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Henry Hsieh畢業自紐約大學,以及畢業自美國紐約International Culinary Center及義大利帕瑪ALMA餐飲學校,是米其林一星餐酒館Longtail與原木柴燒餐廳Wildwood Live Fire Cuisine的營運總監。不過他總是說「叫我Your friend at Longtail就好」,Henry熱愛美食更愛分享美食,對餐飲業有獨到的觀察,他現在要以幽默風趣與富文化視角的專欄文字來分享他對美食與餐飲的所見經歷。

TEXT HENRY HSEIH

 

Excuse me but risotto is not rice. It is a rice dish cooked in a very specific way, with Italian rice. We must be clear about this because when you see a risotto on a menu and it comes out looking like xifan , you are having xifan.

抱歉,義大利燉飯其實不是「飯」,它是用義大利米以特殊烹調方式製成的米食料理。這點可先要弄清楚,因為當你在菜單上看到義大利燉飯,你以為送上桌的會是「飯」但其實更像是稀飯。沒錯,你吃的其實是稀飯。

There was one thing that I had set out to perfect during my time in Parma, and that was to make risotto. I felt, with western cooking I am a student and that’s all right, but with rice, come on, look at the color my hair. This is something I know better than anyone. I have been eating rice before I could walk! And yes, I have had what is supposedly Italian risotto before: rice, cooked with water and add whatever you felt like, usually cheese or if you are feeling fancy some seafood. Spoon it in a bowl, and Bobs your uncle! Negative.

我在義大利帕瑪時,一道一定要學會做到完美的料理正是義大利燉飯。說到西方烹飪技術,我是學生沒錯,但說到米,拜託,起碼也看看我的髮色吧,會有人比我更懂米嗎?我在還沒學會走路前就已經在吃米了。當然,我以前也是吃過所謂的「義大利燉飯」,有米,用水煮,想加什麼就加什麼(不外乎是起司),愛吃海鮮就加海鮮,挖在碗裡,然後就一切搞定!

完全錯誤。

I remember doing just that while making a risotto and hey, I thought it was pretty good: thick, chunky, soft and piled into a little mountain. SEND IT BACK! Every word I have just used to describe what I thought was a risotto was absolutely wrong. Apparently I’ve been having and cooking incorrect risotto my entire life. It is not fried rice, dry and loose. It is not xifan, thick and gloopy. It certainly isn’t something I available in Asian cuisine. A plate of risotto is meant to be eaten on its own, it isn’t a dish to go with other things. Unlike in Asia, where rice accompanies other dishes, a risotto does not. A plate of risotto is a perfect amalgamation of ingredients that come together with constant and careful attention. Risotto is not made from a pot of water or a rice cooker – goodness gracious no!

我記得曾經就這樣做過燉飯,也覺得還不錯,又厚實又軟嫩,擺盤時還堆成一個小山丘呢。「不及格!」沒錯,就是不及格!原來我以前對燉飯的認識是完完全全錯誤的,原來我給錯的燉飯、錯的烹調方法誤了人生這麼長的時間。義大利燉飯的飯粒不會像炒飯是乾的,也不會粒粒分明;也不會像稀飯一樣飯粒又糊又黏。我在各式亞洲料理中,都找不到像義大利燉飯這樣的米飯料理。義大利燉飯本身就是主角,吃的時候並不會搭配其他任何的菜。在亞洲,米飯是搭配其他的菜一起吃的,義大利燉飯則不是。一盤義大利燉飯是集各種悉心準備的配料,而且天衣無縫完美結合,絕不是用一壺水或是靠電鍋就能完成的。老天,你千萬不要這樣做。

The first time I cooked a proper risotto was before the first time I actually had a proper risotto. So I had to figure it out and use a bit of imagination. I started with Arborio rice. A typical kind of Italian rice, which I later found out was slightly more suitable for vegetable or less creamy risottos, its cousin Cannaroli was the better candidate, as it carried more starch and absorbed more liquid. The typical procedure of making a risotto is as follows:

我第一次開始動手做正確的燉飯其實是在我品嚐真正的燉飯前,所以我得靠自己摸索以及一點點的想像力。我先從義大利最典型常見的阿柏里歐米開始(Arborio),我後來發覺阿柏里歐米比較適合煮蔬食型以及清爽型的燉飯,所以我選了阿柏里歐米的親戚卡納羅利米(Carnaroli),它的澱粉質較多能吸收較多液體。義大利燉飯典型製作步驟如下:

1) Make a soffrito of butter and diced onions.

