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Crayfish, Mushroom and Iru Risotto

Crayfish, Mushroom and Iru Risotto

This dish, is the very definition of umami. The warm squishiness of the rice, which is already an incredible feature of risotto, backed up on your palette by rich, nutty crayfish, super savoury mushrooms, and the most pleasurable stink from the iru. Iru is the Yoruba word for fermented locust beans. In this dish, I have used iru a bit like one might use truffles to add a fine finish to an already incredible dish. I highly recommend this for treating, and enjoying yourself. It is luxurious, but comforting at the same time. Typing this up reminds me, that I’m long overdue to make some soon.



For the stock:

2kg crayfish, cleaned, skin left on

3L drinking water

2 tsp sea salt

2 slices of an orange

1 lemon, sliced

1 tsp black peppercorns

1 small bunch of dill

4 cloves garlic

1 onion


For the risotto:

600g risotto or Arborio rice

2 cups fresh peas

12 – 15 mushrooms

1 red onion, finely chopped

6 – 8 cloves garlic

10g butter

2L crayfish or other stock, such as chicken stock

500g, crayfish, shelled

1 lemon cut into wedges, to garnish

100ml double cream

5 sprigs fresh thyme

Salt and black pepper

100ml Iru oil, for drizzling



  1. Begin with making a crayfish stock by placing all the stock ingredients into a large pot and boiling until the liquid is reduced by about a third. Keep the stock hot for making the risotto. 
  2. Now begin the risotto. Melt the butter in a large, wide pan. Add the garlic and thyme. 
  3. Add the mushrooms, and mix, followed by the onion. Season very lightly with salt and pepper. Add the shelled crayfish and the peas.
  4. Now add the rice and continue to stir over a relatively high heat for about 2 minutes. 
  5. Now begin to add the hot stock to the pan, about a cup at a time, stirring all the time. Every time the liquid dries up, add more stock, and repeat this until the rice is cooked thorough. This takes about 15 – 20 minutes depending on the quantity of rice being cooked. 
  6. Once the rice is cooked, drizzle over the double cream, and mix in, to give it a wonderfully creamy aesthetic. 
  7. Serve piping hot with a wedge of lime and a whole crayfish from the stock pot to decorate. 


This recipe is from Season 1 Episode 11 of Minjiba Entertains, commissioned by The Africa Channel and showing on RealTime DSTV Channel 155, Emirates in-Flight Entertainment, Amazon Prime, and Demand Africa. 


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