We were both arancini virgins until recently. We took our first bite into one of these crispy balls at a food market in our hometown, Portsmouth. Us being us, we saw ‘vegan’ marked clearly on an Italian food stall and had to investigate these giant balls that were on offer.
If you’re a Arancini virgin, these balls are breadcrumb crusted risotto rice, often stuffed and often not vegan, deep fried for that beautiful crispy texture. These are a must try! The creamy texture of risotto combines with crispy exterior for a perfectly pleasing texture to bite into. You could just leave them as plain and delicious, but why stop there when you can fill these with whatever you please. This time around we used a creamy mushroom filling for a meaty texture and decadent flavour, though options are endless, like vegan cheese and varieties of veg.
We loved these so much we’re experimenting with new flavours to share, so keep posted and subscribe to our email list, or follow our Instagram for upcoming yums!
Making these lush rice balls is quite simple and are easy to prep up to two days before. You can even make arancini to use up any leftover risotto!
With the cooled risotto, we formed balls, created a hole, filled them up and packed rice to complete the balls. So make sure your risotto rice is sticky enough to hold together! I’ve seen people use ice cream scoops to get perfectly symmetrical balls, but we are way too inpatient and inaccurate for that.
Hold back on chowing down on these creamy mushroom rice balls, because you still have to dredge! Firstly rolling in cornflour, dipping in non-dairy milk and coating in breadcrumbs & nutritional yeast. We did initially this the balls were sticky enough to just coat in the breadcrumb mix, but we found that a lot more of the breadcrumbs fell off when plunged into the oil.
Any gluten-free foodies turning off at the idea of breadcrumbs, fear not. There is no reason gluten-free crumbs cant be used for this recipe!
Now plunge these balls into any oil you until golden brown and crispy! Serve with vegan mayo or a tomato based sauce, mhm. Try them out and tell us what you think…
- 1 finely diced red onion
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- ½ cup vegan white wine
- 4½ cup of vegetable stock
- tbsp. fresh chopped thyme
- tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 200g finely diced baby Portobello mushrooms
- 1 minced garlic
- 2 tbsp. soy cream or non-dairy milk
- 1 tbsp. cornflour
- 1 tbsp. fresh chopped thyme
- 1½ cup wholewheat bread fine crumbs (or gf)
- 3 tbsp. nutiritonal yeast
- ¼ cup cornflour
- ¼ cup non-dairy milk (we used almond)
- Firstly, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan or wok and fry the onions and garlic for a few minutes.
- Add the risotto rice and let cook for a minute before adding the white wine, keep stirring until the wine has been absorbed.
- Bit by bit, pour in the stock and stir continuously, adding more when it has been absorbed.
- When all the stock has been absorbed, it should be creamy, thick and a tender soft texture. This should take 25-30 mins*
- Take off heat and stir in the nutritional yeast, thyme and season with salt and pepper.
- Spread the risotto on the tray and let cool for 30 mins up to 2 days in a fridge.
- While the risotto is cooling, heat oil in a pan and fry the garlic until aromatic.
- Add the mushrooms and soy cream (or milk).
- When soft, stir in the cornflour and stir until the liquid has been absorbed. Take off heat and stir in the thyme.
- Once the rice has cooled, take a golf ball sized ball of risotto rice and push a hole into the ball and fill with the creamy mushrooms. Take an extra piece of rice to close the ball. Repeat.
- Separate the cornflour, non-dairy milk and breadcrumbs & nutritional yeast.
- Roll each ball in cornflour, dip into the milk and coat with breadcrumbs, set aside each ball.
- Heat half a pan/wok of any oil on high for 2-3 minutes, reducing to med-high before placing the balls in the oil in batches.
- Fry each ball for 2-3 mins each side or until golden brown.
- Plate up and get eating!
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