Salmon and Dill Rice Balls
5 (1)

Salmon and Dill Rice Balls<div class="yasr-vv-stars-title-container"><div class='yasr-stars-title yasr-rater-stars'
></div><span class='yasr-stars-title-average'>5 (1)</span></div>

This recipe was inspired by our beautiful Lemon and Dill Risotto recipe (LINK). The recipe provides enough Risotto for 4 people, but with only two of us in the household we had plenty of leftovers. One of my favorite dishes to eat is Arancini, or fried balls of Risotto so what better way to use the leftovers than to create these amazing Salmon and Dill Rice Balls!

While the Lemon and Dill Risotto is an amazing Risotto dish on it’s own, the addition of Salmon was something we somewhat stumbled across as we were eating the dish. We had some spare cans of tinned Salmon in the pantry which we usually use for a simple lunch (canned Salmon on toast anyone?). We added some of the Canned Salmon to the Risotto and, as we expected, it tasted amazing

 The Oils of the canned Salmon and natural fattiness of the fish added a beautiful richness to the Risotto, which tasted great. If you’re making that wonderful Risotto we absolutely recommend adding some Salmon to it. However, the best use of Salmon is to mix it into the Risotto and make these amazing Salmon and Dill Arancini!

You can either use Fresh or Canned Salmon for this recipe. Both will bring unique flavors to the Rice Balls

Our discovery of this amazing flavor combination came using Canned Salmon. Based on this discovery, our recipe below is suggesting that you use Canned Salmon for the dish. Canned Salmon has a lovely oily texture which compliments the sharpness of the Risotto exceptionally well. We find that it helps to balance out the overall flavor of the dish, given the number of Lemons that go into it

Risotto Balls close up
We recommend using Canned Salmon to make these amazing Salmon and Dill Rice Balls

By balancing out the dish, all ingredients become a lot more pronounced with their flavors. You find that the Dill shines as a powerful and flavorsome herb, which compliments the Salmon and Lemon flavors very well

If you’re not a fan of using Canned Salmon and prefer to use the fresh stuff, that is of course, totally acceptable. We would recommend that you use our Baked Salmon / Snacking Salmon recipe to prepare the Salmon. It’s a simple recipe that requires slow baking of the Salmon at low temperature in the oven. It’s a very easy recipe and delivers beautiful flaky Salmon every time

It’s a classic food combination for a reason, it tastes amazing!

Salmon, Dill, and Lemon. They’re a classic food combination and their pairing is phenomenal together. Lemon is typically used in cooking as an ingredient to help balance the flavor in a dish, usually dishes that are quite sweet in nature. However, in these Salmon and Dill Rice Balls the Lemon brings the real punch of flavor. A sharp, acidic hit of citrus brings this whole dish alive

The Salmon serves as a beautiful counterbalance to the sharpness of that Lemon, with its natural fattiness adding a lovely richness to the dish. When you add Dill to the equation you’ve got one of the most fragrant, flavorful herbs. The combination of all three ingredients together tastes amazing, and will leave you wanting more

Salmon and Dill Rice Balls on white plate
The combination of those powerful flavors of Dill and Lemon make for an amazing dish

We recommend using Superfine Breadcrumbs over Panko for a more consistent coating

Different breadcrumbs add completely unique textures when they are used as breading and deep fried. In our testing of different breadcrumbs, we highly recommend using fine breadcrumbs for this recipe. The reason for this is the fine breadcrumbs give a much better coating to the Rice Balls. The coating is even and will ensure there are no gaps before they are deep fried

Panko breadcrumbs are another popular option and used quite widely in deep frying. Particularly in Japanese food. The issue with Panko for this recipe, however, is they are quite thick, so the coating will be very uneven and likely not cover the entire ball. If you don’t have full coverage of breadcrumbs this will result in oil seeping into the Salmon and Dill Rice Balls, which won’t be a pleasant texture or taste

Salmon and Dill Rice Balls Breadcrumbs
We recommend using Super Fine Breadcrumbs to achieve the best and most even texture for your Rice Balls

Add breadcrumbs to the cooked Risotto to create a denser texture to shape the Salmon and Dill Rice Balls

