Smoked Haddock and Leek Arancini with Tomato Sauce and Crispy Capers

This is such a good way to use up leftover rice. I made the risotto myself as I couldn’t wait to try this out. I got the idea from a tapas restaurant we went to, one of the dishes we ordered was the cod arancini they were delicious but I thought the cod got lost a bit . Then I had a brainwave and thought smoked haddock would work. I looked online and there are some recipes but I made this one up to our tastes. Using the stock the fish has cooked in to make the risotto adds even more flavour. I eat fried food as a treat when I go out or on the weekend but I prefer baking so I baked these and it worked perfectly. I made a simple tomato sauce to have them with and they were irresistible. It would make such a good starter for a dinner party or Christmas.


For the Arancini

  • 1 piece of un dyed smoked haddock
  • 1 pint of fish or vegetable stock
  • Knob of butter
  • 2 leeks finely chopped
  • 100g risotto rice, uncooked (you can use leftover cooked rice)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 3 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 50g Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • Fresh pepper and sea salt (if needed as fish will season the liquid)

For the tomato sauce

  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • Splash of olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp of tomato purée
  • Pinch of sugar and salt
  • Splash of Worcester sauce

For the capers

    2 tbsp of capers
    2 tbsp of frying oil, I used groundnut

Parsley and Parmesan to serve


  1. Start by gentle poaching the fish. In a frying pan with a lid, pour in the stock. Bring to the boil turn off the heat, place the haddock in the stock and cover. Leave for 10 minutes the remove the haddock to a plate to cool, reserving the stock.
  2. In a non stick pan add the butter and leeks and cook until softened, mine took about 6 mins. Add the rice and fry for a further minute. Add the reserved stock a ladle at a time allowing the rice to soak it up. Repeat until the rice is softened I used 2 ladles . Flake in the smoked haddock discarding any bones. Set aside to cool.
  3. Pre heat oven to 200 degrees fan. On a plat add the plain flour and season.
  4. Pour the beaten egg into a separate bowl. Finally add the Panko breadcrumbs to anther plate, pour on the olive oil and mix through your fingers so all the breadcrumbs are oily.
  5. Once the risotto is cool enough to handle. Stir in the parsley and check for seasoning I only needed pepper.
  6. Take a handful of mixture and roll in your hands to form a ball. Roll in the seasoned flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Place on a non stick or lined baking tray. Repeat until you have used all you mixture up. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
  7. While the Arancini are baking, heat a tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan fry off the garlic for a minute. Add all of the other sauce ingredients, bring it up to a gentle boil and then simmer to reduce for 10 minutes.
  8. In a small pan add 2 tbsp of cooking oil until smoking add a tbsp of capers at a time and fry for 10 secs until they stop sizzling drain on kitchen paper and repeat with the rest. Tip: so I can use less oil I tilt my saucepan on the heat so I’m deep frying them.
  9. To serve, spoon on the tomato sauce, add the Arancini, sprinkle of the capers and fish with a grating of Parmesan and sprinkle of parsley. Enjoy 😊

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