Deep-Fried Risotto Balls | The Best Recipes Rice Advice

Deep-Fried Risotto Balls

  • Yield: Cook
  • Servings: 4
  • Prep Time: 0m
  • Cook Time: 0m
  • Ready In: 0m

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Deep-Fried Risotto Balls Recipe

The Italian name for this dish translates as ‘telephone wires’ which refers to the strings of melted Mozzarella cheese, arborio rice, garlic, and herbs, breaded and fried until golden brown, the surprise contained within the deep-fried risotto balls. (See details discuss dinner menu)

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deep-fried risotto balls


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • ½ red (bell) pepper, diced
  • 150 g/5 oz/¾ cup arborio (risotto) rice, washed
  • 1 tsp dried orange
  • 400 ml/14 fl oz/1 2/3 cup hot vegetable or chicken stock
  • 100 ml/3 ½ fl oz/½ scant cup dry white wine
  • 75 g/2 ¾ oz Mozzarella cheese oil, for deep frying fresh basil sprig, to garnish


Step 1

Heat the oil in a frying pan (skillet) and cook the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes or until just softened.

Step 2

Add the (bell) pepper, rice, and oregano to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring to coat the rice in the oil.

Step 3

Mix the stock together with the wine and add to the pan a ladleful at a time, waiting for the liquid to be absorbed by the rice before you add the next ladleful of liquid.

Step 4

Once all of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender (it should take about 15 minutes in total), remove the pan from the heat and leave until the mixture is cool enough to handle.

Step 5

Cut the cheese into 12 pieces. Taking about a tablespoon of risotto, shape the mixture around the cheese pieces to make 12 balls.

Step 6

Heat the oil until a piece of bread browns in 30 seconds. Cook the risotto balls in batches of 4 for 2 minutes until golden.

Step 7

Remove the risotto balls with a perforated spoon and drain thoroughly on absorbent kitchen paper. Garnish with a sprig of basil and serve hot.


Although Mozzarella is the traditional cheese for this recipe and creates the stringy ‘telephone wire’ effect,

other cheeses, such as Cheddar may be used if you prefer.

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