Pumpkin and 5 Pepper Risotto


Chinese five-spice powder is what gives this pumpkin risotto its unique flavor, and you can find it at most supermarkets and of course at Asian food shops and specialty spice shops. The method for making the risotto is very traditional and it's important to follow the steps carefully to achieve the proper consistency at the end. Here the pumpkin is sauteed with the shallot and garlic at the beginning, so it becomes exceptionally soft by the time the risotto is served.


  • 1 liter water
  • 1 packet vegetable stock (instant)
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning (5 pepper)
  • turmeric
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons liquid margarine
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 240 grams pumpkin (small cubes)
  • 200 grams risotto rice
  • wine (or Licor Beirão, to taste)
  • manchego cheese (cured, or Parmesan cheese, to taste)


  1. In a saucepan, bring 1 liter of water and the vegetable stock to a boil. Season with a pinch of turmeric for color, 1 teaspoon of the 5-pepper seasoning and a pinch of salt. Boil for about 2 minutes. Cover, remove from heat, and set aside.
  2. In another pan, slightly melt 1 tablespoon of liquid margarine.
  3. Add the shallot and garlic, and brown slightly.
  4. Add the cubed pumpkin and let it absorb the flavor of the margarine.
  5. Add 1 ladle of broth, and stir a little bit. Let the water evaporate before adding another ladle of broth. Approximately 3 ladlefuls will be needed to cook the pumpkin.
  6. When the pumpkin is cooked, mash it well with a fork.
  7. Add the risotto, and let it sit for 2 minutes to absorb the pumpkin flavor.
  8. Add a little bit of Licor Beirão or wine.
  9. Add some broth, stir, add more broth, then mix until creamy and well cooked.
  10. For a creamier risotto, after removing from heat, add a second tablespoon of liquid margarine immediately. Add the grated cheese and mix.
  11. Serve warm.
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