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    You are in: Home / Recipes / Ham and Cheese Arancini (Italian Fried Rice Balls) Recipe
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    Ham and Cheese Arancini (Italian Fried Rice Balls)

    Ham and Cheese Arancini (Italian Fried Rice Balls). Photo by under12parsecs

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    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    30 mins

    20 mins

    10 mins

    under12parsecs's Note:

    Yummy, comforting deep-fried rice balls filled with ham and onion, stuffed with melty, gooey cheese! I came up with these tasty little morsels after having something similar at a tapas restaurant in my hometown. Sadly, that restaurant closed its doors, so I was forced to recreate my favorite dish. *I have made these with havarti and swiss cheeses instead of the cheddar: all are equally good!* NOTE: After reading the review, please note: You definitely want to use rice that is somewhat sticky. Do not use leftover fluffy rice that has had the starch rinsed off as they will not hold together well.

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    Units: US | Metric


    1. 1
      Saute onion in 1 T butter over medium heat until translucent and beginning to brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
    2. 2
      In a bowl lightly beat 2 eggs. Stir in cooked rice, ham, melted butter, Parmesan cheese, sauteed onion, seasoned salt, garlic salt, parsley and pepper.
    3. 3
      Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
    4. 4
      Roll into 1-1/2-inch balls.and press a cheese cube into each ball, reshaping around the cheese.(I have used havarti and swiss in place of the cheddar with fantastic results!).
    5. 5
      Place the flour into a small bowl. Whisk 2 eggs in a second small bowl. Place the dry breadcrumbs in a third small bowl.
    6. 6
      Dip each ball into flour, then into the egg and then into the breadcrumbs.
    7. 7
      Heat oil to 375 degrees, then fry rice balls until golden brown (about 4 minutes). You can also shallow fry them in oil, turning to brown.
    8. 8
      Drain on paper towels and enjoy! They are nice dipped in french onion dip, ranch dip or all on their own.

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    Ratings & Reviews:

    • on April 06, 2012


      These were pretty tasty, but I had a very hard time getting the balls to stick together. They tended to fall apart as soon as I stopped pressing them as I tried covering them w/flour, etc. Adding more egg made it worse. More rice didn't help. I didn't want to add flour since I knew flour wouldn't cook through during the short deep frying. Adding some bread-crumbs to the mixture did the trick nicely and kept the balls together like snowballs.

      I guess arborio rice or slightly overcooked rice would work better for arancini. I always de-starch my rice by cold rinsing after the first boil. It makes for fluffy rice, but for this recipe sticky rice would be best.

      I used chorizo sausage in lieu of ham, chopped to bits in the mini-processor. It added a nice complexity to the flavor. Covered w/ marinara, following the Italian tradition. Green beens completed the meal.

      people found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No


    Nutritional Facts for Ham and Cheese Arancini (Italian Fried Rice Balls)

    Serving Size: 1 (214 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 4

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 800.5
    Calories from Fat 346
    Total Fat 38.5 g
    Saturated Fat 21.4 g
    Cholesterol 322.3 mg
    Sodium 970.0 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 79.7 g
    Dietary Fiber 2.8 g
    Sugars 2.7 g
    Protein 31.6 g

    The following items or measurements are not included:

    seasoning salt

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