How to make Arancini (Sicilian Rice Balls)

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Do you hate leftovers?

I don’t know about you, but I have a household full of people that hate leftovers.  The only way they will eat leftovers is if I “re-invent” them.

What does that mean?  Well, this dish is a perfect example.  You make a bowlful of risotto (a fairly simple dish)….the next day, you add an egg, make some balls, roll them in bread crumbs and magically, it is no longer risotto…it is now arancini or suppli – small, crispy balls of rice that are an Italian delicacy.


The difference between the two?  Essentially, arancini are those made in Sicily while supplì those made in Rome (although I’m not 100% sure -that’s what the Google machine tells me – because I have always used them interchangeably).   Sometimes, in the north, you can find “crocchette di riso”, which are just small balls (usually made in an oval shape) made from leftover risotto.

So, next time you find yourself with some risotto (which, never really tastes as good warmed up), try this:

– add an egg to the cold risotto (around 4-6 cups) and stir.

– make small balls and tuck a small piece of cheese into the middle (this step isn’t mandatory but it’s pretty awesome) – make sure the rice completely covers the cheese.


– roll the balls into bread crumbs (panko – Japanese breadcrumbs – make the crispiest!) and fry in some vegetable oil until browned.

– if you like yummy appetizers, try making these balls a bit smaller (about 2″) and serve them on Chinese soup spoons atop of some pulled pork (pictured above!)

– And, if you have lots of rice, make a bunch and freeze them to be fried another time!!



Total Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmm!