the chicken broth. Stir, bring to simmer. Adjust heat so it’s simmering gently.
  • Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir, then simmer for a further 2 minutes until broth is mostly absorbed and rice is visible on the surface (see video and photos).
  • Add remaining broth and milk. Stir, simmer for 3 minutes. Stir, simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Risotto should be soupy and rice still a tiny bit undercooked.
  • Add peas and parmesan, quickly stir.
  • Taste, then add salt and pepper, then quickly stir.
  • Add Extra Butter, then stir vigorously for 10 seconds (this is the step that makes it very creamy).
  • Lastly, gently stir through prawns (tip in any juices too).
  • Remove risotto from heat, it should be porridge-like. (Note 3, see video) To loosen, add hot tap water 2 tbsp at time and stir through.
  • Give it a good final stir just before serving. Then ladle into bowls (it should ooze a bit, not be sticky lump). Garnish with parmesan and parsley if desired.

Notes

1. I use thawed frozen prawns for this recipe. Thaw completely, drain excess water, roughly pat dry. To use fresh prawns, you’ll need about 750 – 800g / 1.5 – 1.6lb whole prawns to yield 500g/1lb peeled prawns.
2. Risotto needs to be made with risotto rice (Arborio rice) because it’s extra starchy and this is what makes risotto beautifully creamy without the use of cream.
3. Risotto consistency: Take it off the stove while it’s still soupier than you want on the plate because rice continues to absorb liquid. It should be creamy such that it doesn’t hold it’s form when served, it should slump and sort of “ooze”. The extent of the ooze factor comes down to personal taste – most high end and traditional Italian restaurants serve risotto that looks almost like soup (spreads out on plate). I like mine kind of like porridge.
4. General notes:
a) Constant stirring, ladling in hot broth gradually: This traditional method we know for making risotto was born from the days when risotto was made in tall narrow risotto pots which required liquid to be added gradually and stirred constantly to ensure the rice cooked evenly. If you use a wide pot, add broth in 2 lots, stir a handful of times and stir vigorously at the end (recipe step 13), the risotto still comes out beautifully creamy and the rice perfectly cooked. More info in post!
b) Strictly speaking, parmesan is not used for seafood pastas in Italy except as a seasoning in the dish. But how can anyone dispute how well parmesan goes with creamy risotto and juicy plump prawns??!!
5. Leftovers: If you follow the cook times accurately in this recipe then leftovers will reheat pretty well because I don't let the rice get too soft, it is al dente. So refrigerate leftovers, then reheat in the microwave and stir through a touch of water to loosen it up and it will still be super tasty the next day. The rice will be a bit softer than ideal but still very good.
If you want to be more technical, as soon as you take the risotto off the stove, spread the risotto you want to save on a tray to let it cool rapidly, then scrape in a container and refrigerate. This will make the risotto slightly "better" when reheated. I only did this to give it a go - and it works. But I don't do this in real life. :)
6. Nutrition per serving, assuming 5 servings.
Prawn Risotto nutrition

Nutrition

Calories: 511kcal