The first time I tried Arancini – pronounced Ar-an-chini, Was the day my husband’s office had a “bring your kids to work day”.
An Italian work colleague made these “amazing Italian rice thingys” according to my daughter… I liked the concept! Small enough to be a snack… but filling enough to pass as a light meal! I can only describe them As, ricey… meaty…. cheesy & crispy all in one!
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Last week my daughter kept going on & on about the “Italian rice thingys” so we took her to Eataly in Dubai Festival City & was sadly disappointed! They didn’t come anywhere close to the home made ones we had tried! Bland, dry & tasted too oily!
So I decided to give them a try at home. I have adapted the recipe, there are many variations, some include mincemeat, peas or mushrooms, and usually it calls for risotto rice, but leftover refridgerated rice works well! My rice was already cooked with saffron, thats why it has the yellow colour, feel free to add some Turmeric powder while seasoning the rice to give it some colour. I went for the simple mozzarella & parmesan filling & it tasted pretty amazing! 😎
Now im a bit of a Bish Bash Bosh cook, meaning, I like to use the simplest, easiest ways to cook! I don’t cook using measurements, I play by eye…..or cup! 😂
So here is my take on Italian #Arancini. (Crispy Rice Balls)
- 1 large bowl of leftover rice.
- 1 cup of shredded mozzarella.
- 1/2 cup of grated parmesan.
- 1tsp dried Italian herbs (mixed herbs also works fine)
- Handful of fresh chopped parsley
- 2tsp of Cajun seasoning.
- Salt & Pepper to taste.
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten & seasoned
- All purpose flour for dredging.
To the bowl of rice add a little salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning & Turmeric if using. (Omit the salt if your Cajun seasoning is on the salty side). Add half of the mozzarella to the mix, 3/4 of the parmesan & parsley.
Mix well & refridgerate for 5 minutes, meanwhile, prepare your dredging station.
Add flour to a plate, a handful should do, and lightly beat the eggs in a bowl with some salt & Pepper. Add breadcrumbs to another plate & to them add the rest of the parmesan & a little Cajun seasoning & give it a swirl with your fingers.
Take the rice mixture out of the fridge & grab enough to make a rice ball, you can go as big or small as you like! Cup the rice in your hand then add some mozzarella in the middle and begin to form a ball, keep squeezing till it sticks together, then coat it in the flour, & dredge in the egg, then finally the breadcrumb mix. Once you’ve made all of the balls, stick them back in the fridge for 10mins or so to firm up a little. If you’re pushed for time, you can cook them as they are, just make sure the oil isn’t too hot & you dont cook too many at once or they’ll fall apart!
Heat the oil and fry in batches until deep golden brown – about 10 minutes.
These are crispy, tasty & really filling! Serve hot & with either a nice sauce for dipping, like an Italian marinara sauce, everyday bolognese, or like me… Nandos sauce! Lol.
Let me know in the comments below if you’ve given these a try & if you would add any variations to my recipe & don’t forget to share!
Those look SO good! Do you blitz the rice at all to make it smaller? The grains look really tiny in your photo x
Thanks for your feedback! No it’s the whole grain… I use basmati… Not sure if that’s smaller than other types! 🙂
travel stories like this inspire people to do the same. Awasome.
Thanks for your feedback! 🙂
I miss the Dubai festival so much. It was an amazing experience living in Dubai. Food looks great!
Rice balls recipe is healthy and these are easy to make.I am sure kids will like them too.
Firstly, I loved literally LOVED your site theme. Your site looks amazing. Life is uncertain so eat your dessert first … This is ….. 😍😍😍 .
Secondly, the recipe seems so easy and tasty and we’ll written.
You’re too kind! Thanks for your lovely words!
Wow those rice thingys look delicious. I think a good cook is someone who adapts any recipe with its simplest way and still make it taste super-amazing lol. Just like you did! Btw I love risotto rice ❤︎
Thank you!! I’m going to get big headed now with all this amazing feedback! 😁 lol
I have seen them in youtube videos but quite well didn’t get how it tastes. If the kids love it, then I think it must be a keeper. I would try this one sooner then. And recipes reminding people and experiences are always the best. Thanks for sharing.
I like the story behind the recipe, how you made it for your daughter when you couldn’t find good quality ones from outside. They must taste extra delicious from the love you put into them. The recipe itself seems good and I like how you kept it simple, that’s how I cook, too.
Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback! Insha’Allah I hope the kids feel the same love Lol!
These look delicious! Might have to give them a try!
Thanks! Would live to know how yours turn out!
You’re welcome! Let me know how they turn out! 🙂
Those look delicious 🤤 I might give it a try – sounds easy enough to make 💕 thanks for the recipe