The Risotto recipe that we use to create these amazing Salmon and Dill Rice Balls produces a lovely textured Risotto. For any risotto aficionados out there, you know that a perfectly cooked Risotto is slightly runny. The rice should not be clumping up, instead it will naturally pour into a plate and have a beautiful, creamy consistency

This is great to eat as a Risotto, however it becomes a nightmare to shape into Balls! Therefore, to get a much denser consistency you simply need to add Breadcrumbs to the mixture. We recommend adding a little bit at a time (about 1 tbsp.). Mix well, then check it’s consistency. You will have the right consistency when the balls can not only be easily shaped, but they hold their shape when resting

For added indulgence, why not add some Parmesan Cheese into your breading mixture for a beautiful Parmesan Crust

This is a totally optional step but why not add Parmesan Cheese to the breading? The risotto already has a generous amount of Parmesan Cheese in there. But hey, you’ve already got that Cheese out of the fridge so why not grate a little bit more for the breading?

It’ll give the Risotto a slightly nutty flavor and help get a beautiful color during the deep fry. This is an optional step, but when you’ve got the option to ‘Parmesan Crust’ something, you might as well do it!

Delicious Fried Rice Balls
You will likely need to add some Breadcrumbs to the completed Risotto dish to get the desired texture to shape into beautiful Rice Balls

Recipe Details


4 – 6 people

Prep time

15 minutes

Cooking time

45 minutes

Total time

1 hour

Salmon and Dill Rice Balls Recipe


  • 1 lb. Salmon (freshly cooked or canned)
  • 3 cups of Chicken Stock (recipe here)
  • 1 cup of Arborio Rice
  • ½ cup Fresh Dill, roughly chopped
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, finely diced
  • Juice of 3 Lemons
  • Zest of 1 ½ Lemons
  • 1 ½ cups White Wine
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 cups Fine Breadcrumbs
  • 2 Eggs, whisked
  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 4 cups frying Oil (eg: Vegetable Oil or Canola Oil)
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Pour the Chicken Stock into a medium sized Saucepan and heat over medium / low heat. Keep the Stock warm throughout the cooking process
  2. Heat the Olive Oil in a large frying pan or pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the Onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add the Garlic and Rice and cook for a further 1 minute, stirring frequently
  3. Add White Wine and cook until it reduces and absorbs into the Rice, about 2 minutes. Add ½ cup of the warm Chicken Stock and stir until absorbed, which will take about 2 – 3 minutes
  4. Continue this process of adding ½ Chicken Stock and allowing it to absorb into the Rice until all the Stock has been used. This process will take about 20 – 25 minutes
  5. Turn off the heat, then add Salmon, Lemon Juice, Lemon Zest, Dill, Parmesan Cheese, and season well with Salt and Pepper to your desired taste

At this point, you’ve got a beautiful meal, but lets keep going!

This produces a substantial amount of delicious Risotto. However, to make the Arancini, we must chill the Risotto before making the balls. Refrigerate the Risotto you wish to turn into Arancini for about 2 hours

To make the Rice Balls

  1. Place the Risotto into a medium sized bowl and add Breadcrumbs to thicken the texture. You want to add enough Breadcrumbs so that the Risotto can easily be shaped into balls that maintain their shape once they’re set aside
  2. Shape the Risotto into golf-ball sized balls
  3. Create a breading station with three bowls. The first with Flour, second with Egg, and the third with 1 cup of Breadcrumbs. Season the Flour and Breadcrumbs with Salt. (for optional indulgence, add some grated Parmesan Cheese into the Breadcrumbs)
  4. To coat the Risotto, place the Risotto balls in the Flour, then Egg, then Breadcrumbs in that order. Do this one at a time to avoid overcrowding each bowl
  5. Heat the Oil in a medium sized saucepan over high heat until the Oil temperature is between 350 – 375 degrees. Fry the balls, being careful not to overfill the Oil as you want to maintain that temperature throughout frying
  6. Once the Arancini turn golden-brown they are cooked. Set aside on a wire rack and season immediately with Salt. Repeat for the remaining Arancini then serve while hot

We hope you enjoy these amazing Salmon and Dill Rice Balls. Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think of this recipe? If you enjoyed this dish, we recommend trying out these fun and delicious recipes:

Happy Cooking!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *