1. You can substitute with any other Italian-esque herbs or combination you want e.g. basil, thyme, oregano.
2. When the rice is refrigerated, it should become sticky and firm enough to roll into firm balls. If not, just add a wee bit of panko breadcrumbs (2 tbsp at a time) which will help absorb excess moisture and hold together.
3. I find the fastest way to do this is to measure the scoops out first into a baking tray, then roll them, then coat them in batches.
4. Quick Marinara Dipping Sauce - Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a small saucepan with 1/4 cup of very finely chopped onion and 1 garlic clove, crushed. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, then add 1 cup of tomato passata (pureed canned tomatoes, also known as tomato sauce in America), 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp mixed Italian herbs (or sub with other herbs), pinch of chili flakes (optional), salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes until thick, remove from heat and allow to cool.
5. These can be baked, but the crumb is not quite the same deep golden brown, but it's still delicious! To bake, after rolling the balls, place them in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm them up again. Then coat in panko as per recipe, drizzle with oil OR generously spray with olive oil and baking in a 200C/390F oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
6. I know some people like to stuff a cube of cheese in the middle. I used to but I don't anymore, ever since the hot cheese scorched my chin!
7. Make Ahead: Refrigerate overnight raw or freeze in airtight container. Then defrost and cook per recipe. Or cook per recipe then cool, then refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze and thaw, then reheat in a hot oven 200C/390F for 12 to 15 minutes until heated through and crunchy again.