Intro: Arancini Balls (Leftover Risotto)
Whenever I have leftover risotto in the fridge I ALWAYS make these arancini balls!! Re-heated risotto does not taste as good as when it is freshly cooked so I thought I would deep fry it instead and DAMN they are so good!!
All you have to do is take some cold risotto, place some mozzarella cheese in the centre, dredge them in flour, egg and breadcrumbs and cook them! The great thing about this recipe is that you can be healthier in creating these beautiful balls by baking them rather than deep frying them. These are great by themselves but go really well with some homemade napolitana sauce or tomato based sauce.
These cheesy rice balls are so simple, so easy and I have to say they are pretty impressive with their delectable crunch and the way the cheese oozes out of them. They are the perfect mixture of crunchy, soft and creamy!!!
Step 1: Ingredients
- Leftover risotto (about 2-3 cups) Recipe can be found on Elise's Eats Youtube channel
- 12-14 cubes of mozzarella cheese (2cmx 2cm cubes for large ones you may need more if you make them small cubes and bite sized arancini)
- 2 Eggs + 2 teaspoons water
- Approx. 1 cup Plain flour
- Approx. 2 cups breadcrumbs
-1/3 Cup Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Oil for deep frying
Step 2: Equipment
- 3 Bowls (one for flour, eggs and breadcrumbs separately)
- Forks & spoons
- 1/3 or 1/4 cup measurement
- Paper towels
- Slotted spoon
- Baking tray
- Baking paper
- Oven (200 degrees Celsius)
Step 3: Prepare the Ingredients
To make sure that the arancini is really delicious and well seasoned take the Parmesan cheese, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper and mix then with the breadcrumbs, making sure they are well combined. Then whisk together the eggs and water in a separate bowl and set aside. Finally cute the cheese into 1cm by 1 cm cubes (or bigger or smaller depending on the size of arancini you want)
Step 4: For the Rice Balls
Firstly take about 1/3 or 1/4 cup of the leftover risotto mixture (or less if you want smaller ones) and place it into your hand. Then take a cube of mozzarella cheese (I use about 1cm x 1cm pieces for small ones 1/4 cup) and place it in the middle of the risotto mixture. Then lightly press the ball together by cupping it in both hands and applying firm pressure to the rice until it becomes a tightly packed round rice dumpling.
Step 5: Dredge Arancini in Flour, Eggs and Breadcrumbs
Once the rice balls are formed, firstly dredge/ roll it around in the plain flour. shake off any excess flour then place it in the egg (to avoid messy hands you can use a fork or spoon to roll the balls in the egg). Then finally roll the ball in the seasoned breadcrumbs and coat evenly. Repeat with the rest of the rice balls. This can get a bit messy but it is also really fun I recommend grabbing a friend to make these with because it makes the time go quicker.
Step 6: Cook the Arancini: Deep Frying
Method 1: Deep Frying
In a deep sauce pan heat oil up to a medium high heat until you can place some bread or rice into the oil and it fry's or vigorously bubbles.
Add 2-3 arancini at a time to the oil and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side (you do not want to overcrowd the pan as this will drop the temperature of the oil and will take longer to cook and will not get as crispy). When the arancini come out nice and crispy brown and when you break them open and the cheese is melted they are done. If you make them smaller then reduce the cooking time
Step 7: Cooking the Arancini: Baking
Method 2: Baking
Preheat a fan forced oven to 200 degrees Celsius and place the arancini onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. (If you want you can brush some oil on top of the arancini to make them more crispy but I don't). Then let the balls cook for 10-15 minutes until they are crispy on the outside and the cheese has melted on the inside. You will not get dark brown arancini by baking them as can be seen in the photos but they are still crispy!!
Step 8: Serve Up the Arancini
I love to serve these with home made napolitana/ tomato sauce and a bit of extra grated Parmesan cheese. They are great for parties or for dinner and they are such a great leftover food recipe. You can also change the fillings instead of cheese you could put
- Bolognese sauce
- Pieces of meat
- Other vegetables (peas, carrot)