Arancini (Italian Fried Rice Balls)

First time I know this Italian fried rice ball was from the famous American series "Desperate Housewives". A character Angie was an Italian and loves to cook. Then I wanted to know what kind of dish is it. I found also arancini when I travel to Italy and I like its cheesy savory taste.

There are different fillings for arancini, ground beef and tomato sauce, ham and mozzarella, but mostly is ground beef in tomato sauce (al ragu). I saw that some arancinis are in a cone shape.

I have another version of rice balls, made from leftover cooked white rice which is Cheese Rice Balls.

Arancini (Photo credit : Veronica)

Arancini (Italian Fried Rice Balls)

Makes 12 balls

Ingredients :
400 gr risotto rice, wash
½ onion, peel and chop
4 tbsp olive oil
1.2 L chicken stock
40 gr grated parmesan cheese
a pinch of saffron
salt and pepper
1 tbsp butter

300 gr ground beef
50 gr peas
½ onion, peel and mince
2 tbsp olive oil
200 ml tomato sauce
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried pasley
salt and pepper

For coating :
all purpose flour
bread crumbs

frying oil

Steps :
For the rice. Prepare a pan over medium-high heat. Add in olive oil and onion. Fry onion for few minutes until fragrance. Add in rice, stir them for one minute. Add about 200 ml chicken stock, continue cooking until the stock is absorbed. Then add in another 200 ml stock, and repeat this process until the stock is done. In between, add in saffron, salt and pepper. At the end, add in grated parmesan cheese and butter. Stir them once again then turn off the heat. Transfer into a plate and let them cool down.

For the filling. Into a pan over medium-high heat, add in olive oil and onion. Fry them until fragrance. Add in ground beef, stir and cook until half cooked. Add in tomato sauce, salt, pepper, oregano and parsley. Continue cooking until the sauce is absorbed and the meat is fully cooked. Add in peas and cook for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and wait to cool.

Divide the rice into 12 parts. Take one part, flat it into the palm of your hand, put about 1 tbsp of the filling into the middle. Carefully close it and press into a ball. Repeat this process until finished.

Roll them into the flour, dip into the egg, and roll them into bread crumbs. Repeat until all balls are coated.

Prepare a frying pan over medium heat. Fry them until golden brown. Do not overcrowd the pan to get the crispy skin. Drain into paper tower to remove excess oil. Enjoy!

Recipe by Veronica

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