How to make Arancini

Deep fried balls of arborio rice stuffed with mozzarella cheese to make arancini
photo my msheldrake, c/o www.123rf.com

Arancini is a sticky ball of risotto rice which is usually filled with a delightful mess of mozzarella cheese then cooked until it is golden brown and crisp on the outside. It is often served with a tomato sauce but it makes a great side dish too in both conventional cooking as well as a snack for lunch time if a previous risotto was to be used up.

The recipe calls for making a risotto but we give the better version for arancini here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 200g of risotto rice
  • 600ml of chicken stock, or vegetable stock
  • 50g of butter
  • 50g of Parmesan, grated
  • 100g of mozzarella cheese
  • flour, for breadcrumbs
  • eggs, beaten and whisked
  • 100g of breadcrumbs, diced

Preparation:

  1. Preheat a deep fryer to 170℃
  2. Gently heat a frying pan or skillet on a medium heat. Gently heat the chopped  onion with a knob of butter until softened but not coloured.
  3. Add the rice and fry at high heat for a minutes and then reduce the heat back to the original level. This just fries the rice a bit in the butter and lets it break some of that starch.
  4. Add the chicken stock a ladle at a time until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked through. This takes about 20 minutes for the rice to take up the liquid but it should be checked to make sure the rice is slightly al dente. Beat in the remaining butter and Parmesan and season to taste.
  5. Spread the mixture onto a tray and transfer to the fridge to chill for about an hour or until set
  6. Cut the mozzarella into small cubes about 2cm square.
  7. Form balls of rice around each mozzarella cube, about 4–5cm round
  8. Dredge each ball first through the flour, followed by the egg wash and finally the breadcrumbs
  9. Deep fry until the balls are golden and crispy, which should take 2-3 minutes
  10. Drain the arancini on kitchen paper and season with sea salt before serving.
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