Recipe Salmon and cream cheese sushi-style arancini


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12 May 2020
Local time
12:58 AM
Northeast Ohio
I do love fried foods, and one of my favorite things ever is arancini! Arancini Recipe (Italian Fried Risotto) | The Mediterranean Dish which is an Italian street food (fried risotto ball stuffed with mozzarella usually). I have made the regular arancini before using risotto (arborio rice) with various fillings such as lamb to make them different and more interesting. Another favorite food of mine is sushi. There is a roll called the Philadelphia roll at our local sushi restaurant (may have a variation of ingredients or the name in other cities/states/countries) that contains salmon, cream cheese, avocado, cucumber, and scallions (AKA green onion). So it occurred to me that the sushi rice might be able to be used in lieu of the arborio rice, and the fillings could be the ingredients for the arancini filling! I decided to give it a try and it worked out quite well! If you like sushi, give it a try and see what you think!

Ingredients for sushi arancini balls:
2 cups cooked and seasoned sushi rice, cooled (I used this recipe): Sushi Rice Recipe - Gimme Some Oven
4 ounces of cream cheese cut into small pieces
4 ounces of sushi-grade raw skinless salmon filet cut into small pieces
1/2 small ripe avocado, peeled and cut into small slices
3 chopped scallion greens (AKA green onion, spring onion) approximately 3 TBSP
1 sheet of nori cut into tiny pieces
Furikake (optional)
Black sesame seeds
1-2 small squares of plastic wrap

Ingredients for breading:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups panko bread crumbs
2 raw eggs

Ingredients for dipping sauces:
Soy sauce
2 TBSP mayonnaise

For the dipping sauce: I had a ramekin of wasabi and a small dish to mix soy sauce and wasabi together while eating. For a second sauce, mix together the mayonnaise and a squirt of sriracha sauce to make a spicy mayonnaise.

Oil of choice will be needed for frying

sushi arancini salmon.jpgsushi arancini fillings.jpg

Preparation method:
Place a small square of plastic wrap in the palm of one hand. Spread a thin layer of sushi rice across your palm and place a piece of salmon, some cream cheese, scallions, and avocado in the center. Add a sprinkle of furikake, sesame seeds, and nori to the filling. Close up the rice around the fillings until completely sealed and place the risotto ball on a parchment lined tray. Continue until all of the rice and/or filling has been used up.

sushi arancini fillings before rolling 2.jpgsushi arancini fillings before rolling 1.jpg

Whisk the eggs in a shallow bowl. Place the flour in a bowl and the panko bread crumbs in another bowl. Roll the balls in the flour until lightly coated, then roll in the egg mixture, and finally roll them in the bread crumbs. Place the sushi arancini bowls on a piece of parchment paper and put them in the freezer for at least 45 minutes before frying. If you don't want to use them immediately, you can transfer them into a container and keep them in the freezer until ready to cook them.

When ready to cook, heat (at 350F) enough oil (I used vegetable oil) in a pan so that the arancini balls can be submerged without touching the bottom of the pan. Do not overcrowd the pan (I cooked 3 at a time).

Notes: For the first two batches I made, I did not freeze the balls but I had put them in the freezer to cool down and firm up. The salmon was cooked through though still moist and tender--if you do not want the fish to be rare, make sure that the balls are thawed out and not frozen in the middle so the salmon will be completely cooked. Also, for the first batch I made, I had put cucumber in the balls since that's how the Philadelphia sushi rolls are made. The cucumber lost it's crunch during cooking, though the balls were still very tasty. On the second batch I made, I chose to not include the cucumber inside and I garnished the sushi arancini balls with the diced cucumber, scallions, and some of the spicy mayonnaise sauce. That was a much better choice. You could also top with additional furikake or nori and sesame seeds if you like. I also think that smoked salmon would be great in these, or ahi tuna, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Overall, these were a big success and a lot of fun to make. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

sushi arancini plated 1.jpgsushi arancini plated 2.jpg
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Really cool idea! Hmmm...I wonder if this would work if the were rolled into a tube instead of a ball? Then, it could be sliced like sushi after cooking.

But, regardless, anything that reminds me of bagels and lox is something I'm going to want to try.
Really cool idea! Hmmm...I wonder if this would work if the were rolled into a tube instead of a ball? Then, it could be sliced like sushi after cooking.

But, regardless, anything that reminds me of bagels and lox is something I'm going to want to try.
Egg roll wrappers! I actually had bought some and that was my next entry idea.

Also wanted to say that if you wanted to roll in a tube it would probably work for you since you have big hands (I think you are tall), but it wouldn't work for me as I am 5'1" tall and my hands are tiny. I suppose if you laid it out on a bamboo mat like they do in the sushi restaurant and then breaded and fried.

Also you could sub out the furikake and nori for everything bagel seasoning.
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It looks amazingggg. Well done! Quite a lot of effort, it seems to me.
Thank you! It wasn't that hard once I figured out to put the plastic wrap in my hand before trying to roll the rice in a ball. The rice can be prepared the day before and the balls can be made in advance as well. And it was a labor of love since I adore sushi and arancini both!
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