In Recipes
Arrozcini Beauty

Photo by Joanie Simon     

Crispy fried rice balls stuffed with molten cheese. I repeat, crispy fried rice balls stuffed with molten cheese. It really doesn’t get much better than that. I came up with this little diddy for a blogger recipe challenge and I was sure they would win. Believe me, my confidence is warranted because these orbs of sin and deliciousness are outrageously good. How could they not be? They are fried carbs loaded with melted cheese. They are destined for greatness…yet, I did not win the recipe challenge.

Womp, womp, womp (bum city)!

No matter.  I am over that debacle and know without a doubt these Arroz-cini are AMAZING! See what I did with the name? Arroz-cini. A play on arancini, the Italian risotto cheesey balls. Well, these are made with Spanish-style red rice and rice in Spanish is “arroz” hence, Arroz-cini! See there? A clever name and a scrumptious recipe is a winner in my book and I am willing to bet you will agree!

The recipe is pretty easy. You can make the rice balls from start to finish in just about half an hour and it’s a great way to get the kiddos involved in the kitchen. Little ones will love getting their hands messy! I used a package of heat and serve Mexican style rice. The brand I used has veggies in it which was a welcome addition, adding a little extra color and texture to the end product. You can use leftover Spanish style from take-out or make your own.

Check it out!


  • 1 – 24 oz package of Mexican or Spanish-style rice
  • 1 – 8 oz box of panko bread crumbs, separate 1 cup
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 20 cheddar cheese cubes, about 1/2-3/4”
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 2 cups coconut oil for frying

Cumin Crema

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • Juice of half a lime


  1. Heat rice in microwave for approx 1 minute, just long enough to warm slightly.
  2. Open contents of warmed rice into a large mixing bowl, along with 1 cup of the panko bread crumbs, 2 eggs and the shredded cheddar.
  3. Using your hands work all the ingredients together until throughly combined. You will really want to work the rice, breaking it up a bit but not getting it too mushy.
  4. Take small handfuls of rice and form a 1 ½ inch balls, pressing your thumb in the rice ball to create a hole. Put 1 cube of cheese in the hole and reform the ball, completely covering the cheese. Repeat. This should make 20 rice balls.
  5. Set up a dredging station using 3 shallow dishes. 1 dish with 2 remaining eggs beaten, 1 dish of flour and 1 dish for the remaining panko bread crumbs.
  6. Roll each rice ball individually, first in the flour, next in the eggs (shaking off excess) and last in the panko.
  7. Place the breaded rice balls on a baking sheet and put in fridge to chill while you make the crema and the oil heats.
  8. Make the crema by mixing together the sour cream, cumin, chili powder, salt and lime juice in a small mixing bowl. Set aside until ready to serve the arroz-cini.
  9. Heat the oil over medium/high heat in a large frying pan.Place the balls in the hot oil, turning frequently to brown evenly. Do not overcrowd, cook in batches. Place cooked rice balls on paper towel-lined plate and repeat until all rice balls are cooked.
  10. Serve immediately with the cumin crema!
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