#SymonDinners Risotto w/ Ground Meat & Veg 意大利菜肉米粥

Risotto and Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans

last updated 03 August 2020

My favorite celebrity chef content from this COVID-19 shutdown has undoubtedly been Michael Symon’s daily #SymonDinners. He posted video live on Instagram every day at 5:00 PM for 47 days straight, full of advice for cooking methods and substitutions, not rigid recipes. This inspired thousands of home cooks, including many beginners, to make dinner delicious with whatever we had in our fridges and pantries.

In honor of his last day of daily posting, I made Chef Symon’s Risotto with Ground Meat & Veg (link to his IGTV demo), served it with my Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans, and translated the recipe to Chinese! Risotto is similar to Chinese congee — 粥 (zhōu) or 稀饭 (xī fàn, literally “loose rice”) — so I’ve named this dish 意大利菜肉米粥 (yì dà lì cài ròu mǐ zhōu), “Italian vegetable and meat congee” in Chinese. Spicy málà green beans and rich risotto were the perfect union of East Meets West.

Thank you, Chef Symon, for bringing people to the kitchen together during this unprecedented time. I hope my own recipes can inspire you to try something new too!

Risotto and Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans
Iron Chef Michael Symon’s Risotto with Ground Meat and Veg, served with Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans. East meets West, and a perfect meal.
美国著名铁人料理厨师Michael Symon的意大利菜肉米粥,配上我的独门秘籍少油版的四川干煸四季豆。中西结合的美味佳肴,走过路过一定不要错过!

To follow along with the daily meals, including other home cooks’s versions of this #SymonDinners risotto, you can check out the #SymonDinners instagram tag. I’ve posted a few riffs on the daily dinner recipes there as well.

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  • ~3 cups warm stock (I used 1 cups of bamboo shoot stock, 2 cups chicken Better than Bouillon, and 1 cup of water)
  • 4 oz dry white wine (I used Oyster Bay sauvignon blanc)
  • 2 tsp oil (I used ghee)
  • 1 lb ground meat (I used 6 oz ground pork loin + 1 sweet Italian sausage)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • frozen veg (I used a 5″ disc of blanched spinach + 1/2 cup peas)
  • 1/2 cup soft herbs (I used cilantro)
  • 1 tsp citrus zest (I used orange)
  • 1/2 tsp acid (I used Gold Plum brand Chinkiang vinegar, rice wine vinegar or lemon juice would also work)


  • 高汤或水,约700毫升,烧热保温(我用了2茶勺“Better than Bouillon”浓缩鸡汤 + 300毫升泡竹笋的水 + 400毫升开水)
  • 干白葡萄酒,100毫升(或50毫升黄酒+50毫升凉水)
  • 油,10克(橄榄油或奶油最香)
  • 碎肉,400克(我用了150克猪里脊+1根去皮意大利香肠)
  • 洋葱,1颗切丁
  • 意大利米(arborio),200克
  • 冰冻蔬菜,适量(我用了自制冰冻菠菜和小豌豆)
  • 香菜,一把,切碎(约10克)
  • 橙皮屑,一茶勺
  • 陈醋,3克(我只用金梅牌镇江香醋)

Directions 做法

Browning forms flavor

Browning ground pork in a Dutch oven

Heat a Dutch oven to medium heat and add 2 tsp oil. If you’re using sausage links, remove the casing. Brown the ground meat on all sides, and break it up


Cook onions with browned meat

Once the meat is browned and starting to caramelize, add the onions and cook for ~2 minutes until the onion starts turning golden.


Toast the arborio rice with the caramelized meat and onions

Add the arborio rice and toast. Stir the contents of the pot well so that the rice is coated in the rendered fat.


Simmer… save some effort

Deglaze the pan with white wine and stock

At this point, a nice fond — golden brown bits — should be forming at the bottom of the pan. Deglaze: pour in the white wine and scrape up the fond. Keep stirring until the rice has fully absorbed the white wine.

Add 1.5 cups of stock, stirring well. When the liquid comes to a boil, turn the heat down to low, put the lid on, and simmer until the stock is fully absorbed (~8 minutes).

Now back to traditional risotto cooking



Take the lid off and turn the heat back to medium. Keep adding stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently after each addition until absorbed.

The risotto is done when the rice is al dente — toothsome but not crunchy — about 20 minutes starting from the first addition of stock. Feel free to add more stock and cook longer if you prefer it softer.

Finish: add veg, garnish, & plate

Add frozen spinach to the finished risotto

Add the frozen vegetables and cook until they are warmed through, stirring to distribute. Finish with 1 tsp of orange zest and 1/2 tsp of black Chinese (Chinkiang) vinegar to cut through the richness. Turn off the heat and stir in the cilantro.

