Loto Rice is a heritage variety of Italian short-grain rice. A traditional yet lesser-known choice for risotto, its creamy, absorbent grains hold their shape well throughout the slow, methodical process of cooking risotto.
Heat 4 cups stock to a simmer. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a separate 1-quart pan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup minced onion and stir for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup Loto Rice and stir for 2 minutes to toast. Sprinkle in 1 tsp. salt. Stir in 1/2 cup white wine and cook until absorbed. Stir in 1/2 cup warm stock. Cook until absorbed, stirring frequently. Repeat with remaining stock until risotto is creamy and tender (some stock may be leftover). Stir in diced cold butter and grated Parmesan cheese to taste.
Storage & handling
Store in a dry, cool place.
Loto Rice is an Italian heritage variety of short-grain rice with elongated, oval-shaped grains and a firm yet creamy cooked texture. Like other beloved Italian short-grain varieties such as Vialone Nano and Arborio, Loto Rice’s starch content and absorbent grains have solidified this traditional yet lesser-known variety as a natural option for risotto, maintaining its firm, al dente texture throughout long, slow cook times.
A classic culinary expression of Italy, risotto is a hearty, creamy dish made through a labor-intensive process of slowly adding cooking liquid in small increments until absorbed and stirring the rice continually while cooking. Using an absorbent, starchy rice that maintains its al dente texture throughout long cook times is crucial in producing a rich, creamy, flavorful risotto.
While primarily used to make risotto, Loto Rice can also be used in other savory rice creations like riso all’inglese, a simple dish of boiled rice topped with salt, butter, and Parmesan cheese, as well as in sweet dessert applications like rice puddings.
Loto rice is a unique grain in that is creates a risotto like finish when prepared in the traditional method. It develops a nutty, rich taste and chewy, separated texture.