The breading on these homemade mozzarella sticks is very light and happens to be gluten-free. The result is a focus on the pure, almost magical experience of unleashing gooey, chewy melted mozzarella from its finger food capsule into your mouth.
To do this, attention must be paid to the most important aspect of the fried cheese concept: keeping the cheese in the stick. Three things will help: frozen cheese, a thorough coating, and "baking" the sticks in a pan with rather than a deep fryer. Freezing the cheese is not absolutely necessary, but it helps the coating to adhere, allows the coating to fully crisp before the cheese begins to melt, and slows down the frying process a bit so that the sticks can be turned more easily. A thorough, uniform coating will help to fully encapsulate the cheese as it melts. And pan-frying makes it easy to spot any leaking cheese sticks and remove them before the leak gets out of control.
Serving the sticks with marinara will deliver plenty of Italian flavor. Or you could experiment with other dips, such as ranch, or even raspberry sauce (the dip of choice for the fried cheese-eaters in Albany, NY). Whatever you serve them with, have it ready, because that cheese won’t stay hot and gooey in its shell forever!
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca flour
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 6 sticks of low-moisture, part skim milk mozzarella string cheese (cut in half cross-wise and frozen for 3-4 hours)
- Grapeseed oil for frying
- Marinara or other sauce for dipping
Add about 1/2 inch grapeseed oil to a skillet or shallow pot. The pan should be large enough to hold all the sticks with plenty of room to turn them over and move them around without feeling crowded.
Add the flours, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt and black pepper to a shallow dish large enough to hold all the cheese at once and mix to thoroughly combine.
In another dish of similar size, add the beaten eggs.
Coat the frozen cheese in the dry mixture, then the egg, then the dry mixture again, then the egg a second time, and finally once again in the dry mixture. Take care to coat the entire surface of the sticks, including the ends.
Prepare a platter and a dish of marinara sauce (or your dip of choice.)
Heat the oil in the pan to 360F. You’ll want to fry the cheese around 350F, so make the oil a little hotter so when the frozen cheese is added, the temperature won’t drop too much.
When the oil is hot, add all the cheese sticks. Flip them over after about 30 seconds, and continue turning them every 20-30 seconds until they're golden in color. No matter how well you coated the sticks, some cheese may begin to leak. Excessively leaky ones are likely done cooking; remove them from the pan first.
When all the sticks are golden, remove them to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.
Transfer the mozzarella sticks to the platter, and serve immediately.