If there’s one thing I might well love more than Italian risotto it’s Supplì (Italian Rice Balls). Addictive cheese stuffed balls of leftover risotto, coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried into crunch, magical heaven. They’re completely delicious and as you’ll see, not at all difficult to make at home with your own clever hands.
Supplì vs Arancini?
Supplì (Italian Rice Balls) and Arancini are to essentially the same thing. Supplì originated in the Lazio region of Italy and are generally smaller than Arancini which originated in Sicily. Supplì are stuffed most often with mozzarella cheese commonly served with simple tomato sauce. Arancini are stuffed with some type of ragu, often including peas and are are typically (bot not always) a larger conical shape. There are of course an array of local variations but, for the lay-person, Supplì and Arancini are much the same.
As they're typically smaller, Supplì offer the option to subtly eat an entire platter to myself. I'll tell myself I'm just eating one... then another, then another - you get the picture.
An extra Supplì of risotto.
In order to make sure you get a good amount, my Supplì recipe uses a full portion of risotto. This recipe used my delicious Fennel Risotto. I'll generally double up on a recipe of the risotto, so that I have a guaranteed portion of leftovers. I'll then try to stop myself eating it all in one sitting. Make sure you let the risotto go completely cold - this will create the thick homogenous texture you'll need to shape the balls. Next day risotto is the best - pop it in the fridge until you're ready to roll.
You can create authentic Supplì with any flavour of risotto, one of my favourites is mushroom, which I'll stuff with fontina or gorgonzola cheese. The most commonly used cheese is mozzarella, a squeaky elastic cheese - a wonderful surprise when you bite into your Supplì. They're simple to make at home, all you'll need is a breading station set up. Flour to coat, egg to give a sticky glue for the next step... breadcrumbs. I like to use Japanese Panko breadcrumbs. They have a larger crumb which give an amazing crunch when deep fried.
The perfect party food.
Supplì are perfect for any get together - a splendid finger food, you can cook them in advance and then pop in the oven for 5-10 minutes to warm through. Excellent served with a simple marinara sauce to dip them into. I also love a home made garlic aioli to act as a dip. Delicious! They're also great snacks, served at room temperature, but be careful - a snack can easily turn into a meal where Supplì are concerned.
Suggestions and other delicious Italian recipes
Like I said, you can use any flavour of risotto for your rice balls, which offers up an endless supply of flavour combinations. Subscribe to cookeatblog.com to receive my e-cookbook which features my basic risotto recipe. Try stuffing your Supplì with other types of cheese for more flavour combos. Once you've eaten your supply of Supplì, why not work your way through more of Cook Eat Blog's delicious authentic Italian recipes: