Kimchi orzo Arancini with Garlic Aioli

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Looking to impress your guests with a show stopping appetizer recipe? This Kimchi Orzo Arancini recipe from Italian Chef Lorenzo Boni blends elements of Italian and Korean cuisine. Orzo pasta is toasted with garlic and reduced like a risotto with white wine and chicken broth. It is then combined with a scratch-made béchamel sauce, Napa cabbage kimchi, and cheese. Once the orzo mixture chilled and set, it is rolled into balls, breaded, and fried till golden brown and crispy. Serve these treats with homemade garlic aioli and enjoy!

Ingredients 8 Servings

Ingredients for Kimchi Orzo Arancini:

  • ½ box Barilla® Orzo pasta                       
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil                       
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup dry White wine                              
  • 32 ounces chicken broth      
  • ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1 cup Napa cabbage kimchi, chopped thin, drained
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup flour
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • For Frying: 1 liter vegetable oil for deep fry or use oil spray for air fryer

Ingredients for the Béchamel Sauce:

  • 1½ cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1½ tablespoons flour
  • Salt and white pepper to taste

Ingredients for the Garlic Aioli Sauce:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and white pepper to taste


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  • For the Béchamel: In a medium saucepan bring milk to a simmer, meanwhile in another medium saucepan melt the butter and whisk in the flour to form a roux, cook for 1 minute over a low flame.

  • Once the milk is simmering add the milk to the roux and whisk frequently until the sauce is thick, season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
  • For the Garlic Aioli: Whisk together mayonnaise, lemon, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Drizzle olive oil little by little to incorporate. 

  • For the Kimchi Arancini: In a saucepan, sauté the garlic in olive oil until slightly yellow in color.

  • Add pasta and toast in the olive oil for a few seconds, deglaze with white wine and completely reduce all the wine.  

  • Meanwhile warm the broth.

  • Begin slowly adding the warm broth a few ladles at a time until the pasta is fully cooked.

  • Once the pasta has cooked, add in the béchamel sauce, chopped kimchi and cheese; stir to combine.  

  • Pour the mixture into a 2-inch hotel pan or a 9” x 13” rectangle cake pan. Cool down for about 1 hour.

  • Meanwhile, beat the whole eggs with a small amount of water or milk or cream to create the egg wash.

  • Once cool roll the orzo mixture into 1-inch balls, roll in flour, then egg wash, then panko.

  • To Air Fry: Spray air fryer lightly with olive oil or any other sprayable oil. Place in air fryer for 12 minutes at 325° F. 

  • Or to Deep Fry: Fry in vegetable oil at 375° F until crispy and golden brown.

  • Serve with a side of garlic aioli. 

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