Smoked Salmon and Vodka Risotto

Today’s recipe is the perfect dish to make for your New Year’s Eve dinner party: it’s classy and delicious and it is done in 20 minutes!  We always have smoked fish during the holidays, both as appetiser and as part of a main dish like this one.  I love smoked salmon, and Vodka goes really well with it.  The final taste of this risotto is slightly smokey, and yet very delicate.  It is definitely a very festive and elegant dish!  I hope you all are having a fantastic holiday season!

Smoked Salmon and Vodka Risotto

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
  • 320 gms – 11.3 oz. rice (Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone nano)
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 150 gms – Smoked salmon, chopped
  • 45 gms – 3 tbsp butter
  • 90 ml – 3 oz. Vodka
  • 1 lt – 4 cups salty water or very light fish stock stock (I used water as I did not want the stock to overpower the delicate flavour of the ingredients)
  • 6 tbsp cream
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Start by putting the water with a pinch of salt (or stock) in a pot and heat it on the fire. The water/stock has to be hot all the time while you are cooking risotto, so that the rice temperature does not drop when you add the water to it.
  2. Put the finely chopped onion and butter in a pot and let it cook on a slow fire, until the onion becomes soft and transparent.
  3. Add half the smoked salmon and cook it for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the rice, mix well and let it cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until it becomes translucent.
  5. Now pour in the Vodka and let the alcohol burn off by cooking on a high flame.
  6. Then add enough hot water/stock to cover the rice and turn the fire to medium-low.
  7. Keep cooking, occasionally stirring the rice and adding hot water/stock little by little, until the rice is cooked. It is going to take approximately 18 to 20 minutes depending on the rice you are using.
  8. When the rice is ready, add the remaining smoked salmon and the cream. Mix well and put the fire off.
  9. Make sure that your risotto is moist (or, as we say, all’onda – which literally means wavy) and not sticky. Check for salt and season to your liking.
Whenever you cook risotto, do not wash the rice before cooking. The starch is needed for the risotto to become creamy.

Smoked Salmon and Vodka Risotto


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  1. says

    Absolutely gorgeous dish! It reminds me of a Brazilian take on risotto, using “caipirinha”, a drink that calls for “pinga”, the traditional Brazilian distilled from sugar cane. I think the recipe I have uses shrimp, but salmon would be perfect too

    Happy Holidays!


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