Pea and leek arancini

Serves 4-6

Refrigeration time plus 1hr 30mins to cook



  • 1L vegetable stock

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 2 leeks, white part only, cut in half then quartered lengthways and thinly sliced

  • 1 clove garlic, chopped

  • 1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice

  • ¾ cup blanched green peas

  • ¾ cup quality parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano, or Grana Padano), finely grated

  • ½ tsp sea salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Plain flour, seasoned with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 2 cups Panko breadcrumbs

  • Vegetable oil


Bring the stock to the boil.

Reduce heat and keep at a gentle simmer while preparing the rice.

Heat olive oil in a saucepan then add butter and onion,

and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  

Add leek and cook until softened for a further 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Add rice and stir until coated in oil and lightly toasted.

Add 1 cup vegetable stock and stir over high heat until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Continue adding stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly,

allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next.

Continue adding stock until rice is al dente

(you will need a firm risotto consistency).

Stir in the blanched peas,

grated parmesan and season to taste,

then refrigerate for several hours or overnight until firm enough to mould.

Once the rice mixture has cooled,

use your hands to mould the rice into golf ball-sized balls.

Dust with seasoned flour and shake away the excess.

Dip each ball into the beaten egg,

then immediately roll in the breadcrumbs and shake away the excess.

Place crumbed balls on a lightly oiled tray

and refrigerate for 45 minutes or until firm.

Add oil to a deep fryer, or saucepan

that can hold 3cm oil, over medium-high heat.

Test the oil by adding a little breadcrumb to it.

If the breadcrumb sizzles, it’s ready.

Carefully add the arancini to the oil without overcrowding,

and cook until evenly golden brown in colour.

Carefully remove from the oil and drain on absorbent paper.


Recipe by Neil Perry, Qantas Creative Director, Food and Beverage. Photography by Brent Winstone and styling by Lucy Tweed at Rockpool Bar & Grill Sydney.