Siba's tip...

Don’t be intimidated by the thought of making risotto. Once you have mastered these easy steps – a South African take on an old culinary classic − you’ll find it to be a hearty go-to. It’s also a very versatile dish. I like to serve it as a stand-alone meal topped with pea shoots, with a drizzling of basil pesto and Parmesan shavings. My other trick is to make it part of a showstopper meal, such as when I use it as an accompaniment to lamb shanks or good, old-fashioned, pot-roasted chicken.

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Siba’s Samp + Mushroom Risotto

Prep time

10 min

Cook time

1 hr




  • 220 g (1 cup) samp
  • 500 ml water for soaking
  • 1 L water, for cooking
  • 5 ml salt


  • 30 ml oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 100 g large brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 625 ml (2½ cups) cooked samp
  • 750 ml hot chicken stock
  • 125 g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 15 g fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 15 g fresh parsley, chopped
  • 60 g butter


  1. To make the samp: Soak the samp in water for 1 hour. Drain the water and place the soaked samp in a medium saucepan. Pour fresh water over the samp in the saucepan. Cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally until the samp has swelled up and is soft, but still has a ‘bite’ to it. Set aside.
  2. To make the risotto: In a large frying pan, heat the oil and sauté the onion for 4 minutes until soft and translucent, but not caramelised. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Now add the mushrooms and sauté for 4 minutes until soft and slightly crunchy.
  3. Add the samp and stir well. Pour in the hot chicken stock about ¼ cup at a time, stirring gently until all the stock has been transferred to the pan. Continue stirring until the samp has a creamy consistency.
  4. Stir in the Parmesan and herbs. Add the butter and stir until melted. Keep warm as the dish is now ready to serve.

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