What's not to love about fried cheese? This hot and salty snack is tasty and delicious, crunchy and creamy, and usually served with a side of marinara sauce for the perfect dessert to round out the flavors.
Although the mozzarella itself is Italian, the fried mozzarella sticks are actually American. With the first documented recipe for fried cheese belonging to surprise, surprise, France in the 1393 cookbook titled The housekeeper of Paristhe modern mozz stick did not appear until the 1970s. Probably due to more sophisticated frying technologies, the availability of mass-produced mozzarella cheese, and the general need for neighborhood bar and fast-casual dining.
These fried snacks are perfect for soaking up the alcohol, so of course patrons can drink more. Usually coated in seasoned Italian breadcrumbs, my version calls for panko, a Japanese breadcrumb that is coarser than its Italian counterpart. Panko also uses crustless white bread, and because of its ability to absorb less fat, it's lighter and crispier than regular breadcrumbs.
“Mozzarella sticks are one of my favorite guilty pleasures and have easily replaced any desire I had to buy any frozen, easy to make and stick in the freezer for when you need them in the future.” —Noah Velush-Rogers
1 pound block of low-moisture mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup flour for all uses
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepperoptional
Vegetable oilfor frying
Favorite dipping saucesuch as marinara or ranch, optional
Gather the materials.
Line a baking sheet that will fit in your freezer with parchment paper.
Cut the piece of mozzarella into 24 equal 1/2-inch square strips, about 3 or 4 inches long.
Put the flour in a small plate. Beat the eggs and milk in a shallow dish. In a separate shallow dish, mix panko, garlic powder, salt, dried parsley, and cayenne pepper, if using.
Cover each mozzarella stick completely with flour, then dip in the egg mixture and finally pour over the panko mixture. Place each in the prepared pan.
Cover pan loosely with plastic wrap and freeze until completely frozen, about 2 hours.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wide pot to 350 F. Carefully lower each drumstick into the oil one at a time. Fry in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan as the temperature will drop.
Fry on each side for about 1 minute until browned all over, 1 to 2 minutes total. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain excess oil.
Serve immediately with your favorite sauce.
- You can also use string cheese instead of cutting a block.
- It's important to freeze the mozzarella sticks so they don't melt too quickly in the fryer and make a mess.
- It's also important to use low-moisture mozzarella for the same reason.
Make them even tastier!
Want to dip them in something other than marinara sauce? How about Thai sweet chili sauce, aioli, sriracha mayo or ranch? Or my personal favorite, try dusting them with a little sugar after frying and some warm honey!
- Mozzarella sticks should be eaten immediately after frying, but can be made in large batches raw and stored in airtight containers or freezer bags and kept frozen for up to 3 months.
- Freeze flat and split on a baking sheet before transferring to a container or freezer bag. This prevents them from sticking together.
|Nutrition facts (per portion)|
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|Quantity per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Saturated fat 9 g||44%|
|Dietary fiber 1 g||5%|
|Total sugars 3 g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||1%|
|Calcium 350 mg||27%|
|Iron 2 mg||11%|
|Potassium 131 mg||3%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to the daily diet. 2,000 calories per day is used for general dietary advice.|
(Nutritional information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)