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Creamy saffron brown rice

Saffron is a very old spice and was often used in ancient Egypt to make perfumes, ointments and to dye fabrics. Today saffron is well known for its culinary properties and it’s used to make delicious and aromatic dishes such as saffron rice. There are lots of different saffron rice recipes and every country has its own: today we are going to make saffron rice the Italian way. In Italy, saffron rice is often called “risotto all Milanese” which means “rice from Milan” because it’s one of Milan most iconic dishes. It takes a long time to make proper saffron rice, so be patient and treat it as a baby: this recipe needs lots of attention and you will have to check your rice all the time. It might sound annoying but I promise you that the results are amazing: if you follow the steps your rice will be creamy, tasty and light. The original Italian recipe calls for white rice but we have used brown rice to keep it low-gl and diabetic friendly. If you want to use white rice just use half miso stock as the rice will cook much faster!




2 litres of miso broth
320g brown rice
120g vegetable butter
40g white wine
30g nutritional yeast
1 tsp saffron strands
1 onion
Chopped almonds (optional)



First thing first, put the saffron strands in a glass and cover with water – just enough to cover them completely. Let them infuse for the whole night


Prepare the miso broth: simply boil 2 litres of water and add 2 tbsp of black miso paste. Stir until the paste has dissolved. Set aside


Finely chop the onion. It has to be very thin you can use a food blender here


Put 50g of vegetable butter in a large and deep pot and let it melt over low heat. Add the chopped onion, 1/4 cup of miso broth and let stew for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onion is very soft


Add rinsed rice to the pot and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Blend with the white wine and let evaporate completely


Pour enough miso broth (not all of it) to cover the rice and let cook over low heat for 40 minutes. This step is critical and you’ll have to check the rice every 8-10 minutes. Add more miso broth little at a time, only when the rice looks dry and has absorbed all the previous broth. Also, remember to stir occasionally or the rice will stick to the pan!


Once the rice is cooked, turn off the heat and pour in the saffron strands (with the infused water), remaining butter and nutritional yeast. Season with salt and mix until well-combined


Cover with a lid and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve with crushed almonds (optional) and garnish with saffron strands


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