Bacon and Kimchi Arancini with Bibimbap Sauce

blackbean

This is my fusion take on Italian arancini meets Korean Jumok Bap, served with bibimbap sauce.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 cups veg stock
  • 2 oz bacon
  • 5 oz kimchi minced
  • 1 T butter
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • about 6 oz smoked mozzarella cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1-2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup potato starch or rice flour

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 1/2 cup kochijang (korean chili paste)
  • 3 T rice vinegar
  • 4 T soysauce or tamari
  • 3 tsp black sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 T honey

HOW TO:

  1. Cook the bacon in a large pan. Chop into small pieces and set aside. Save some of the bacon grease.
  2. In the bacon grease, add garlic and arborio rice. Let cook for a couple minutes before adding any liquid.
  3. Add a ladle of warm stock and stir occasionally until liquid is absorbed. Continue with small batches of stock and stirring occasionally until rice is to a risotto consistency. Add kimchi and bacon pieces. Stir in butter and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. In order to make the arancini, you have to let the risotto cool completely. Chill in the fridge for a couple hours, or even overnight.
  5. Once the risotto is chilled, beat 1 egg and mix it in. 
  6. Set up your ball station! I make these the size of the cup between my hands, so for me it's about 2 inches diameter. As you ball the risotto, poke a hole in each one and stuff a piece of the smoked mozzarella inside and seal it up. Place on a baking sheet. Continue this process until all the risotto is done being balled.
  7. Now it's time to dredge. In the the first bowl put your rice flour or potato starch. In the next bowl beat the last 2 eggs. In the last bowl, put the panko breadcrumbs in with a little salt and pepper. (IF YOU ARE BAKING and not FRYING, you may if you wish - skip the egg batter and flour dredging and go straight to pressing in the breadcrumbs. I still do the whole bit.) 
  8. Take each ball one by one and first dip into the flour, then into the egg, and then into the breadcrumbs, pressing the crumbs into the ball with your hands. Again, you don't absolutely need to do the egg and flour if you are baking.
  9. If you want to shallow fry them, heat your veg oil to 360 - about 2" in your pan. Fry in small batches gently, browning all sides. About 2 mins. Transfer to paper towel lined plate to drain. 

    Alternately if you want to bake them, you can preheat your oven to 425 degrees and place all your balls on a greased baking sheet. spray with olive oil spray or drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 20-30 minutes until browned.
  10. Quickly mix together your sauce (can be done ahead) ingredients, and serve with arancini while hot.