This recipe is part of our yearly Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. This Sicilian American tradition involves several unique fish dishes served in courses. This is hands-down the kids favorite recipe from the meal.
What are Arancini?
Never heard of them? You aren’t alone. I hadn’t either until I married my husband (of Italian decent) and saw his family making these little rice balls on Christmas (they actually do it backwards and serve pasta on Christmas Eve and seafood on Christmas, but I digress).
Arancini are rice balls, stuffed with some kind of filling (usually cheesy and delicious), rolled in bread crumbs, and then fried. The finished rice balls resemble mini oranges in color and size. This is where the name, which means “little oranges” comes from.
Traditionally breaded in flour or panko breadcrumbs, I’ve adapted the recipe to be gluten free and dairy optional. I don’t recommend this recipe if you can’t have eggs, as they are necessary to the finished texture.
I should also mention that this recipe includes rice and that cauliflower rice is not a good substitute for it. We don’t normally eat a lot of grains, but white rice is one exception. We eat white rice on special occasions and the kids have it a couple of times a month. Here’s the reason why, if you are interested.
Crab Cake Arancini Recipe Tips
These arancini are actually a fusion of crab cakes and classic arancini. I think this actually improves them, though I’m not Sicilian and may be committing some kind of Italian culinary heresy. I’m not sorry. They are delicious and I’m excited to debut them to my Sicilian hubby on Christmas Eve, since this is a new recipe I developed earlier this year and he was out of town when I tested them.
Arancini are a little time consuming to make, but they are worth the effort. I will make a double batch and even though we only each eat one as part of the Feast of the Seven Fishes, the extra can be eaten for breakfast or cut up and put into an omelet later.
They aren’t an everyday healthy recipe, but are definitely worth making for a special meal!
Unusual Ingredients You’ll Need:
You’ll need a few ingredients that I don’t normally recommend and that can be tough to find. They are:
Sicilian Crab Cake Arancini Recipe
Do you have any favorite recipes to make at Christmas?