SPICED CRAB ARANCINI
BY ALAN BIRD

Chef Alan Bird has picked up a thing or two from his years working alongside some top Italian chefs and he knows how to make a mean arancini. He just asks for forgiveness when it comes to the secret ingredient in his breadcrumb mix.


Named after the little oranges they’re thought to resemble, arrancini are stuffed balls of rice that are coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried for a satisfying crunch. Traditionally filled with a meat ragu and mozzarella, Alan’s Cornish-inspired version calls for crab meat spiced with ginger, chilli and fresh coriander.


In a move that may leave traditionalists tutting, he adds a good serving of parmesan to the breadcrumb mix. But trust him on this one - it works beautifully.


Serve with a simple but flavourful gremolata crème fraiche and pair with a Sharp’s Offshore Pilsner. The crisp herbal lemon aroma leaves a refreshing citrus finish that’s perfect with the spiced crab meat. A chilled larger or golden ale also works well.

  • INGREDIENTS
  • METHOD

Makes 8-10 Portions

100g carnaroli risotto rice

1 medium shallot, peeled and finely chopped

30g root ginger, scraped and crushed

1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped

20g coriander leaves, chopped

50g olive oil

30g tomato puree

60ml white wine

200ml fish stock

200g brown crab meat

300g white crab meat

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 litre vegetable oil for frying


For the crumbing

100g panko breadcrumbs

100g plain flour

50g grated parmesan cheese

2 eggs

60ml milk

500ml vegetable oil


For the gremolata

Crème fraîche

1 lemon, zest

50g flat leaf parsley, picked and chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed into a paste

100g crème fraîche Seasoning


Pair with

Sharp's Offshore Pilsner

  1. Gently cook the shallot, ginger, garlic and chilli in the olive oil until soft.
  2. Add the rice and cook gently, then gradually add the tomato purée, sherry and fish stock and simmer until completely absorbed and the rice is just cooked.
  3. Add the crab meat and cook on a low heat for 3-4 minutes. Season to taste and then leave to cool. Refrigerate once cooled and leave to set.
  4. Mould the chilled risotto into even bite - size balls, approx. 30g each in weight.
  5. Meanwhile, set up 3 separate shallow trays for the crumbing: one for the flour, one for the crumbs and parmesan, and one for the egg and milk mix.
  6. Add the balls to the flour, ensuring that they are fully coated. Shake off the excess flour, then place into the egg mix – again, ensuring that this coats the outside of the balls without any gaps. Then carefully place into the breadcrumbs and coat evenly. Leave in the fridge to set.
  7. To make the gremolata crème fraîche, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and season.
  8. Heat the vegetable oil to 190C in a deep fat fryer or a pan twice the size of the volume of oil. Check the temperature of the oil with a temperature probe. Carefully place the crumbed balls into the hot oil and fry until crispy golden brown, then drain carefully on kitchen paper. Serve with the crème fraîche.
  9. Take care as they will be hot inside.
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We're excited to be launching our very own cook book, entitled ‘Just Add Beer’, in time for Christmas. It celebrates beer both as an ingredient and a pairing for a variety of recipes, created by top chefs who either live and work in Cornwall or have strong links to the county.