Chef Ukhonaye Mconi, chef lecturer at the Rosebank branch of Capsicum Culinary Studio in Johannesburg, is celebrating Heritage Day with his updated twist on Arancini – Bacon Umngqusho Arancini. Click here to find out more about the chef, who believes that South Africans should start embracing and promoting their own cuisine. “It’s all very well talking about regional and seasonal ingredients but we also have to take these and use them in uniquely South African dishes updated for a new dining generation,” he says.

Bacon Umngqusho Arancini

450g samp and beans, soaked overnight
20ml olive oil
15g butter
300g streaky bacon, chopped
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, grated
3 tbsp chopped garlic
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced
1 tbsp curry powder
1100ml vegetable stock
400g all-purpose flour
1kg panko breadcrumbs
400ml egg wash
oil to deep-fry
black pepper and salt


Cook samp and beans in half the vegetable stock for about 50 – 65 minutes, till soft. Strain.
In a pot, fry the bacon, onion, garlic and thyme with the oil and butter till fragrant and golden.
Add carrot and curry powder and deglaze with the stock; pour the cooked samp into the stock pot and simmer till it thickens fully. Stir in the chilli.
Once cooked, cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge till is stiffens.
Set up a breading station. Flour bowl, egg wash bowl and breadcrumbs container.
Take the samp mixture out onto a cutting board and cut into even sized squares.
Coat each square in flour, then dip into the beaten eggs and finally roll in the breadcrumbs.
Deep-fry squares till golden and serve with a condiment of your choice (I suggest chipotle mayo).

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