2) Toast the rice and pour in the wine

3) Ladle in only broth and let the rice drink

4) When ready, mix in your other ingredients

5) Serve only on a plate, not a bowl

一,先將洋蔥切丁並與奶油炒熱
二,先將米炒熱,以及倒入葡萄酒
三,倒入一杓高湯,讓米把高湯吸飽
四,好了後就再加入你其他配料
五,裝盛在盤子上,千萬不要用碗

Well, that seems simple enough doesn’t it? First thing that happened to me was getting my hand slapped because I went ahead and tried to wash the rice! Boy was that a mistake. Seriously though, when was the last time you had rice and didn’t wash it?! This is not rice people; this is risotto. The very essence of risotto is to keep all the qualities in the full grain of rice including the beautiful starch that will contribute to the creaminess when it is done. So remember the starch is your friend, DO NOT wash the rice. The rice in fact, should never even touch water. There is, ‘no put your index in and leave one section of your finger under the water’ in an Italian risotto!

是不是看起來很簡單?不過一開始我就給打手了,因為我把米拿去洗。沒錯,正是洗米,你有聽過有人煮飯不洗米的嗎?我說過了各位,義大利燉飯不是「飯」,其中的核心在於要讓米粒保持在穀粒最完整狀態,特別是澱粉質一點都不能少,如此才能讓燉飯有濃厚的綿密口感。所以記得,澱粉是你的好朋友,煮燉飯前禁止洗米,甚至連讓米碰到水都不行,所以絕對不會有「手指伸進電鍋,水有一個指節深即可」這種事發生。

Herb Risotto with sea urchin, mussels, squid ink and mackerel sauce. Seta, Milan。海膽、淡菜、墨魚汁,鯖魚醬汁草本燉飯,來自米蘭的Seta餐廳。

The flavor profile and texture of a proper risotto comes from mainly the ingredients, the creaminess, and the flavor of the rice itself but also the acidity. It is the acidity that balances all the other flavors. The acidity comes from the onions and the wine. Typically white wine is used to give a crisp dryness that blends in nicer with the other ingredients, and acts as a backdrop for the other flavors. Once the alcohol has evaporated, add the kind of broth that you prefer, whether it is chicken stock, fish stock, or vegetable stock. So for this dish I had used chicken stock, parmigiano cheese and butter as the only ingredients, a typical typical dish – Risotto alla Parmigiana. It was tasty, it was cheesy, and I was quite proud. However, I was soon to learn that this was merely the tip of the iceberg.

一盤義大利燉飯的風味跟口感,主要來自於用料與米本身的、黏稠度與風味。酸度也會有影響,酸度能均衡其他所有的風味,酸度最主要來自於洋蔥與葡萄酒。一般來說會用白葡萄酒來增添清爽與澀的口感,而且白葡萄酒與其他配料的搭配性也相當好,甚至能作為其他風味的基底。待酒精蒸發後,便可以加入雞湯、魚湯、蔬菜湯等等你想要的高湯。我做的這道是用雞湯,用料只有帕馬森起司與奶油,名稱也相當本格派就叫「帕瑪森燉飯」(Risotto alla Parmigiana)。好吃,起司感綿密,我挺滿意的,但我後來才知道我看到的只是冰山的一角,藏在冰山底下的還有更多我不知道的烹飪技巧。

