Arancini (Breaded Rice Balls)

A wise farmer once said “any food can be made better by breading and frying it in nugget form.”  I believe his name was McDonald.  Arancini are delicious little balls (or whatever shape you like – I used an onigiri press given to me following the recipe a few weeks ago) of rice and various other flavourings.  While they can be made fresh, I like to make them whenever I have leftover risotto.  In this case it was my Sundried Tomato and Pine Nut Risotto, which is still a staple at my dinner table.

These make a fantastic starter or snack, but would also serve well as a meal served with a nice fresh salad.

Ingredients

  • Risotto of your choice (plenty of recipes on here, just use the search bar above) – cooled.
  • Flour
  • Breadcrumbs (if you can make your own by blending stale bread, but the golden stuff from supermarkets will work though panko would be preferable.)
  • Egg
  • Rapeseed/Sunflower/vegetable oil

Method

  1. Wet your hands to avoid stickiness, then form your cooled risotto into small balls, cones or whatever shape you like.  Just make sure they’re nice and compressed.
  2. Bread using the standard 3 bowl technique – roll in flour, then coat with beaten egg, then roll in breadcrumbs until thoroughly coated.  Repeat the egg and breadcrumbs for a thicker, more well sealed coating.  I like to give it a little squeeze after this step too – really make it solid.
  3. Fill a pan with oil around 3cm deep.  I use a small saucepan so that it gets plenty deep without wasting too much oil, but really it’s up to you.  Feel free to use a deep fat fryer.  Heat until a breadcrumb dropped in it bubbles vigorously.
  4. Fry the arancini a couple at a time, turning regularly for a couple of minutes until nicely browned – the filling is already cooked, you’re really just heating and crisping up the coating.  Drain on paper towels and serve warm.

 

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