, , ,

These little rice balls are warm and chewy and salty and altogether nice.  They are included  as an hors d’oeuvre in the menu for A little Italian lunch.

Crispy Rice Balls


  • 2 cups of cooked rice, leftover is fine
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 Tablespoons of heavy cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup of parsley, chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 Tablespoons Parmesan, grated
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Peanut oil for shallow frying
  • Salt and chopped parsley or a branch of some other fresh herb for garnish
  1. Mix the rice and water and simmer gently until the water is evaporated.
  2. Mix the rice with the cream, egg, onion, green onion, parsley, baking powder, Parmesan, flour and salt.  (With these proportions the mixture will proably form small balls easily, but if not, add a little more flour.)
  3. Flour your hands and form the mixture into small balls (about golf-ball size). Arrange these on a plate or baking pan and heat about 1-inch of peanut oil in a heavy-bottomed pan or casserole.
  4. Shallow fry the rice balls, 5 or 6 at a time, turning them occasionally so that they brown evenly.  Take your time.  These don’t require any tricky deep-frying techniques in order to turn out well.
  5. If you are making these right before your guests arrive, drain them and arrange them on a baking sheet to be briefly reheated before serving.  Serve them sprinkled with salt garnished with some more chopped parsley, or a branch of some other fresh herb.  A bowl of oily black olives is nice alongside them, too.
  6. You can make these a day ahead and reheat them right before serving.  They crisp up and taste as though they were freshly made.

© Elizabeth Laeuchli, the diplomatickitchen, 2011