Michael grew up in a Sicilian family in NYC. One of his favorite Italian dishes were Arancini (rice balls). It had been many years since he had one because they usually contain cheese and meat inside. Wanting to veganize the Arancini, this is the recipe we came up with, and we hope you enjoy them as much as we did. Mangia!
1 cup, cooked Arborio rice (or another short grain, sticky rice)
1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 large carrot
1 celery stick
1/3 cup onion
2 garlic cloves
3 large mushrooms
1/8 cup fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. vegan worcestershire sauce
1 veggie bullion cube
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Egg replacer- 2 eggs worth. We used Ener-G egg replacer, but ground flax seeds and water may be used.
1 Tbsp. non-dairy milk, we used almond milk
Vegetable oil for frying, enough to fill half a medium sized pot
salt & pepper to taste
Method of Prep:
Cook the rice as per package instructions. Allow to cool in the fridge. Arborio is a sticky type of rice, so chilling will make it easier to work with.
In a food processor, chop the garlic, onion, celery, carrot, mushrooms and parsley until fine. (Cut the veggies into smaller pieces before adding to the food processor)
In a saute pan, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil on Med/Hi heat. Add in the vegetable mixture from the food processor. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat throughout.
Add 1/4 cup water to the pan, stir in the bullion cube, tomato paste, bay leaf and vegan worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer and lower the heat to medium. Cook out all the water, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the frozen peas. Allow the mixture to cool. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
Form the veggie mixture into four balls, a little larger than a golf ball.
Create an assembly line from the veggie balls, to the rice, to the egg replacer, to the flour. Cup the veggie ball in your hand and cover the outside with the cooled rice. It will be very sticky. With your hand, dip your fingers into the egg replacer and coat the outside of the rice ball. Roll in the flour. Each rice ball will be about the size of a baseball.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Heat a pot of vegetable oil to 350°F. With a slotted spoon, slowly lower each rice ball into the oil, frying until golden brown. Place on a baking sheet with parchment.
Bake in the oven on 375°F for 15 minutes. Just to heat them through.
This recipe makes 4 baseball sized rice balls. Serve with your favorite hot marinara sauce.
Serve hot, enjoy!