Vancouver 4: Sake Rice, Mushroom, and Molsen Beer Risotto

So that rice, Canada’s only Saké rice, that we bought from Artisan SakeMaker of Osake (see last post: here) on Granville Island…how does it cook?s

Since our palates have adapted to British Columbia over ten days, we decide to hold firm to the Province’s terroir. We grab a six pack of fresh, Vancouver-brewed, Molsen Lager. We visit the off-season’s only farmer’s market: Winter Market next to Queen Elizabeth Park.  We grab baby shitake mushrooms from a local grower. And then, get in the ever-expanding line for the Farm House Natural Cheese:

The farm House Cheese Cart BC Vancouver

We already adore their feral, fluffy Lady Jane brie. But dinner demands a harder cheese. Why not Canada’s Best Aged Cheddar?

Far, House BC Canada Cheddar

The plan (if you haven’t guessed) BC Risotto.

BC butter from Western Family flies into a hot pan. I fry Osake’s organic, milled sake rice until it turns mostly white. An ounce or two of garlic goes in.  Then I ease in ounces of Molson, let it absorb, stir, and add more.

Aaron risotto

Meanwhile my wife pan fries the mushrooms, which smell browned-buttery, bark-like, and fantastic.  Halfway through the Molson, I add a quarter cup of tap water, the return to the can.

Molson risotto from Bac

The rice reaches al dente, it needs a few big pinches of salt. Next in go the mushrooms and the remaining Molson to finish the flavor. We fold it into bowls and shave on Farm House’s aged cheddar.

These disparate ingredients meld beautifully if imperfectly.  Up front, Molson’s round, fruity corn and pale malt provide a connecting sweetness.  The baby shiitakes throw earth, forest floor, and umami all over the dish, which last for hours. Carmel-like browned butter gushes pleasure. Farm House’s cheddar mildly graces the dish with a chalky, dry texture, light salinity and tartness. However, Osake’s plush, pillowy, melon fresh, lighlty starchy sake rice spreads a cotton comforter unifying our attempt.

Another can of Molson keep us grounded as we vacuum our bowls. Thank you Canada!








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