The very first restaurant I had a proper plate of risotto, I was in Milan in a restaurant called Giannino, famous equally for its food, and for the footballers and their model girlfriends that frequented. It definitely was a fun atmosphere, every time it was someone’s birthday instead of singing the song, the staff brings out a slice of cake with a sparkler and Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance would start blasting from the speakers. But I digress. The first thing that caught my attention on the menu was the risotto, Risotto al mirtilli e caprino. If I had remembered my Italian fruit names correctly, mirtilli are blueberries. What on earth are blueberries doing in a risotto with goat’s milk cheese? Even with Gaga in the background, I was zoned in, undistracted. Making sure I had not translated it wrong – I had to have it. When the dish came, it was nothing like what I had imagined. I was given only a spoon, but more of a fish spoon with a very low one-sided curve, just deep enough to scrape a layer of rice and not a scoop. The risotto was white with a single blueberry in the center. It was like a blanket of snow. It was not piled high like a mountain like fried rice, but it was silky and luscious like a glaze. It was one of the most elegant dishes I had ever seen quite honestly. I went in for it. There was a layer of blueberry sauce, which carpeted the base of the plate. In a moment, the risotto became a white canvas white with streaks of purplish blue running across the plate like something right out of the Tate.

我第一次吃到對的燉飯是在米蘭,餐廳名稱叫Giannino,以東西好吃以及足球員愛帶模特兒女友光顧聞名。Giannino的氣氛相當歡樂,只要有人在餐廳裡過生日,服務生不是用唱生日快樂歌幫你慶祝,而是端出一片蛋糕跟仙女棒,以及用喇叭播放Lady Gaga的〈Bad Romance〉轟炸你。好,我離題了,Giannino第一件吸引我注意的是菜單上有道菜名字叫「藍莓羊奶起司燉飯」(Risotto al mirtilli e caprino)。如果我的義大利文水果名稱沒記錯的話, mirtilli就是藍莓,天底下哪有藍莓搭燉飯還搭羊奶起司這種事?就算店內Lady Gaga的音樂放到震耳欲聾,一點也無損我對這道燉飯的專注度,「我真的沒翻譯錯嗎?就是它了,我要點它。」上桌後,跟我想的一點都不一樣,附上的只有一個小湯匙,湯匙很淺只夠挖薄薄的一層飯而無法挖一大口。藍莓山羊起司燉飯是完完全全白色的,唯獨只有在飯的中間放一個藍莓。看起來就像一片白雪,也沒有像炒飯那樣堆的像小山丘高高的。看過去就像是絲綢般光滑,油亮亮的相當耀眼。老實說,這是我見過最優雅的料理之一。引起我興趣了,我發現在盤子底部竟然鋪有一層藍莓醬,剎那間,我眼前這盤燉飯猶如一張雪白的畫布,上面像是有一道道紫藍色線條劃過,看起來就像是一件泰特美術館裡的藝術品。

Risotto with Gorgonzola, red turnips, walnut cream and cherry sauce. Enrico Bartolini, Milan。古岡佐拉起司、甜菜根、胡桃醬與櫻桃醬汁燉飯,來自米蘭的Enrico Bartolini餐廳。

I was awestruck. Blueberry and goat cheese were such complimentary flavors, the salty cheese balanced by the sweet acidity of the fruit. And the rice, the rice was perfectly al dente, not the kind of uncooked hardness or extreme fluffy exterior, which only results when you precook the rice. You could taste each grain of rice as it full of flavor from the cheese and broth. It has a beautiful velvety sheen that coats every grain without separation. It is a difficult thing to describe but when you have seen and tasted it, you cannot go back.

真是讓我震驚不已,沒想到藍莓與羊奶起司的風味會如此相襯,藍莓酸甜滋味平衡了起司的鹹味。米的部份,彈牙到無懈可擊,絕不是生硬到像是沒煮過生的,也不是外層像是先煮熟過那種軟趴趴的。你可以從每顆米粒清楚吃到起司跟高湯的風味,而且每顆米上頭都泛著光澤,而且是整盤粒粒相連。很難形容的感受,不過只要你見過跟嚐過,我保證你回不去。

So here I am at school in Italy, and it is the first time I am watching risotto being made in front of me. Chef Bruno is making Risotto alla Milanese, the quintessential dish in Milanese cuisine. Risotto alla Milanese is simple and elegant: parmigiano cheese, butter, and saffron. The history behind this dish is that Milan was quite a rich city-state and full of spices, and saffron is the most expensive spice by weight. Thus saffron would be added to the dish to not only show their prosperity, but also to give the risotto a beautiful golden hue, as if to say, look, we Milanese eat gold! This time we used vialone nano rice. This is a particular kind of rice grown exclusively in the Verona region of Veneto, and coincidentally the home of Romeo and Juliet. The grains are a bit shorter and little rounder. It is crossbred with a Japanese variety of rice called Oryza sativa. This kind of rice has incredible contents of starch. The high amylose content, allows the rice to keep its shape and hold its al dente texture without being fluffy or soft but at the same time absorb a ton of flavor.

