Recipes: Brazilian appetizers

  • Updated: June 16, 2014 - 3:54 PM
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Bolinhos, balls of rice that are deep-fried, are a staple of the Brazilian bar scene — and easy to make at home.

Photo: From “Brazilian Barbecue & Beyond”,

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Bolinhos √

Makes 20 to 25.

Note: These are a mainstay of Brazil’s bar scene. They’re little balls of rice that are lightly fried for a golden crunch, which gives way to a soft, almost creamy interior. Either leftover or freshly made rice can be used. If the rice is too dry, add an extra egg to help it stick together. From “Brazilian Barbecue & Beyond,” by David Ponté, Jamie Barber and Lizzy Barber.

3/4 c. long-grain uncooked rice

• 1 egg, lightly beaten

4 green onions, trimmed and finely chopped

2/3 c. Parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling

• 1 tsp. sea salt, or to taste

• 1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 c. flour, plus more if needed

Small bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped

Vegetable or peanut oil, for deep frying

Lime wedges, to serve, optional

Directions

To cook the rice: Put it in a pan with 1 3/4 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partly covered, for about 10 minutes, until most of the water has been absorbed. Remove, cover, and let steam for another view minutes. It will be slightly overcooked and sticky, and you should be able to shape it easily. Set aside to cool completely.

To make the bolinhos: To the rice, add the egg, green onions, Parmesan, salt, baking powder, 1/4 cup flour and most of the chopped parsley (all but 1 tablespoon). Mix well and check the consistency: It should be stiff enough to shape into balls. If it’s too sticky, gradually add more flour until you get the right consistency. With well-floured hands, roll into walnut-size balls.

Heat oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees (it should sizzle when a little rice mixture is added to it). Fry in batches for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown all over, then drain on paper towels. Keep warm while you fry the remaining batches. (No deep fryer? Use a sturdy pot and cover bottom with about ½ inch oil and fry the rice balls, turning them around to brown them.) To serve, transfer to warmed bowls and serve sprinkled with grated Parmesan and the remaining parsley, with lime wedges alongside.

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