Rice Balls

Author: Canadian Living

  • Portion size 8 servings


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 1/2 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup grated romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
Cooking the Rice Balls:
  • 6 cups vegetable oil for deep-frying
Meat Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion finely, chopped
  • 1/2 stalk celery finely, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pinch hot pepper flakes
  • 3 oz ground beef
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup turkey stock
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup herbed dry breadcrumbs


Rice: In large saucepan, bring water and saffron to boil. Add rice; reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes or until tender but firm. Add cheese and butter. Let cool completely. Stir in egg; set aside.

Meat Filling: Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat oil over medium heat; cook onion, celery, garlic and hot pepper flakes for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add beef and cook, breaking up with spatula, for about 5 minutes or until no longer pink. Stir in parsley, peas, salt and pepper.

Whisk together stock and tomato paste; stir into meat mixture and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes or until no liquid remains. Let cool completely.

In shallow dish, whisk eggs; set aside.

Divide rice mixture into 8 balls. With fingers make indentation in each ball; fill with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of the meat mixture. Seal indentation. Roll balls in flour; then in egg; then in bread crumbs. Set aside on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. (Make ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.)

Cooking The Rice Balls: In large deep saucepan or deep fryer, heat oil over medium heat to 375°F (190°C). Fry balls, in batches, for about 3 minutes or until golden and crispy. Drain onto paper towel lined baking sheet.

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Rice Balls