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Jen’s Japanese Arancini

Happy Pride Month! Jen Ruggirello shares her unique take on arancini that fuses flavors from her Japanese and Italian heritage. The shiitake mushrooms and miso paste lend a super savory flavor to the crunchy, cheesy rice balls. These arancini are vegetarian and make the perfect appetizer to share with all of your loved ones.

by Rie McClenny, Karlee Rotoly and Susan Vu

Total Time

40 minutes

40 min

Prep Time

10 minutes

10 min

Cook Time

5 minutes

5 min

Total Time

40 minutes

40 min

Prep Time

10 minutes

10 min

Cook Time

5 minutes

5 min

Ingredients

for 25 arancinis

  • 1 ½ oz
    dried shiitake mushroom (40 g)
  • 5 cups
    cold water (1 ¼ L)
  • ¼ cup
    awase miso paste (55 g)
  • 2 tablespoons
    canola oil, plus more for frying
  • ½ large white onion, finely diced
  • ½ teaspoon
    kosher salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 fresh ginger, 1 in (2 1/4 cm) peeled and minced
  • ¾ cup
    japanese short grain rice (150 g)
  • ⅓ cup
    dry sake (80 mL)
  • ¾ cup
    freshly grated parmesan cheese (80 g)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup
    all purpose flour (95 g)
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 ½ cups
    panko breadcrumbs (75 g)
    Calories 92
    Fat 2g
    Carbs 11g
    Fiber 0g
    Sugar 3g
    Protein 3g

Estimated values based on one serving size.

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Preparation

  1. In a large skillet over high heat, combine the shiitake mushrooms and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the mushrooms have plumped and become tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and drain the mushrooms with a fine-mesh sieve lined with a couple layers of paper towels (this will catch any dirt that might have been on the mushrooms) set over a medium pot to catch the broth. Let the mushrooms cool slightly.
  2. Whisk the miso paste into the mushroom broth until dissolved. Cover the pot with a lid to keep the broth warm.
  3. Once the mushrooms are cool enough to handle, cut away and discard the stems, then finely dice the mushroom caps. Set aside.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the onion and ½ teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is tender, 4-6 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until softened, stirring frequently, 1-2 minutes. Stir in the diced mushrooms.
  6. Stir in the rice and toast for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant and starting to brown.
  7. Add the sake and cook until fully evaporated, stirring occasionally, 1-2 minutes.
  8. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add 1 cup of the warm mushroom broth, and stir to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, until the stock is fully absorbed. Continue to add the broth, ½ cup (120 ML) at a time, stirring continuously for 25-35 minutes total until the rice is al dente. You may have some broth left over.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Gently stir in the green onions and season with salt to taste.
  10. Spread the risotto in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let cool slightly, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cooled, at least 2 hours but up to overnight.
  11. Add the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs to 3 separate shallow dishes.
  12. Scoop heaping tablespoons of the cooled risotto mixture and roll into balls. You should have about 25 total. Working 1 at a time, dredge the rice balls first in the flour, then in the eggs, and finally in the bread crumbs. Place the breaded rice balls back on the same baking sheet. Chill in the refrigerator while you heat the oil.
  13. Fill a large pot halfway with canola oil and heat over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F (180°C).
  14. Working in batches, fry the rice balls in the hot oil until deep golden brown, 4-5 minutes, turning occasionally. Transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet to drain.
  15. Serve immediately.
  16. Enjoy!
 

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