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Arancini Fried Rice Balls


We’re thrilled to announce a remarkable collaboration with none other than Charlie Ayers, the celebrated chef known for his pioneering role as Google's very first executive chef! Charlie has enchanted palates all over the globe with his dedication to nourishing and innovative cuisine. Now, he brings his culinary mastery and passion for wholesome, delicious meals to the Cahokia Rice family.

"Food is fuel, and what better fuel than Cahokia Rice to power a healthy lifestyle?" says Charlie. He is crafting exclusive recipes that showcase the superior taste and texture of our rice, proving that healthy food can also be irresistibly delicious. 

Please enjoy this delicious recipe for Arancini Fried Rice Balls that he has created for us:

Arancini Fried Rice Balls


Makes about 14

  • 3.5 cups low-sodium homemade chicken stock or store-bought broth 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cahokia rice ( leftover is fine)
  • 1.5 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
  • .50 cup dry white wine
  • 2 oz. finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
  • .25 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. finely grated orange zest zest
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more
  • 3 oz. low-moisture mozzarella cheese, cut into 1⁄3" pieces
  • 2 cups panko
  • .50 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 ea large eggs
  • Canola or vegetable oil (for frying; about 6 cups)


Step 1: Bring 31⁄2 cups low-sodium homemade chicken stock or store-bought broth to a simmer in a medium pot over medium heat, then keep warm over low.

Step 2: Heat 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter in a medium saucepan over medium. Add 1 medium onion, finely chopped, and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, 4–5 minutes. Add 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, and cook, stirring constantly, until softened but not browned, about 1 more minute.

Step 3: Stir in 1 cup carnaroli rice or arborio rice; season with 11⁄2 tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1 tsp. Morton kosher salt. Cook, stirring often, until some of the grains turn translucent around the edges, about 3 minutes. Add 1⁄2 cup dry white wine and cook, stirring often, until the pan is almost dry, about 2 minutes. Ladle in 1 cup warm stock, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring often, until liquid is absorbed, about 4 minutes. Ladle in another 1 cup stock and continue to cook, stirring yet again, until most of the liquid is absorbed, 5–7 minutes. Add remaining 1 1⁄2 cups stock and cook, stirring often, until rice is cooked through but retains some bite and liquid is mostly absorbed, 9–11 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 oz. finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup), 1⁄4 cup heavy cream, 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest, 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, and remaining 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter. Season risotto with kosher salt.

Step 4: Spread risotto in an even layer on a rimmed, parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Do Ahead: Risotto can be prepared and chilled 24 hours in advance. Cover with plastic wrap after 1 hour so it doesn’t develop a skin.

Step 5: Line another rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop about 1⁄4 cup risotto into your hands and form into a patty about 21⁄2" in diameter (it doesn’t need to be perfect!). Place 2–3 pieces mozzarella from 3 oz. low-moisture mozzarella cheese, cut into 1⁄3" pieces, in the center of the patty. Carefully pinch and shape risotto so it completely encases the cheese, then roll into a 2" ball. Your hands might get messy, and the balls may be slightly misshapen (they’ll firm up later). Place on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining risotto and mozzarella. Freeze rice balls for 10 minutes.

Step 6: Meanwhile, pulse 2 cups of panko in a food processor or place in a ziptop plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin until finer crumbs form. Transfer to a shallow bowl. Place 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour in another shallow bowl. Lightly beat 2 large eggs in a third shallow bowl to blend; season all bowls with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Working one at a time, dredge rice balls in flour, shaking off excess. Transfer to bowl with egg and turn to coat, letting excess drip back into bowl. Coat with panko, pressing gently to adhere. Transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Chill rice balls while you heat oil.

Step 7: Pour canola or vegetable oil (about 6 cups) into a medium heavy pot fitted with a thermometer to a depth of 2". Warm oil over medium-high heat until the thermometer registers 350°. Carefully lower half of the rice balls into oil with a slotted spoon or spider and fry until deeply golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain; season with salt. Repeat with the remaining batch of rice balls. Serve warm with sauce alongside.



Why Cahokia Rice?
Charlie Ayers champions food that's not only satisfying but also beneficial for your health. This makes Cahokia Rice, with its naturally higher protein content and lowest glycemic index, a perfect match for his culinary philosophy. Our unique rice variety supports everyone—from the health-conscious individual to the high-performance athlete—with a nutritious, versatile base for any meal.

Join Us on This Culinary Journey
Stay tuned as we unveil Charlie’s signature dishes and share tips on how you can recreate these culinary delights at home. Whether you're a professional chef or a home cook, discover the myriad of ways to incorporate Cahokia Rice into your daily meals.