The first time I ever made risotto it took forever. I stirred until I thought my arm would fall off. As much as I’d like to say that the result was well worth it, it wasn’t. It was a risotto fail: gummy, over-done and just not that tasty. Mike and I ate a bit of it and stuck the rest in the fridge. The next day, to my surprise, the risotto was gone. Turns out Bruce, Mike’s then roommate, had a thing for cold risotto.
As much as I like cold rice and cold pasta, I don’t really like eating cold risotto. There is one good use for it though: risotto balls! Cold risotto can be shaped into balls, rolled in bread crumbs and deep-fried into piping hot and crunchy suppli.
I haven’t made suppli yet. I skipped right over suppli to a shrimp-covered risotto ball. See, I’ve been meaning to make those crab claws that are ubiquitous at every Chinese banquet I’ve ever been too. The ones that are basically deep fried shrimp paste wrapped around a crab claw. Problem is, unless you buy a crab, crab claws are hard to come by. Risotto, however, is always in the pantry.
By the way, the secret to not having your arm fall off when making risotto is the temperature of the liquid. It needs to be hot hot hot. Also, don’t forget to toast your rice! I made a quick, plain risotto to use for the insides of these balls, but I think they’d taste fantastic with a mushroom pea risotto.
These balls turned out super tasty: creamy, rich risotto inside a crisp shrimp shell.
Shrimp Risotto Balls
makes 4 risotto balls
- 1 1/2 cups cold leftover risotto
- 1 lb fresh prawns, peeled and deveined
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- oil for deep frying
Blitz the prawns in a food process the prawns until they come together into a smooth paste. Season with salt and pepper. Shape the risotto balls using about 1/3 of a cup of risotto for each ball. With wet hands, cover your risotto ball with the shrimp paste. Roll each ball in the corn starch (you want a very light coating).
Heat oil in a deep sided pot to 375F. You want enough oil to cover your balls. Carefully lower the balls into the oil and deep-fry. Flip once or twice. Keep a close eye on the balls, when they’re done, the shrimp will turn from grey to a delicious pink. They’re done when they’re golden brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Drain on paper towels and enjoy hot!
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