Serve alongside Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans.

Risotto with Ground Meat & Veg, plated

米煮熟了以后,加入适量的蔬菜。传统的意大利米粥只烧至米饭颗粒还有点嚼劲(意大利语“al dente”),不过大家可以按照自己的胃口决定。


Tips & Tricks 独门小诀窍

  • Risotto is really easy to make, but you need to stay close by and keep stirring frequently so it doesn’t scorch.
  • The stock should be warm for every addition. You can do this by keeping a small saucepan of stock simmering. Alternatively, since I used mostly concentrated stock (Better than Bouillon), I just boiled water in an electric kettle and made hot stock as needed.
  • If you don’t have any stock on hand, you can make a very quick and flavorful stock by rinsing clean dried shiitake mushrooms or bamboo shoots and soaking them in hot water for at least 10 minutes. Reserve the vegetables for another use like red-braised pork, or chop them up and cook them in the risotto.
  • Standard risotto recipes call for adding warm stock a ladle-ful at a time then stirring continuously. I recommend the method of adding a larger quantity at the beginning and simmering until it’s fully absorbed to save some stirring effort. Make sure you turn the heat down to low so it doesn’t scorch. This is only for the first addition of stock. (credit to Jacques Pepin for the risotto trick)
  • The risotto is ready for the next addition of stock when a wooden spoon scraped on the bottom leaves a clean trail. If the liquid doesn’t immediately fill in where your spoon was, you can add the next half cup of stock.
  • If you don’t have any white wine, you can replace it with stock, or a mix of 50/50 dry sherry and water. I definitely recommend picking up a bottle if you can though; this meal pairs perfectly with a crisp white wine. Dry riesling, sauvignon blanc, vinho verde, and chardonnay would all be great choices.
  • Frozen vegetables are perfect for this recipe, but you can use fresh if you have them. If there are any leafy greens in your refrigerator that you won’t finish before they go bad, preserve them by blanching in boiling water, plunging into an ice bath, squeezing out the excess water, and freezing in small piles on a sheet tray. Once the piles have solidified, put them into a zip-top bag and save for future use. The block of greens in the photos is spinach that I blanched and froze.
  • Citrus zest is a great ingredient to brighten up rich and heavy dishes. I use a peeler to remove strips of orange zest (just the orange outside part, not the bitter white pith) before I eat oranges. Save the strips of zest in the fridge or freezer for future cooking.
  • 意大利米粥一点都不难做,但是要花点小心思。一定不能走远了,必须常常搅拌以免烧糊!
  • 照片里的锅是西式的“荷兰烤箱”(Dutch oven),就是一口很重的汤锅。任何合适煮粥的锅均可使用。
  • 烩饭需要用热汤,少量多次加入锅中。如果您使用的是冷高汤,用一口小锅将其煮热,转小火保温。我用的主要是浓缩鸡汤,比较省事,每当加汤时再用开水冲。
  • 冰箱里没有高汤可以用开水泡香菇或竹笋干。香菇竹笋可以加入意大利米粥提鲜或者冰箱保存,下次做红烧肉。在此也建议家里可以被一瓶浓缩鸡汤。我个人认为Better than Bouillon牌液体最接近真正的鸡汤味,而且炒菜时还可以当鸡精提鲜。
  • 家里没有白葡萄酒可以用黄酒掺一半凉水。不过这道菜配干煸四季豆和一杯白葡萄酒真是人间美味。白葡萄酒的品种最好不要选太甜的,比如dry riesling, sauvignon blanc, vinho verde, 波尔多或勃艮第的chardonnay都合适.
  • 传统的risotto菜谱每次只加一勺热高汤,开盖中火煮时一直搅拌。我使用的是著名法国厨师Jacques Pepin的小诀窍,第一次多加一些热汤,盖上锅盖转小火熬。这样可以少在灶边守几分钟。
  • 照片里的蔬菜是我自制的冰冻菠菜叶。这道米粥可加入任何新鲜或冰冻青菜。自己在家冰冻蔬菜有小诀窍:洗干净的菜叶焯水20秒,冰水侵泡。菜叶挤干水,在一个烤盘或菜板上摆成堆放入冰柜速冻。凝固后将所有装入一支拉链袋,冰柜保存。这样3斤菜叶只要一小袋,避免浪费,以后即省时间又不多占冰柜空间。
  • 这道菜因为淀粉和肉较多,容易腻。出锅前加陈醋和橙皮屑可以解腻提香。下次吃橙子,洗干净用削皮刀先取下薄薄一层橙皮,冰柜保存以后炒菜很管用。注意:橙皮白色部分苦涩至极,一定只要留外表橘色部分!


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