Introduction: Shrimp Risotto Balls

About: Entrepreneur, Home Baker, Historian & Geek...

I love traditional Italian risotto balls with cheese. In Italy cold risotto is traditionally shaped into balls, rolled in bread crumbs and deep-fried into piping hot and crunchy "Suppli". These can be large balls with cheese in the center or smaller balls with just the risotto. But for an upcoming 60th birthday party I wanted something with more of a "Wow" factor.

So... I googled "risotto balls" and found this recipe: They took inspiration from a Chinese Dim Sum dish where they cover crab claws with shrimp paste and deep fry them. This recipe was a bit sparse on instructions and details but after some trial and error here is my version of  "Upscale" Shrimp Risotto Balls. These can be made with any type of Risotto but I love the contrast of the rich, earthy mushroom risotto with the sweet shrimp coating.

These Shrimp Risotto Balls are a perfect finger food for your next Cocktail party!

Step 1: The Ingredients

1 cup - Italian Arborio Rice
3 tablespoons - Dried Wild Mushrooms
2 tablespoons - Dried Italian Herbs
3 tablespoons – Olive Oil
2 cups – Chicken Stock
2 cups – Grated Parmesan Cheese

Shrimp Paste:
1 pound - Fresh Shrimp (peeled)
Salt & Pepper

1/2 cup – Corn starch for coating the balls

Oil for deep frying

Step 2: The Wild Mushroom Risotto

  1. Heat Olive Oil in Saucepan
  2. Add Rice, Mushrooms & Herbs
  3. Stir Rice until it is Toasted & Browned
  4. Add Hot Chicken Stock 1/4 cup at a time (Tip: hot stock incorporates into the Risotto faster then cold)
  5. You must stir the Risotto continuously throughout the cooking process
  6. Add another 1/4 cup Stock when previous stock is absorbed (as you stir)
  7. Continue until all Stock is used (still stirring)
  8. When all liquid is absorbed take off heat and stir in Cheese (Stir some more)
  9. Set Risotto aside to cool
  10. Once cooled, put Risotto in fridge so that it can be rolled

Step 3: Shrimp Paste

  1. While Risotto cools, wash and peel the fresh Shrimp
  2. Place Shrimp in Blender with Salt & Pepper to taste
  3. Pulse Shrimp until a Paste is formed
  4. Place Shrimp Paste in Fridge
  5. Take out cooled Risotto
  6. Form the Risotto into small balls (about the size of a quarter)
  7. Place Risotto balls in freezer

Step 4: Shrimp Balls

  1. Wet your hands (so Shrimp Paste does not stick to your hands)
  2. Spread Shrimp Paste 1/4 inch thick on the palm of your hand
  3. Place Risotto ball in your palm and wrap paste around the Risotto
  4. Set aside and continue with next Ball
  5. When all Balls are made place them in the freezer for 15 minutes
  6. Heat Oil for deep frying to 375 degrees
  7. Remove Balls from freezer and roll in Corn Starch

Step 5: Frying Your Balls

  1. Carefully place balls in the hot oil
  2. Do not crowd the balls as they will expand
  3. Balls will rise from the bottom of the pot as they cook and will flip themselves (very cool to watch!)
  4. Balls will turn pinkish as Shrimp cooks
  5. When Balls turn light brown they will be done (about 6-8 minutes)
  6. Remove from oil and let drain on paper towels
  7. The shrimp coating will shrink a bit as they cool

Step 6: Serve to Your Guests...

Serve warm & enjoy eating these delicious Shrimp Risotto Balls with your fingers!