Pop quiz: What’s even better than a cheesy rice ball? Answer: A fried cheesy rice ball. Presenting vegan arancini from DK’s Vegan in the House, aka the appetizer we’ll be serving at all of our future cocktail parties. Made with leftover risotto and vegan “cheese,” they’re easy to whip up and even easier to devour.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1½ cups panko bread crumbs
2½ cups leftover risotto, chilled overnight
Ten ½-inch cubes plant-based “mozzarella” cheese
⅓ cup frozen peas
Grapeseed oil, for frying
Fresh tomato sauce, for serving
1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Place the flour, bread crumbs and ½ cup water in three separate small, shallow bowls.
3. Scoop the chilled risotto into ¼ cup portions. Using wet hands, form each portion into a ball, tucking a “mozzarella”cube and a few peas into the center. Place the balls on one of the prepared baking sheets.
4. Working one at a time, quickly roll each ball in the flour, dip into the water and then roll in the bread crumbs, being sure to thoroughly coat each ball. Roll once more in the flour, shake off the excess and set aside on the second baking sheet. When all balls are breaded, chill for 30 minutes or overnight.
5. Just before you’re ready to serve, preheat the oven to 250°F.
6. Heat 4 inches of grapeseed oil in a wide saucepan over medium-high heat. Use a deep-frying thermometer to bring the oil to 375°F and then add the balls, 3 or 4 at a time. Cook, turning frequently, until golden brown all over, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet to keep the balls crisp; keep warm in the oven as you fry subsequent batches. Serve with the tomato sauce.