Italian Rice Balls

This is a great way to use up leftover rice.  It’s very important that you use leftover or rice that has had time to cool down. If you do not use leftover rice the recipe will not work correctly.
I have tried to use both fresh and older rice and the fresh rice never comes out right. There is something about the starch and the cooled rice that helps the balls keep their shape. If you are using warm fresh rice the balls will fall apart as they are cooking. Believe me it’s not worth the big mess (huge mess) if you don’t have older rice then don’t make this recipe. You will thank me for this information.
I love this recipe! It’s fun and delicious. No one is ever expecting to find rice in the balls. It’s also a great vegetarian appetizer or side dish if you are in need of one. You can use brown rice but I am afraid it might be a little too course to make the balls but it might be worth a try if you have extra brown rice.
I love to eat these balls but not necessarily make them. They are a bit of a pain, but they are worth the reward in the end!
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1 1/2 cups dried bread crumbs (occasionally I use Italian bread crumbs)
  • 2 cups olive oil
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, cheese, parsley, pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. Pour water and 1 teaspoon salt into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in rice and reduce heat to low. Cook rice until water is almost absorbed, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and slowly pour in egg mixture, stirring rapidly to prevent egg from scrambling. Allow rice mixture to cool for 1 hour. This process works best with older rice that you have as a leftover.
  3. Pour bread crumbs into a pile on one end of a cutting board. Dampen hands and roll rice mixture into 1 inch balls, then coat each one with bread crumbs.
  4. In a small, deep skillet, heat olive oil to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). (Should have enough oil to completely cover rice balls.) Fry rice balls 6 at a time, turning as needed to ensure even browning. Drain on paper towels and serve warm.

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