Festive seafood risotto for a taste of home | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

The author: “The seafood risotto is the best representation of me as a cook.”


My experience of growing up in Malabon City where my family had an abundant supply of fresh seafood, alongside my Ilonggo mother who was a cooking powerhouse, paved the way for my deep connection and love for food.

In our home, my mother took the reins in the kitchen—from planning our daily meals to preparing an endless supply of food for birthdays and celebrations. Having good food on the table was always an integral part of our family culture. Watching my mother cook and apply her Spanish and Ilonggo roots in her cooking enabled me to appreciate the flavors in even the simplest meals.

With the abundance of seafood available in our hometown of Malabon, the possibilities were endless. This fascination for food was strengthened as I traveled to other parts of the world. As a college student, I was fortunate enough to travel to Europe with my friends, and that was where I explored the varying cuisines that would made a mark in my style of cooking.

Bringing home the tastes and experiences from traveling the world, I was inspired to explore different cuisines that challenge me to maximize my capabilities as a cook. As our family has had the tradition of hosting big celebrations, this became an avenue for me to showcase the dishes and recipes that I have curated.

The ingredients of a dish inspired by the abundance of fresh seafood from the author’s childhood.


Luckily, those meals were well-received, which ultimately encouraged me to enter the business of food catering. I have been in the catering industry for almost 16 years, and I continue to grow as a cook. I always look forward to joining classes (such as chef Reggie Aspiras’) and attending food expos to widen my knowledge of all things food.

Whenever I want to try a new recipe, my first customers are always my children. In preparing their meals for school, I get to experiment on dishes they might enjoy. My kids have gained the reputation of always having the best baon in class, much to my delight!

But among all the dishes I have prepared for them, my special seafood risotto has always been the blockbuster hit.

The seafood risotto is the best representation of me as a cook—it features the flavors of my childhood teeming with fresh seafood, and encapsulates the depth and comfort that Italian cuisine brings.

This simple yet flavorful dish is guaranteed to bring anyone and everyone in a festive mood. From small gatherings to special celebrations, this seafood risotto will give you a taste of home.

Seafood Risotto

¼ c olive oil

1 medium onion, minced

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 small bay leaf

100 g fresh portobello mushroom100 g carrots, diced

3 pc medium fresh squid, sliced into rings

100 g fresh scallops

5 pc large shrimp, cleaned and deveined

½ tsp Italian seasoning

1 Tbsp Chef Reggie’s aromatic wine

½ c white wine

1½ c arborio rice

3 c seafood/chicken stock

2 Tbsp butter

½ c freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp truffle oil

In a small saucepan, keep warm the seafood or chicken stock.

In a separate pan, panfry the prawns in butter then set aside.

In another pan, add the olive oil and sauté the onions until tender. Afterward, add the garlic, bay leaf, mushrooms and carrots. Stir occasionally.

Add the squid, scallops then season with Italian herbs, Chef Reggie’s aromatic wine and white wine. Then add the arborio rice.

In the same pan, add the stock then stir as the arborio absorbs the liquid. When the rice is al dente, remove the pan from the heat and add the butter, cheese, parsley, olive oil and truffle oil.

Stir the ingredients well then add salt and pepper to taste. After transferring the risotto onto a plate, add the panfried prawns that were set aside earlier. —CONTRIBUTED

The author, mom to Ryan, Rianna and Raena, runs Pretty in Pink Catering Services.

Are you also a passionate home cook and want to be featured? Share with us your story and recipes, along with mouthwatering photos. Send them to [email protected].

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.