September 18, 2009

Cheesy Mushroom Arancini

Arancini 2

Recently the vivacious V1 hosted a hens party for a friend of hers. As she was responsible for all the fun and frivolity on the night, she asked me to help with the catering. We made a range of things, including these Cheesy mushroom arancini and a very "special" cake which I will hopefully bring to you soon. All I'll say is it rated PG-18.

Arancini 3

The hen had told V1 that she wanted good food, so if she was to get extremely wasted and eventually have to throw up she wanted to bring up something that tasted good. Rice balls are both delicious and soft. Great for the hens' purposes.

I usually make arancini with meat and vegies and a tomato sauce, but this time I had a real craving for Camembert and mushrooms, and besides it was good for any vegetarians in attendance. I made them with 4 different types of cheeses, just to pack in the cheesy-ness, Parmesan, tasty cheese, mozzarella and Camembert. The photo doesn't do them any justice, the mozzarella comes out so stringy and oozy its delicious, they are best eaten hot straight from the pan, but they can be kept for the next day and reheated if desired. Hmmm I'm salivating just thinking about it.

open Arancini

They require a little fiddling about and some deep frying, but I promise you the end result is was worth any trouble!! So here the recipe, with step by step photos on how to assemble the rice balls.

Cheesy Mushroom Arancini


Rice needs to be cooked 1 day in advance

2 cups of medium grain rice
500 mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 -6 eggs
1 pinch of saffron soaked in a teaspoon of water overnight (optional)
Vegetable oil (for deep frying)
100 grams Parmesan
mozzarella, rolled up into small balls
tasty cheese
Camembert, cut into small cubes


1. Cook rice in salted water until just cooked. Drain, let it cool and then cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge overnight. Make sure that it is tightly wrapped so that it does not dry out at all. On the next day take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature before using.

rice for arancini

2. Dice mushroom into small pieces and saute with a little olive oil in a large flat frying pan. Add garlic and cook until mushrooms are soft, but not dry, season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.

3. Add saffron to rice (this gives the rice a golden color and a sweet flavour)


break two whole eggs into the rice. Add the yolks of two more eggs and place the whites in another shallow bowl. Add Parmesan and a couple of hand fulls of tasty cheese.

unmixed arancini rice

Using your clean bare hands mix everything together. Feel the consistency of the mixture if it is too wet add a hand full or two of breadcrumbs, if the mixture does not stick together easily, add another egg. Continue this mixing until a sticky but not too wet rice mixture is achieved.

mixed arancini rice

4. Whipped egg whites until they are very frothy and firm, but not stiff. As you use the egg whites you will need to keep whipping them to get them frothy again. Place a shallow bowl of water next to the rice mixture. I find it easiest if I have a helping hand, but isn't that with everything in life?

whipped eggwhites

5. Bring the mushrooms close to you, fill a bowl with dry breadcrumbs and assemble all your ingredients so they are handy including cheese's.

6. Wet the palm of your non-dominate hand with water, this prevents the rice from sticking to your hand. Wet the tips of your fingers with some water and take a generous pinch of rice and spread it on your hand to make a flat section of rice. Remember that the smaller the section of rice, the smaller your rice ball. I suggest starting big and then making them smaller as you get better.

step 1 grab some rice

step 2 make a thin layer of rice

7. Add a tablespoon of mushroom mixture, a mozzarella ball and a piece of Camembert to the flatten riced.

step 3 put filling and cheese onto rice

8. Take another generous pinch of rice in your dominate hand, with the your fingers and thumb flatten the rice to make another section of rice to place on top of the mushroom mixture.

step 4 make a thin layer of rice with your other hand

9. Bring your hands close together and press them gently together, shape into a ball.

step 5 bring your hands close together and press two sides together

step 6 after rice is ontop of filling shape into a ball

10. Roll in egg whites, you only need a little so I usually take a dab or two and coat it in my hands.

step 7 roll it in the egg white

11. Coat ball in breadcrumbs. Deep fry them in some oil on medium heat. Make sure not to roll them around too much as they easily break. cook them until golden brown then drain them on some absorbent paper.

roll arancini in bread crumbs

Some tips and tricks

- After you make your first ball is the true test of rice stickiness. If it doesn't come to together easily, add another egg to the rice mixture

- During the rolling stage if you see any filling coming out poke it back in and seal the hole with a few grains of rice. This is very important as if there is any exposed filling it is sure to burst when cooking.

- When rolling in breadcrumbs if cracks appear or the ball is in jeopardy of falling apart, roll it in generous amount egg white and then roll with a thick amount of breadcrumbs. This will form a "plaster" shell that is more difficult to break, and will mend any cracks.
- Test the temperature of the oil before dropping your first ball in. Take a grain of rice, if it sizzles than its ready. Keep a close eye on the temperature of the oil, if it becomes too hot the outer shell with brown without the inside heating up and melting the cheese.



Jo said...

OMG these look really good.. and will definitely have to try them. I love the combination of the cheeses.... yummo!!

Cindy said...

Yum! Cheese and mushroom is my kind of filling. :-)

Agnes said...

You are ticking off items on the things I love list: rice, cheese, and deep fried things. I definitely wouldn't want to throw up your arancini though - no matter how good they tasted going down I don't think it'll be quite the same coming up!

Can't wait to see the "special" cake!

Rilsta said...

I love arancini and mushrooms & cheese are such a fantastic filling! I never knew the coating was done with whisked egg whites!

Arwen from Hoglet K said...

I love the idea of a filling of stretchy cheese and mushroom! I approve of a hens' night with good food - although I'm not too sure about the reasoning.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

These looks delicious! I love lots of cheese on an arancini ball! :D And I can't wait to see the cake. I haven't ventured into making hens or bucks nights cakes yet!

Trisha said...

Oh I didn't realise it was that easy to make arancini!!! I thought it was a complicated process but heck you made it look so easy (AND DELICIOUS!!!).

Katherine said...

How morish. Arancini are perfect for parties.

Maria said...

yummy! arancini balls are such favourites of mine and these look delish.

Anonymous said...

oooh that's uber awesomeness. i have been wondering in my head for the past couple of days now on how arancini are made. you have answered my head's queries!

Veronica Ng said...

I am glad I found your recipe for this wonderful aracini recipe. I shall certainly make this. Means for sharing and also for the step by step instructions.