If you are a cheese fan and enjoy a good crunch, you’ll really appreciate these Panko Mozzarella Sticks. They are absolutely the perfect finger food. These cheesy snacks will be snatched up in a wink if you serve them up for Game Day… or any day, really.
Gooey warm Mozzarella is encased by a beautifully crisp exterior – thanks to Panko breadcrumbs, in lieu of traditional bread crumbs. Panko is definitely in. Thankfully, a bag of Panko can easily be found in Asian aisles of most large grocery stores these days.
If you’ve never worked with Panko before, it’s only fair to warn you that you just might become addicted to the stuff. It is extremely versatile. Panko can be used to coat anything from these cheese sticks to seafood to chicken. Just use them in place of your standard bread crumbs, and be prepared for an extraordinary crunch that surpasses the old stand by.
The hubby and kids were all over this crispy, tasty finger food. It’s so much fun to be treated to one of our favorite appetizers without setting foot in a diner. Not to mention these mozzarella sticks are tastier, crunchier, and meltier when you do them at home! But, do serve them up while still hot, so the yummy cheese is savored while it’s still very melty and delish.
Most of us won’t have a problem devouring these while still fresh and warm. Chances are, they won’t be sitting around very long at your party. Enjoy!
RECIPE (makes 32 pieces)
16 sticks of mozzarella string cheese
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup whole milk
2 cups Japanese Panko bread crumbs
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp fresh black pepper
1 TB dried oregano flakes
oil for frying (peanut oil is great for frying)
Marinara sauce for dipping
Place flour in a small dish. In another bowl, mix together the eggs and milk. In a third bowl, combine panko bread crumbs with garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and oregano. Cut mozzarella sticks into halves.
Roll a piece of mozzarella in flour, dip into egg mixture, and roll well in Panko mixture. Press crumbs in place so mozzarella stick is fully coated. Continue until all pieces are well coated. Place coated mozzarella sticks on a wax-lined baking sheet and put in freezer for at least 30 minutes. (The flash-freezing is important in keeping cheese from falling apart in hot oil.)
Pour oil to fill a third way up to halfway up in a heavy sauce pan. Using a thermometer, keep oil steady at 365F. Remove frozen mozzarella sticks and fry a few pieces (don’t crowd) at a time, keeping oil temp at 365F throughout frying process (you’ll have to play with turning heat up or down as needed.) Fry about 25-30 seconds, turning sticks until they are an even golden brown, and drain on paper towels. Try not to let cheese leak, but a few tiny bubbles are fine. Continue until entire batch is made. Serve with your favorite marinara sauce and do eat these while hot!
Source: Chew Out Loud, inspired by The Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook