Crispy Rice Balls with Vegan Cheese
This is an easy take on the classic Italian appetizer, Arancini. The recipe includes a DIY mozzarella which only takes 15 minutes to make. Dip these crispy rice balls into your favourite marinara sauce. Gluten free option as well.
Servings: to 16 rice balls
- 1/2 recipe(s) Melty Stretchy Gooey Vegan Mozzarella
For the rice
- 1/3 cup(s) flour (all-purpose, whole wheat, or all-purpose gluten-free blend)
- 3 tablespoon(s) ground chia or ground flax
- 2/3 cup(s) warm water (plus more as needed)
- 1 cup(s) panko (or gluten-free rice breadcrumbs if preferred)
- 2 tablespoon(s) nutritional yeast
- Marinara sauce for dipping
- For the Melty Stretchy Gooey Vegan Mozzarella: follow the recipe according to the directions. Then you pop that into the fridge for about 1 hour to set up, or you can make it as much as a week ahead of time and store it in the fridge until it is ready to be used.
- To make the rice: add the water, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, and salt to a pot along with the rice. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook for about 10 minutes until the rice has soaked up all the water, and the rice is cooked. Let the rice cool enough so you can handle it before moving on to the next step. You can make the rice ahead of time if you like, and store in the fridge until ready to use.
- To make the rice balls: preheat your oven to 375F (190C). Line a baking tray with parchment and set aside. Wet your hands, then take a scoop of rice, and flatten it out in your hand. Scoop a heaping teaspoon of the cold vegan mozzarella and put in the center of the rice.
- Form the rice around the mozzarella into a golf ball sized ball. It’s ok if the mozzarella is peeking out a little. You want to make sure you wet your hands in-between forming each ball, so that the rice doesn’t stick to your hands. This is the key for making this process easy!
- To make the panko coating: mix the water and flax mixture together and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes for it to thicken. Fill the remaining bowls with the flour, and the panko and nutritional yeast mixture.
- Gently roll a rice ball into the flour, then roll into the flax, and then finally the panko mixture. The balls will be fragile, so you might want to use a fork to help you handle them. Spread them out on the parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Bake them for 25 to 30 minutes until crispy and golden brown on the bottom. Serve hot with your favourite marinara sauce heated up for dipping.