Our Family’s Favourite Smoked Salmon Arancini
As the year is coming to a close and Christmas is near I am absolutely thrilled to FINALLY be able to share this recipe with you. Smoked Salmon Arancini is a once a year treat in our house though I’m sure I could make it weekly and still have the family asking for more. I prefer to keep them for the extra special holiday of Christmas.
Bust Out that Deep Fryer!
These little balls of fried risotto are the ultimate treat but I really (REALLY) hate deep frying. In fact I’m a bit scared of it though I am getting better. I won’t go on ad nauseam about it, suffice to say there was a childhood event involving a grease fire that is in my mind to this day. It took me years to get up the nerve to deep fry anything. On the plus side it keeps the family and I healthier!
The basis for my Smoked Salmon Arancini is a very simple oven baked risotto. Baking the risotto in the oven takes much less effort than the stove top method and I find that it delivers a slightly more ‘gummy’ texture that is conducive to making the risotto into balls later. I always double the recipe.
You could choose not to fill your arancini or you could get creative. I’ve made them with a cube of mozzarella hidden inside but the family always insists that I use smoked salmon and capers as the filling. I don’t really think it’s a traditional Italian combination but I’m French, Hungarian, and German so I’ll just make them to please the family.
For the Smoked Salmon Arancini, you will also need some smoked salmon, a jar of capers, eggs, panko crumbs, and frying oil. I used canola oil but also have used grape seed oil in the past.
I don’t know what temperature my oil was. I just throw a couple of panko crumbs in and if it looks like they are browning up nicely I know the oil is ready.
These Smoked Salmon Arancini freeze and re-heat really well in the oven. You could serve them with an accompanying sauce such as tomato sauce for the mozzarella risotto or a dill aioli.
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Other Smokin’ Recipes from Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen
Smoked Salmon Arancini with Capers and Dill
Smoked Salmon Arancini with Capers and Dill
- FOR THE OVEN BAKED RISOTTO
- olive oil
- 1 fine diced shallot
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/4 cup white wine
- salt and pepper
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 tbsp dried dill or fresh
- FOR THE ARANCINI
- 1 pkg smoked salmon
- 1 jar small capers
- 3 eggs
- 1 box panko crumbs
- neutral frying oil such as canola
MethodFOR THE OVEN BAKED RISOTTO
- Pre-heat oven to 425° F
- In an oven proof pan (that has a tight lid) sauté the shallot until it becomes translucent then add the rice and stir to make sure the grains are coated with oil.
- Pour in wine and let it completely evaporate away. You want the cooked-in flavour of the wine, but not the raw flavour of uncooked wine.
- Add the stock, salt, and pepper.
- Bring the risotto to a boil on the stove top, cover tightly then bake in oven for 20 minutes. Keep in mind you may need more cook time if you are doubling the recipe.
- Remove from oven and stir in dill and Parmesan. Let it cool completely (preferably overnight) before you continue on to make the arancini.
- Chop up your smoked salmon no larger than 1 cm. You may also need to chop your capers depending on what size you have.
- Begin to heat your oil in a large heavy bottomed pot on med-high.
- Beat 3 eggs (to start) in a flat bottomed dredging pan and also place the panko crumbs in a dredging pan. I've found the best way to make these is to have everything ready to go before you start frying.
- Take a handful of the cooled risotto in your hand. Make a small well in the centre. Place a piece of salmon and a couple of capers in the middle then close up your hand cupping the risotto around the salmon and capers until you have a ball.
- Keep working the ball until the risotto looks like it has formed a solid ball completely covering the filling.
- Roll the ball in the egg wash, then roll it in the panko crumbs.
- Repeat until you have used up all of the risotto and are ready to begin frying.
- Test oil by dropping a few panko crumbs in the hot oil. If they are ready they will slowly begin to turn golden brown.
- Carefully put six balls in the oil and move them around so they brown evenly. It takes roughly about 8 minutes.
- Remove carefully allowing oil to drain from the ball before putting it down on paper towel.