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nicola graimes


This is a cross between Italian arancini (fried rice ball) and a meat-free version of the British Scotch egg, and came about when I had some leftover cooked risotto rice in the fridge. The only prerequisite when using up cooked rice is to heat it thoroughly until piping hot. This marriage of dishes was pure guesswork, but I’m pleased to say that it’s a happy union!


Serves: 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • 5 eggs (1 lightly beaten)

  • 3 tbsp finely grated vegetarian Parmesan cheese

  • 375g/13oz leftover risotto

  • 75g/2½oz/1¼ cups day-old breadcrumbs

  • 4 tbsp plain flour

  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying

  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

From The Thrifty Veggie

Nourish, 2021


Put 4 of the eggs in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down slightly and gently boil the eggs for 5 minutes. Drain the eggs, cool under cold running water, then peel.


Meanwhile, stir the Parmesan into the risotto rice and season with salt and pepper. Beat the remaining egg in a shallow bowl. Tip the breadcrumbs and flour into two separate shallow bowls.


Take a quarter of the risotto mixture and press it out in an even layer in the palm of your hand. Lightly dust one of the eggs in the flour, then put it in the centre of the risotto. Wrap the risotto around the egg in an even layer and press the edges together to make a ball. Dust the wrapped egg in the flour and pat away any excess, then dip into the beaten egg and roll in the breadcrumbs. Repeat to make 4 balls in total.


Heat enough oil in a deep pan to deep-fry the arancini eggs. (It is hot enough when a small piece of bread turns golden and crisp in 30 seconds.) Deep-fry 2 eggs at a time for 4–5 minutes, turning them occasionally until golden and crisp all over. Drain on kitchen paper, and repeat to cook the remaining eggs. Serve warm.

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