Squid ink risotto

The Story;

Risotto has been a new meal for me to cook. It used to seem too technical, and I had no idea what  I was trying to get it to do. Eventually, I bit the arborio grain, and followed a Giorgio Locatelli recipe on his simple saffron risotto. I was happy, the wife was very happy and its become a staple ever since. I’ve experimented with it, made a pumpkin and braised chicken risotto, a 3 way potato risotto, and now… a Squid Ink Risotto.

I have been desperate to make a squid risotto ever since I had an excellent one many years ago on Degraves Street (the cafe is no longer there, or has changed hands at least). I love the color, and distinct subtle flavor the fish stock gives to it.

To write up this recipe, I learnt a thing or two whilst making it;

  1. Fish stock, although it smells pungent originally, is very subtle. I wish I had the time to make my own because I don’t think the off the shelf bought stuff (as good as it is) packed enough flavor.
  2. Go easy on the butter at the end. With a saffron risotto you can smash in plenty of butter and parmesan at the end to bring out a rich flavor. Add too much butter in a squid risotto and it over powers the seafood.

The details.

Serves 2, cheap, medium difficulty.


  • 2 shallots & 1 clove of garlic (finely diced)
  • 200 g of arborio rice
  • 60ml of white wine
  • 750ml of good quality fish stock (Moredough make a good off the shelf stock)
  • Squid ink (you can either buy it fresh from a fishmonger, or from a good pasta shop or your supermarket)
  • 20 g of butter (room temperature)
  • 30 g of butter (cubed refrigerated)
  • 2 small baby squid, cut into even pieces
  • Vegetable oil (for frying squid)


  1. Heat your stock to a simmer
  2. Heat the butter in a large heavy bottomed pan
  3. Gently cook the onion and garlic until translucent, careful not to let it color

    Cook onion and garlic gently in butter

    while your fish stock simmers


  4. Once cooked, add the rice and toast gently

    Toast the rice

  5. Add the white wine and deglaze until almost dry
  6. Add the squid ink (if it is store bought, add both packets)
  7. Slowly add the fish stock one ladleful at a time until each has almost evaporated and then add your next. This process should take around 12-18 minutes. Taste as it gets closer to being cook.
  8. Once it is ready, take off the heat.
  9. Quickly fry off the baby squid. It will take approx 20 seconds for the pieces to cook through.
  10. Stir through your butter into the risotto, working quickly so it doesn’t melt into the risotto, but you are working it through it.
  11. Serve up and place the baby squid on top!


About johnsonskitchen


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