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Supplì (Italian fried rice balls)

Never heard of supplì!?

They are fried rice balls, similar to arancini, but not quite the same: they have an oblong shape and they are simply made with tomato sauce and a gooey mozzarella heart right in the middle.

The recipe is originally from Rome and it has minced beef and then of course, cheese and eggs.

Can we veganaise it? Oh yes!

INGREDIENTS for 20 supplì:

500g arborio rice

300ml tomato sauce

1.5l vegetable stock

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 tbsp tomato purée

½ onion, diced

60g soy mince

Fresh basil leaves

Black pepper and oregano to taste

*2 tbsp soy sauce

Olive oil for cooking and for frying

INGREDIENTS for the batter:

*70g flour

140g water

*200g breadcrumbs


Soak the dry soy mince in hot water for about 15 minutes then drain well and squeeze all the water out. Stir fry the diced onion and a garlic clove in a pan with olive oil, add the mince, season with soy sauce, black pepper, oregano and cook for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a big saucepan heat 2 tbsp of olive oil with a garlic clove, add the tomato sauce and leave to simmer for about 10 minutes over a low heat. In another pot bring the veggie stock to a boil.

Add the rice to the pan with the tomato sauce, add 1 tbsp of tomato purée and cook the risotto, adding the stock from time to time. Nearly at the end, add in the soy mince, stir well and season with olive oil and fresh basil leaves.

The risotto will have to be very thick and will have to cool down before you form the balls, indeed I’d recommend to place it in the fridge for at least 2 hours, better overnight. Once cooled it will be quite sticky and firm. Knead the risotto with your hands, then take a handful of it, fill it with vegan cheese and form a small oval-shaped patty.

Coat with the batter made of water and flour and then roll into breadcrumbs. Place all the supplì in a tray and leave them to settle in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Once ready, deep fry them until they turn golden-brown and serve warm.

*This recipe can be made gluten-free by using GF flour and breadcrumbs for the batter and by replacing the soy sauce with tamari.

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