Posted by: Joan Spiller | June 17, 2015

Arancini – Recipe

I always have leftover risotto and confess, sometimes I do it on purpose solely so I can have arancini the next day 😉


Arancini is something that is a bit fiddly to make but OH so worth the effort. Just ask my lovely wwoofer who is staying now and has begged me to type this up after I showed her how to make them ..

So, just for you Izzy (Isi!) here is how to make Joan’s super delicious arancini (rice balls)

All you need is a couple of cups of leftover (cold) risotto.

I do not recommend using risotto that has chunky bits in it, remove them (I picked all the mushrooms out of the ones we made, before we started!) the chunks make rolling the balls harder and leave gaps in the “skin” of crumbs that coats the rice meaning they explode when being fried!

As well, you need the following ingredients:

Some mozzarella cheese – ideally fresh but actually the other packaged cheese is OK too.

1 cup of panko breadcrumbs –  I have linked to a way of making your own in case they are not available easily, in Europe
1 cup of plain white flour – seasoned with a little salt and pepper
1 -2 eggs, beaten with a tablespoon of water

A pot of neutral oil for deep frying – I use rice bran but a plain vegetable oil would do fine

Set yourself up a production line, as it makes life a lot easier:

A bowl with the flour, a bowl with the crumbs, a bowl of beaten eggs and a tray to put the finished product on.

Scoop some of the cold risotto into your hand (ideally no more than a golf ball – makes for easier cooking) and poke a piece of cheese in the centre, before molding the rice “closed” around the cheese. You MUST NOT be able to see the cheese!

Roll the ball in flour, then dip it in the beaten egg before finally rolling it in the crunchy panko crumbs.

Repeat until finished..

Put the tray of prepared arancini in the freezer for at least one hour. This allows them to firm-up prior to frying. You can make these ahead of time and freeze, then thaw the day you wish to use them also!

Bring your oil up to a medium heat (use the bread method to test it is ready and avoid ruining the first arancini) If the oil is too hot – the outside will burn but the inside will be cold and the cheese un-melted. Too cool and the rice will absorb the oil and be greasy.

Carefully lower one ball into the hot oil, once the bubbles subside (this should take less than a minute) lower in a 2nd, then a 3rd. I find 3 – 4 is a good number to cook at once, any more and you can get confused or stressed trying to work out which one is ready, lol

When they are golden brown in colour remove from the oil and place on a paper towel. Scatter with salt immediately, while the oil is still “wet” on the outside of the arancini. (So the salt sticks better) 😉

Serve with any sauce you like, garlic aioli, tomato chutney, anything works but they’re also delicious on their own!


And this exact same method can be used for the mozzarella cheese or the camembert, as we did..


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