好,現在來談我在ALMA餐飲學校的故事,我也是在那裡第一次親眼看見如何製作義大利燉飯。我的老師主廚Bruno正在製作「米蘭燉飯」(Risotto alla Milanese),米蘭菜中相當經典的一道菜。米蘭燉飯簡單但又至為優雅,用料就是帕馬森起司、奶油與番紅花,而且這道菜背後還有段歷史。米蘭在以前是座相當富裕的城邦,而且又是香料中心,而香料當中最貴的就屬番紅花,因此米蘭人就把番紅花就加到燉飯裡,一方面帶有炫富意涵,再來是番紅花能給燉飯有金黃色的色澤,也就好像在告訴所有人,「看!我們米蘭人在吃黃金」。這次,製作米蘭燉飯用的米是維亞諾內納諾(vialone nano),這是很特別的米,只有在北義威內托的維洛納(Verona,羅密歐與茱麗葉的故鄉)種植。維亞諾內納諾米的特徵是比較短比較圓,它是與日本Oryza sativa米種的混種,澱粉含量高的驚人,也因此在烹煮後仍能保有米粒完整外型不致於軟爛,依舊保有彈牙口感,當然在烹煮的過程中更能吸收所有食材的風味。

As I watched my Chef gather the ingredients, he said to the class, as soon as the first ladle of broth hits the rice, it should then take 17 minutes to cook the risotto, no more no less. Covertly like a ninja, I grabbed my timer and hit start. The man cooked the risotto with such ease and elegance using a worn down paddle that his grandmother had given to him made from Ligurian olive wood. Stirring only when need be, he paid constant attention to the texture of the rice and the density of the liquid. He was adding in chicken broth one ladle at a time as to not crowd the rice, or lower the temperature too much.

我就看著我的老師主廚Bruno把各式材料準備好,然後他對課堂上的大家說,第一杓高湯倒入鍋中後,與米煮的時間就是17分鐘,不多也不少。聽完這句話後我就像是個鬼祟的忍者一樣,在一旁拿出計時器按下開始計時。主廚Bruno煮燉飯的過程整個就是輕鬆優雅,用的還是他祖母留給他的老舊利古里亞橄欖木製成的鍋鏟。主廚Bruno絲毫沒有多餘的動作,只有在必要時刻才翻動鍋鏟,他一直緊盯著米跟鍋中液體的變化,他一次只加一杓的雞湯,目的是為了不讓高湯淹住米,或者為了不讓鍋中溫度降得太低。

Risotto alla Milanese. Risotto with saffron. Taglio, Milan。有番紅花的米蘭燉飯,來自米蘭的Taglio餐廳。

They say the rice has to first dance, then drink, and then swim like it is in the ocean. As the rice absorbs each ladle of broth, another is ladled in. A medium high bubbling of the pot was constant. When the rice looked ready, and before the cheese the butter and the saffron was introduced, Chef Bruno asked me specifically how much time had passed. I was a bit stunned at the moment as I wasn’t aware he saw me time him, but even more stunned at the fact that exactly 17 minutes had passed. Chef Bruno takes the pot off the fire and places a paper towel over it. For one minute and no more, this is to let the risotto set before what is the last part of the cooking, also the most technical. Step 4 is not mixing, it is called mantecatura, a process in which you slide the pot across the table on an angle, let the rice hit the walls of the pot so it rises like a wave and crashes down into the rest of the rice, all the while, stirring in the butter and cheese. This will thicken the risotto and become creamier as the impact of the rice releases the starch and evenly distributes and blends with the cheese, butter, and saffron. This is the most crucial step as only the right amount and the right speed will ensure the perfect risotto.

