Arancini – fried rice balls

1 Jun


I adapted this recipe from Michael Symon’s Carnivore and it really couldn’t be any simpler. The best thing is it makes use of leftovers meaning most of the work is already done.

I say I adapted the recipe but truthfully I blatantly stole the recipe and replaced mozzarella with blue cheese (the jury’s out on that decision, not terrible but not amazing). Other than that these are pretty foolproof and you can stuff them with whatever you want. I strongly suggest meat or cheese or both ideally. Memories of mozzarella with fennel laced sausage have been clouding my brain since my last Malnati’s pizza so they shall be my stuffing of choice for the next batch of deep-fried risotto. As I had neither of these ingredients at hand this time I had to make do with some Danish blue cheese, poor me.

In all honesty these were actually better than expected and I urge anyone to give them a go, ideally by making far too much risotto the day before so you have less work to do when  you want to make these. It’s all pretty simple really:

Stuff you’ll need

  •  130g (3/4 cup) risotto cooled in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight  (if you can’t make risotto then check out one of the million recipes online)
  • 1 egg
  • 100g (3-4 oz) good quality blue cheese cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 120g (1 cup) breadcrumbs. 2 stale white slices of regular sliced pan bread blitzed makes just the right amount.
  • 1 litre (34 oz) sunflower or any flavourless oil for frying
  • 100g (3 oz) parmesan grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Add  the egg, salt and parmesan to the cooled risotto mixture.
  2. With damp hands make balls about double the size of golf balls. Place a piece of blue cheese in the centre and form the rice around the cheese ensuring all of the cheese is securely sealed inside. You’ll end up with approximately 6 or 7 arancini.
  3. Store in the fridge for up to a day before breading and frying.
  4. Heat up the oil to 180 Celcius (350 Farenheit)
  5. As the oil is heating coat each of the arancini in breadcrumbs and remove the excess.
  6. Deep fry for about 3 – 4 minutes until very golden brown. Ensure you don’t crowd the pan as you will reduce the temperature of the oil.
  7. Remove with a slotted spoon and season with salt. If you are using a small pot just store the cooked arancini in a warm oven while you fry the rest.


Serves: 3 (2 very hungry people)

Alternate Filling

Fennel Sausage and Mozzarella. Remove skin from 3 sausages and place meat in a bowl. Toast fennel seeds, crush in a pestle and mortar and add to the sausage meat. Mix the filling with your hands and form into mini meatballs or tear off small 1 inch pieces. Fry the mixture, allow to cool, and use as filling with cubes of mozzarella.


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