March 21, 2023 0 Comments

Variations around Rice Croquettes

Here you have a base, the closest to the old traditional version, with a ragù of meat (beef in general or mixed with pork or pancetta) and mushrooms (fresh or dried according to the recipes and the seasons).

But you can very well opt for:

  • A contemporary Roman version of the supplì with the amatriciana sauce so with just guanciale.
  • Another type of ragù (or leftover sauce): a Bolognese sauce (it will take longer), a pork ragù with sage, a lamb ragù, a sausage ragù, and even a sauce fish.
  • A vegetable version with just tomato sauce (in this case, we advise you to flavor it well with herbs, for example)
  • Another vegetarian version with smoked scamorza and asparagus like these asparagus arancini.
  • Recycling risotto leftovers by hiding spinning cheese in its heart

Egg-Free and Vegetarian Version

  • Without eggs: omit the egg in the rice and the coating and replace it with the flour/water mixture.
  • Vegetarian: prepare a classic tomato sauce (without the meat) with a few mushrooms for taste.

Preparation of Supplì

Type of Dish: Appetizer

Cuisine: Italian

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

Cooking Time: 50 Minutes

Rest: 6 Hours

Servings: 10 Pieces

Recipe Equipment: Saucepan


For The Rice and the Sauce

  • 250g risotto rice (arborio)
  • 400g crushed tinned tomatoes (polpa) or coulis (passata)
  • 200g ground beef
  • 150g mozzarella, drained and cut into sticks
  • 1 shallot or 1/2 onion
  • 2-3 brown mushrooms (3 soaked dried porcini mushrooms)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sprig of rosemary, optional
  • 1 egg yolk or small whole egg (optional)
  • 100 g approximately grated pecorino romano (or parmesan)

For Coating and Frying

  • 2l frying oil (peanut)
  • 15cl water
  • 110g flour
  • breadcrumbs
  • salt


Ragu Rice

  • Slice the mushrooms (after removing the soil) and the shallot or onion (after peeling).
  • Heat a saucepan without anything (no fat or other). Add the meat, mix and sear for a few minutes: the meat should brown slightly and lose some of its water (secret to make it tastier).
  • Add the mushrooms, shallot, and a drizzle of olive oil. Leave to cook for 3 minutes, then pour in the tomato sauce and dilute with about 30-40 cl of water. Salt and add the rosemary.
  • Pour the rice and cook over medium heat (everything must simmer) for 25-30 minutes (depending on the rice brand, it’s the same time as a risotto, but it’s not a risotto!). Mix from time to time to prevent it from sticking to the bottom, and if necessary (rice not very hydrated and still raw, add a little more water). You should get cooked but still firm rice (not porridge but soft with the grains separated) and a fairly compact whole. It must stick.
  • Incorporate the egg or the yolk (it will depend on the consistency of the whole. If it seems creamy to you, but only the yolk, more compact, put the whole egg, and if it looks like it’s more fluid, do not put egg at all). It serves a softer texture.
  • Add the cheese twice. It is important for the taste but also for the texture, and it will absorb part of the liquid and bind the rice).
  • Pour the rice into a 20×30 cm rectangular mold, flatten, and cover with cling film. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours or even overnight. The rice will become more compact thanks to the starch and the cold).

Coating of Kibbles

  • Cut the mozzarella into sticks.
  • Mix the water and the flour in a wide bowl to obtain a fluid cream (if necessary, add a very small amount of water). The use of a beaten egg can replace this operation.
  • Pour the breadcrumbs onto a flat plate.
  • Take a spoonful of rice (it’s the right amount), and put the contents on the palm of your wet hand. Form a hollow in the center, a little long, and place a piece of mozzarella in the center. Close with the rice (if there is a little more to add) to seal the mozzarella well.
  • Gently roll in the palms of your hands to form an elongated ball or a small sausage of about 8 cm.
  • Gently dip the supplì in the water/flour mixture (or whipped egg) just to coat it (thin layer).
  • Place the dumpling on the breadcrumbs and coat well; roll a little more between your hands if necessary (but if the rice is very compact, it is not necessary).
  • Do the same with the rest of the meatballs and put them in the fridge for an hour (this is not essential but better for success).

Frying the Croquettes

  • In a saucepan (in this case, you fry fewer croquettes at a time, it takes more time, but you use less oil (1-1.5 cl), and you are more sure of success), heat the oil to 170°C. If you don’t have a thermometer, just dip in some breadcrumbs or a small piece of bread: mini bubbles should form all around. Above all, the oil must not smoke.
  • Dip the supplì into it: 6, 4, or 2, depending on the pan size, do not overload.
  • Brown them on all sides (turn them over and mix them from time to time with a skimmer and a glove, watch out for any small splashes) for 3 to 4 minutes (or even less, better check, you can see it clearly on the video).
  • Drain on absorbent paper and salt. Do the same with the rest of the supplì.
  • Serve immediately hot (not boiling).


Conservation: once cooked, it is better to taste them immediately or, at worst, an hour later. You can, however, keep them raw in the fridge (24 hours) and in the freezer (1 month).

To organize yourself: you can prepare the rice with the ragù the day before and let it rest overnight in the fridge (there is a win), then prepare the raw supplì and freeze them. It will be enough to fry them at the last moment.

Coating: the classic and my favorite remains flour + egg + breadcrumbs. Some put only flour and then breadcrumbs, and others, as in this recipe, replace the egg with a mixture of flour and water.

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