Thai risotto with Cordon Bleu friends! (dairy-free w/a vegan option)

This recipe was inevitable to film.  The other evening, my friend from Le Cordon Bleu Paris invited me and my other girlfriend from the school over to dinner.  She made this.  With the coconut mousse emulsion and everything.  I had two thoughts run through my head:

  1. and first, how lucky I am to have friends who are chefs.  Like, seriously.
  2. this must be turned into a video for Bubble Child.

It’s naturally gluten- and dairy-free, and is totally easy to make vegan by replacing chicken stock with vegetable stock, and using tofu or another protein for chicken.  We used a fermented tofu for the video and it was stunning!

The real surprising ingredient in this dish is on top: at a restaurant Christin worked at in Paris, the chef would replace anything where tomato would go with grapefruit!!  Sounds weird, but even if you don’t like grapefruit, like Daily in the video, you’ll probably like it on this.  It’s subtle, and such a lovely combination of flavors.

Make sure you try to find that fresh lemongrass, and it really shines in this dish!  I hope you make it, as it’s fun, and pretty easy, and tastes like an expected meeting between Italy, Thailand, and, I’ll have to say it, France.

Bon appétit mes amis.  I hope this meal finds you well.  🙂


Thai risotto (dairy-free w/a vegan option!)

Serves 2-3
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Dietary Corn Free, Dairy Free, Diabetic, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Lactose Free, Nut Free, Soy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dish, Starter
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Gourmet, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot


  • 1 cup arborio or short-grain brown rice
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock, or water (if you need more liquid to cook your risotto, and run out of stock, use water.)
  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil (for cooking)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (plus more to taste if needed)
  • 1 stick fresh lemongrass (or 1-2 teaspoons dried, depending upon its potency)
  • 1 grapefruit (diced into small cubes)
  • 1 red pepper (diced into small cubes)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro or parsley (cut into thin ribbons [chiffonade])
  • 1/2 cup protein of choice (can use chicken or tofu, cut into cubes or strips as you like)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup sake (optional, but delicious)


Step 1 Start by cooking your rice. Heat 2 tbs. coconut oil in a large saucepan and cook rice over medium heat until transparent, but not colored. Add your lemongrass that has been loosely chopped and a large pinch salt. Stir a few times. Now, either deglaze your rice with sake (optional but tasty) or directly with 1/2 cup of your stock or just water. Keep stirring until all of the liquid is absorbed. This is important to release the starches in the rice and make it "risotto"-like.
Step 2 Once the rice has absorbed all of the liquid, add another 1/2 cup or ladel-full, and repeat the process. You're going to keep doing this, stirring the whole time, until the rice is cooked al dente. It could require anywhere from 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups stock or water, depending upon your rice and the temperature you cook it at. You'll have to taste it to see if it's cooked to your liking!
Step 3 Prepare your toppings: Either hire your sous chef or take a few minutes' break at a time to chop up your toppings. For the red peppers, heat up 1 tbs. coconut oil in a large saucepan and sear them with a pinch of salt, stirring occassionally, for a few minutes, to make them more digestible and flavorful.
Step 4 Prepare the emulsion: heat 1/3 cup stock and 1/3 cup coconut milk in a saucepan until warm. Using either a whisk or a handheld mixer, at very high speeds whisk the liquid until frothy. (Chef's tip!: You can add a pinch of xanthan gum is you want the foam to be hold well.)
Step 5 Once the rice is cooked, and your toppings are ready, add 1/2 cup coconut milk and a decent amount (about 1 tsp.) of turmeric to the rice. Taste for salt, and add more if needed. Serve in a large bowl and top with your chopped veggies, your heated protein of choice, and top with the mousse. So good.

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