Italian Regional Recipes Starters

Roman Supplì – Deep-Fried Rice Croquettes

Supplì is a classic Roman street food and it consists in a rice croquette usually served also for a lunch on the go or as an appetizers. Every roman restaurant, trattoria or rosticceria have Supplì on menu. It’s part of the Roman cuisine, and although it’s very similar to the Sicilian arancino, the two can be easily distinguished by their different shape and stuffing: whilst the arancino is usually a perfect sphere or an egg-shaped ball, the supplì is shaped like a cylinder.

The classic Supplì is born historically on the basis of a sauce with mixed ground and giblets or chicken entrails; often dried mushrooms could also be found to add flavor to the rice being cooked.

Initially described as “A risotto seasoned with sweetbreads and giblets of chicken, balled and fried” that appeared in the menu of a famous trattoria in Via dei Condotti in 1874, in Rome.

Nowadays, most restaurants and street food stands serve a wide range of very different supplì, filled with many different sauces, meats and vegetables. After all, the word ‘supplì’ comes from mispronouncing the French for ‘surprise’!

We believe, however, that the best supplì is the classic one: simple ragout or tomato sauce and stringy Mozzarella Fior di Latte.

Makes: 6 supplì | Preparation time: 30 mins | Cooking time: 30 mins

  • Carnaroli or Arborio rice: 200 g
  • Tomato sauce: 150 g
  • Mozzarella Fior di Latte: 125 g
  • Minced meat: 80 g
  • Red wine: 75 ml
  • Eggs: 2
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO): 1 tbsp
  • Breadcrumbs: as needed
  • Vegetable broth: as needed
  • Salt and pepper: to taste
  • Seed oil: for deep-frying


Heat up the olive oil and a pan and brown the minced meat for about 5 minutes. Pour in the wine and let it simmer until the wine evaporates completely. Pour in the tomato sauce and leave it to cook for 15 minutes.

Add the rice directly to the tomato sauce, pouring in enough vegetable broth to cover the rice completely and adding it a ladle at a time until the rice is completely cooked through.

Tip: Remember to keep the vegetable broth warm throughout the cooking process: adding cold broth could prevent the risotto from cooking properly.

Allow for most of the liquid to evaporate and for the tomato sauce to thicken up before turning off the heat. Transfer the risotto to a large bowl, season it to taste and let it cool down completely before proceeding to the next step.

Dice the mozzarella into small cubes.

Tip: Fior di Latte or simple Mozzarella should be drained slightly to avoid watering down the rice during cooking.

Grease the palm of your hands with a drop of olive oil to prevent the risotto from sticking to it, then take a good handful of risotto and press a mozzarella cube right in the middle of it. Form a cylinder with the risotto and place it on a tray lined with baking paper.

Beat up the eggs in a bowl and place the breadcrumbs in a shallow plate. Dip each risotto ball into the eggs and then roll it over the breadcrumbs until it is coated evenly.

Heat up the seed oil and deep-fry the supplì until they breading takes on a uniform golden colour.

Tip: do not fry them all together, only few at time or this will dramatically lower the temperature of the oil and you will not get a crispy breading.

Remove them from the oil using a skimmer and place them on a plate lined with kitchen paper. Serve warm.

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