Ryzogalo with mandarin syrup

Ryzogalo – Greek rice pudding with mandarin syrup

This rice pudding with mandarin syrup will win you over right away with its unique fruity flavor, creamy texture, and its umami aftertaste. It is so delicious that it will be difficult to eat just one bowl!

Ryzogalo with mandarin syrup
Ryzogalo - Rice pudding with mandarin syrup

Christina's Ryzogalo (rice pudding) with mandarin syrup

Ryzogalo with mandarin syrup
Christina's Ryzogalo with mandarin syrup in bowls

I’ve taken an all-time favorite Greek traditional recipe of my mother’s rice pudding and gave it a twist topping it with an amazing mandarin syrup that will blow your mind!

Ryzogalo is a Greek traditional rice pudding very fast and easy to make. The traditional Greek recipe does not have any syrup on top, just a sprinkle of cinnamon. Ryzogalo is pronounced in Greek= Ree-zo-ga-lo

This rice pudding with mandarin syrup is so delicious that has turned a person from a rice-pudding-hater to rice-pudding-lover!

With the first spoon, you get a bit of that subtle sweetness of the creamy rice pudding followed by the fruity flavor of the mandarin syrup and at the end, you experience the umami aftertaste that leaves your mouth salivating and craving for more! Then you go back for another spoon, trying to figure out what tastes so amazing, but by the time you figure out the first bowl has ended and you are finding yourself opening the fridge to get another one!

Mandarins1 1
Mandarins or Clementines or Tangerines

How the inspiration for this rice pudding with mandarin syrup came along?

I love anything mandarin or clementines or tangerines so whenever it’s their season I always try to find ways to incorporate them into my recipes.

I’m a real fan of rice pudding but I also like a good challenge so when my mother challenged me to make a recipe for rice pudding that my stepfather would eat, I said bring it on! I immediately started thinking of ways on how to improve this very tasty traditional recipe of my mother’s Ryzogalo and make my stepfather who WAS a rice-pudding-hater start eating Ryzogalo!

My original thought of making this recipe was to make it with only mandarin juice but when I started doing the tests for my syrup I had only 12 mandarins available because I’ve eaten the rest. So I thought to myself let me substitute a portion of mandarin juice with orange juice until I get a perfect consistency. And that’s when the magic happened!

I got the perfect mandarin syrup with an amazing taste the first time I made it! Good thing I always measure my ingredients especially when I start making tests in the kitchen! I’ve made a couple more syrups with only mandarin juice since then, thinking that they might taste better, but no matter what I made they never tasted like the first one with the orange juices.

Isn’t that’s how all great recipes in the kitchen started? Little, happy, tasty accidents to give more taste to our lives!

So, after my recipe was ready, I stuck a couple of bowls in my parent’s fridge and waited to see their reaction the next day. I was amazed to see them the next day knocking at my door to ask me if I had more because it was the best rice pudding they’ve ever tried mainly because my stepdad is a rice pudding hater!!! Actually, I have to correct that- he WAS a hater… now he eats 2 bowls back to back every time I make it! So… I won the Ryzogalo challenge! Now I challenge you to give this recipe a try because it is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!

clementins halved
Mandarins and Oranges cut in halves as preparation for the Mandarin syrup
Ryzogalo with mandarin syrup pin1a
Ryzogalo with mandarin syrup

Ryzogalo – Greek rice pudding with mandarin syrup

Prep: 5m | Cook: 20m | Total: 25m | Serves: 8 bowls


  • 1 L Fresh Milk
  • 200g rice for puddings or soups (1 tea cup)
  • 400g water (to cook the rice) (2 tea cups)
  • ¾ cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or one capsule of vanillin
  • 12g cornstarch (1 Tbsp)
  • 3 Tbsp cold water, for dissolving the cornstarch
  • A pinch of cinnamon to sprinkle on top

For the mandarin syrup

  • 300ml mandarin juice (Tangerine / Clementine) (about 12 mandarins)
  • 140ml orange juice (2 medium size oranges, ½ cup +2 Tbsp)
  • 60ml water
  • 60g sugar (3 Tbsp)
  • 12g cornstarch (1 Tbsp)
  • 3 Tbsp cold water (to dissolve the cornstarch)


  1. Wash the rice well by changing 3 waters and drain it.
  2. Put the rice in a saucepan together with 2 teacups of water over high heat.
  3. Once it comes to a boil, lower the heat to the lowest of our kitchen and let it boil for 15 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl add 3 Tbsp cold water and 1 Tbsp cornstarch and mix to dissolve.
  5. Once the rice is cooked, add the milk and sugar in a saucepan over high heat and add in the rice.
  6. Whisk all the ingredients and after the sugar has melted and the milk has warmed up enough, add the cornstarch and the vanilla extract and whisk constantly over medium to high heat until it comes to a soft boil, about 3 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes.
  8. Add the pudding in small bowls and pour the mandarin syrup, which should be at room temperature or cold, on top.
  9. Top them with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon and add them to the refrigerator until cool (at least 3 hours).
  10. I usually like to eat my rice pudding while it’s still hot but this particular pudding with mandarin syrup is awesome being served cold!
  11. Serves about 6-8 ice cream bowls.

For the Mandarin / Clementine / Tangerine syrup:

  1. Add all the ingredients, except the cornstarch, to a saucepot over high heat and bring to a small boil.
  2. In a small bowl add 3 Tbsp of water and 1 Tbsp of cornstarch and whisk to dissolve it.
  3. Turn off the heat and pour the dissolved cornstarch into the boiling mandarin mixture and whisk to combine.
  4. Turn the heat on again, simmer for 5 minutes and the mandarin syrup is ready.
  5. Add your mandarin syrup to a gravy boat and keep it in the fridge while you cook your rice pudding.
  6. This mandarin syrup should be runny, even after it’s cold, so you can pour it easily over your rice pudding.


  • I usually do not add cornstarch to my syrup but I decided to cut back on the sugar for this mandarin syrup because the rice pudding also has enough sugar as it is. My goal from the start was to make a light, easy on the sugar, syrup to compliment the rice pudding.
  • Keep your leftover mandarin syrup refrigerated inside a jar until you get to use it again.
  • The rice must be cooked well and have a rather wet look, otherwise, the rice pudding will start to develop cracks on the surface of the Ryzogalo the next day. That happens because the rice will continue to draw moisture from the milk even after it gets cold.
Ryzogalo nutrition facts

Did you make this recipe? Or are you planning to make it? Let me know in the comments below, tag me on Instagram @freshpiato or show me your photos on Pinterest!

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Hi, I'm Christina!

On this website, you will find a pinch of passion for cooking, a bunch of craziness, one liter of inspiration, and only great recipes that I have created with love! Follow me on an adventurous culinary journey  […]

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