Recipes for Chanukah: Mini cheese arancini balls

Recipes for Chanukah: Mini cheese arancini balls

 Chanukah isn’t only about latkes and donuts. Let Denise Phillips show you how to be a little bit more adventurous in the festive kitchen

These deep fried risotto balls are a popular Sicilian street food about the size and shape of an orange (arancia means orange in Italian) and are perfect for Chanukah. I’ve have made them bite-size.

Preparation Time: 30 mins. Cooking Time: 40 mins


  • 700ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion – peeled and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 250g Arborio risotto rice
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • Pinch smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • 50g of Parmesan – grated
  • 100g of mozzarella cheese – cut into small pieces Coating
  • 500g dried breadcrumbs – place sliced bread in the oven for 5 minutes or use a toaster
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 170g plain flour
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Rapeseed or vegetable oil for frying


  1. Use leftover rice if available or make by bringing the stock to the boil in a medium saucepan.
  2. In a separate deep saucepan, heat the oil. Sauté the onion and garlic for about 2-3 minutes or until soft but not brown. Add the rice and ladle the stock a ladle at a time, stirring continuously for about 20 minutes or until the rice is soft.
  3. Stir in the butter and paprika and season to taste. Leave to cool, preferably in the fridge or you can spread it out on a tray to speed up the process.
  4. Add the grated Parmesan and stir well to mix.
  5. 5 Take a tablespoon of cooled rice and shape into a ball between wet hands. Make a small hole and insert a mozzarella cube, then plug and mould with extra rice to seal the ball. Repeat until all the rice is used up.
  6. To make the breadcrumbs, place the dried bread and parsley in the processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  7. Put the flour on a plate, beaten egg in a dish and herb breadcrumbs on a plate.
  8.  Heat the oil in a deep fat fryer or saucepan to 180ºC or until a breadcrumb sizzles on contact.
  9. Dip each rice ball into the flour, then egg and finally breadcrumbs and squeeze together to form an even coating.
  10. Cook in batches until golden brown, making sure the oil comes back to temperature between batches. Leave on a rack to cool.
  11. Either enjoy immediately or reheat in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 180ºC. Sprinkle with salt.
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