Fried Red Beans and Rice Balls

These crispy bites are even more delicious with a generous splash of hot sauce.

Fried Red Beans and Rice Balls
Makes 18
  • 6 ounces kielbasa smoked sausage, diced
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 (8-ounce) box Zatarain’s New Orleans Style Red Beans and Rice Mix
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ gallon peanut oil
  • ½ cup rice flour
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1½ cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • Hot sauce, to serve
  1. In a medium skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat until browned. Remove from pan, and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring 3 cups water, red beans and rice mix, and canola oil to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Uncover and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and most of water has evaporated, 15 to 18 minutes. Add sausage. Let stand until cool, and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Using a 2 tablespoon spring-loaded scoop, scoop mixture, and shape into balls; freeze for 1 hour.
  4. In a 3½-quart Dutch oven, heat peanut oil over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 365°.
  5. Place rice flour in a small bowl. Place eggs in another small bowl. Place panko in a medium bowl. Dredge rice balls in rice flour, shaking off excess. Dip in eggs, letting excess drip off. Dredge in bread crumbs, shaking off excess.
  6. Fry 5 to 6 balls at a time for 3 to 4 minutes, keeping oil between 350° and 365°. Remove using a slotted spoon, and let drain on a cooling rack. Serve warm with hot sauce.