Qifqi – Albanian Rice Balls

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Last Updated on January 9, 2021 by Chef Mireille

Qifqi – Albanian Rice Balls

Qifqi – Albanian Rice Balls are a quick and easy Vegetarian snack or serve them at your next party.

The Balkan States are not known for their Vegetarian dishes. Much of their cuisine comes from the Turks under the Ottoman Empire. Kebabs are the backbone of the Balkan States. Vegetables are usually either simply grilled or stuffed, often with meat also. Even breads are often stuffed with meat.

Qifqi is one of the few Vegetarian dishes you will find in the Balkan States. These are very similar to Italian arancini, except this has a unique flavor profile with dried mint. The quantity of mint used is subjective and you can use as much or as little as you prefer.


A special molded pan with individual cavities is uses to make Qifqi. Many regions of the world make different types of pancakes in these pans like Indian Paniyaram or Danish Aebleskiver. Now I have given you yet another reason to use the pan, if you own one. So bring out your pan and let’s get to making Qifqi.

The most common accompaniment to this would most likely be Ajvar, a sauce made from roasted red peppers and sometimes also eggplant. However, when I visit this Balkan market near me, they have such a large variety of vegetables spreads I wanted to try something different. Qifqi – Albanian Rice Balls were delicious with this Spicy Zucchini Spread.

Qifqi LR 4

These are such a delicious snack.

Qifqi LR

Pair it with a green salad if you prefer, and make a complete meal with Qifqi.

This is such a great use of leftover rice. The next time you have some leftover rice, try making Qifqi instead of Fried Rice.

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4 from 2 votes

Qifqi – Albanian Rice Balls

Qifqi – Albanian Rice Balls are a quick and easy appetizer to serve at any party!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: Appetizers
Cuisine: Albanian
Servings: 26 Qifqi
Calories: 36kcal




  • Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
  • Add rice, reduce heat to low, cover and steam until rice has absorbed all of the water, about 15 minutes. Leave to cool to room temperature.
  • In a bowl, beat 4 eggs with the mint, black pepper and salt.
  • Add the rice and mix until thoroughly combined and rice is well coated with the egg.
  • Heat a molded pan and brush each cavity with a little olive oil.
  • Using an ice cream scoop, fill each cavity with the rice.
  • Cover and cook on low heat 5-10 minutes on each side until golden and crispy.
  • Serve with ajvar or your favorite Balkan vegetable spread.


Calories: 36kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 144mg | Potassium: 18mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 39IU | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you try this recipe? Leave a comment below.Please follow me on Instagram @chefmireille or tag me #chefmireille with your pics! I’d love to share them!


plate of rice balls with sauce and text
plate of rice balls with sauce with text

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Reader Interactions


  1. These rice balls look delicious. Using a molded pan to make them is a great healthy option. I wonder if this recipe could be made vegan by using chick pea flour and some baking powder instead of the eggs?

  2. Qifqi, first of all such a lovely name. Love how simple the recipe is and any excuse to bring out the appe pan. With vegetable spread, am sure they must be so crunchy and delicious.

    • I cannot speak for anyone. However this is the way it is usually prepared. the only thing I can suggest trying is to form them into balls and then fry them. As I have never tried it myself, I cannot guarantee it will work, but it’s worth a try!

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