做燉飯的訣竅到底是什麼?義大利人有一句話:「先讓米跳舞,再讓米啜飲,然後再讓米游泳,如同在大海裡徜徉」。高湯一杓一杓的倒,米也一杓一杓的吸收著高湯,鍋子上頭也不斷浮現中等高度的泡沫。當米差不多煮好時,在準備加起司、奶油跟番紅花前,主廚Bruno特別問我到目前為止花了多少時間?我有點嚇到,因為我根本不知道主廚Bruno竟然知道我在偷偷算他的時間,更嚇到我的是,所花時間不多不少正好是17分鐘。主廚Bruno便把鍋子移開爐子然後在鍋子上面覆蓋一張紙巾。靜置一分鐘,目的是在進行下階段也是最後階段的料理步驟前先讓燉飯喘口氣,下一階段的料理步驟更講求技術。還記得我前面提的步驟四嗎?這道步驟絕對不是單純的混合食材,義大利人稱這道步驟叫「乳化」(mantecatura),要先把鍋子斜傾,甩鍋讓米撞上鍋壁讓米像是浪潮般湧起後再跌回鍋裡,在這個過程中可以讓奶油與起司攪拌進去。「乳化」步驟能讓燉飯口感更厚實更濃稠綿密,並且因為米不斷地釋出澱粉,並且因為不斷地攪拌,奶油與起司還有番紅花的風味更能均勻分布在米中。這是至為關鍵的步驟,唯有掌握正確的量與正確的速度才能烹調出一道完美的燉飯。

The consistency you are looking for is all’onda, which means like ocean waves in Italian. It is neither dense like xifan, nor is it dry like fried rice. It is a smooth, luxurious, wave-like seduction of rice and sauce. As with pasta, the back of the spoon should be coated with just a perfect thickness of sauce that clings on and doesn’t want to fall. Once the mantecatura is done, plate your rice onto a round plate in the center and let it spread evenly. To let the risotto fall uniformly, hold the plate in one hand and bump the bottom of the plate with an open palm to ensure an even layer.

至於燉飯濃稠度的標準,義大利人稱之為要能像「浪」(all’onda)般,既不像稀飯那樣糊,也不像炒飯那樣乾,黏稠度是要在乳化甩鍋過程米能在鍋中起浪,看過去平滑又誘人。而且黏稠標準就跟評判義大利麵一樣,你吃的時候湯匙的背面是要能沾滿一定厚度的醬汁,而且沾上的醬汁一滴都不會滑落。乳化過程完成後,就可以把燉飯裝盛在圓盤的正中央,並且讓燉飯在圓盤中央均勻分布,你可以一手握著盤子,另一手用手掌拍打盤子底部讓燉飯更為均勻散開。

There it is, 17 minutes, and mantecatura. A risotto should take about 3o minutes from start to finish. This is why in Italy, generally the restaurant will tell you it takes a little longer, and also that two portions should be ordered because it is sometimes difficult and time consuming to cook just one portion. If it took under that time, the rice was precooked, and if it took over that time I hope you are not biting into a glob of congee.

17分鐘與乳化步驟,關鍵的神奇秘密就在這裡。因此烹調燉飯從開始到結束,所需要的時間大約為30分鐘,這也是為什麼在義大利點燉飯時餐廳都會說要你多等一下的原因。而且最好一次點兩份,因為一次只做一份會比較費事跟費時。如果一道燉飯的烹調時間過少,很清楚就代表米已經先煮熟過了,如果超過30分鐘,我希望你吃的不是一碗黏稠的粥。

If you are in northern Italy, where the risotto prevails, I urge you to order one. Try the classics and try something you never thought was possible with rice, from a porcini risotto, to pumpkin and liquorice. Should you feel up for it, make a risotto, and make it well, but DO NOT wash the rice!

As Chef Bruno would always say, ‘Mantecare bene, ragazzi!

燉飯是北義大利頗富盛名的美食,如果你有機會去北義大利的話,我希望你也點一道燉飯來嚐嚐,特別是要嚐經典的以及有意想不到的配料但卻與米飯有絕妙搭配的燉飯,像是牛肝菌燉飯、蝦仁與八角燉飯。你也一定要自己試著做,自己用心感受一下,而且記得千萬不要洗米!

就像主廚Bruno每次說的,「Mantecare bene, ragazzi!」各位,給我把鍋子好好甩啊!

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Mick Wu
Managing Editor