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Chefs at home: Watch Bjorn Shen of Artichoke cook an easy risotto dish — alongside his recipe

The rebel chef

Text: Janice Sim


Our city’s culinary scene has always been on a steady climb; with veteran names and new blood carving a namesake of their own signature dishes as well as individual accolades. We’ve seen them at their peak, and know for a fact that they’re capable of revolutionary things in the professional kitchen. 

But what are they really like at home? In our brand new video series, we invaded their personal spaces to find out what fuss-free, instant tricks they have stowed away in their own home kitchens. We believe everyone has a lazy meal, even the cheffy ones.

Kicking off the series is chef-owner of Artichoke, Bjorn Shen — who never fails to dish it as it is. Watch our video starring the unpredictable rebel cook, and also judge of MasterChef Singapore, who reveals his one-pan antics when he’s not busy serving Middle Eastern brunch to the weekend crowd.

Recipe for Bjorn Shen's risotto
Serves 4

Here's what you need

2 cloves Garlic, sliced
2 heads Shallots, sliced
4 tbspn Cooking oil
1.5 cups Japanese Short Grain Rice
4 cups Stock (can be a fresh veg/chicken stock/a stock cube dissolved in water)
1/2 a Large Zucchini, sliced finely
2 tbspn Unsalted Butter
1 large handful Grated Pecorino, plus more for garnish
Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Lemon, for zest

How to make it

1. Sweat the garlic and shallots in the oil over low-medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add in the rice grains and toast for 1 minute, coating in the oil.
2. Add in stock one cup at a time, stirring frequently to extract the starch from the rice grains.
3. After 20 minutes, and 3 cups of stock, the rice should be close to done. You do not need to use up all the stock.
4. Season to taste with salt. Cook till the grains are al dente, turn off the heat and fold in the zucchini slices.
5. Top with butter and cheese, put on a lid and allow to relax for 1 minute off the heat.
6. Stir the risotto to emulsify the butter and cheese, then portion out over four plates.
7. The risotto should be runny. If it is still too stiff, add more stock to loosen. Finish with extra shavings of pecorino, a pinch of freshly cracked black pepper, a swirl of extra virgin olive oil and a light shaving of lemon zest. 

Creative Producer: Vanessa Caitlin
Videography: David Bay
Sound: Hazirah Rahim

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