Appetizer

Italian-American Rice Balls (supplì)

by:
January  1, 2020
Photo by Emily
Author Notes

This are my family's version of Roman supplì. Instead of arborio rice, I use sushi rice, which works beautifully; any short grain rice should work. They are wonderful for special occasions-- birthdays and holidays-- but they are perhaps best as a surreptitious snack straight out of the fridge the day after some big occasion. You can make these vegetarian by leaving out the salami and instead putting a cube of mozzarella in the center. (The vegetarian version is a little more fiddly to assemble). They are most easily made with an assembly team, but can be done solo as well. The recipe easily doubles, triples, etc., as needed. —Emily

  • Prep time 2 hours
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Makes around 30
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups sushi rice
  • 14 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup Genoa or Soppressata salami, diced into tiny cubes
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 cups plain bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • canola oil, for frying
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Rinse the rice, cook in 5 cups of water until tender. Let cool in the pot until just warm (or cooler) with a towel under the lid to absorb water.
  2. Mix the rice, grated cheese, diced salami, and tomato sauce. Don't add all the tomato sauce at once: you want the rice to be evenly pink and moist, but not at all soggy. Add salt and pepper, mix, and taste the mixture for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper as necessary. Then add two eggs and mix everything again.
  3. Beat the remaining three eggs in a shallow bowl and thin with a few table spoons of water. Pour the bread crumbs into a shallow pan or plate and generously season with salt and fresh ground pepper.
  4. If you have extra pairs of hands to help, form an assembly team for the next step: one person should form the rice into ping pong ball-sized balls using wet hands (they can be a little bigger too, if so desired). The next person rolls the balls in the egg mixture, and the third person rolls the balls in the bread crumbs and puts them on a tray. They can lightly touch on the tray.
  5. If you are cooking solo, roll the balls and arrange them on a jelly roll pan. Pour the thinned beaten-egg mixture on them, and rotate the balls until they are coated. Then roll the balls in the bread crumbs and arrange on a dry tray.
  6. Chill the rice balls for 30 minutes in a freezer or longer in a fridge.
  7. Heat a couple inches of canola oil in a pan to around 350 degrees. The oil should come up roughly to the mid-point of the rice balls. Fry the rice balls in batches, turning after a few minutes, until evening golden. After they cook, put them on a cookie drying rack turned upside down on some paper towels. (this helps wicks the excess oil away).
  8. You can serve them hot, warm, or you can freeze them (reheat in a 350 degree oven until warmed through).

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