Serious Eats: Recipes

Gluten-Free Tuesday: Mozzarella Sticks

[Photograph: Elizabeth Barbone]

Cheese melts.

I was reminded of this when I first attempted to make gluten-free mozzarella sticks. The cheese sticks kept melting in the hot oil. Instead of crispy sticks with oozy centers, I had cheese that was a runny mess. Then I remembered a technique I hadn't used in years: double dipping during the first part of the standard breading procedure.

The classic standard breading procedure calls for you to dip a food in flour, egg, and then breadcrumbs. While this works really well for most foods, fried cheese needs a slightly thicker coating than the standard breading procedure usually offers. And that's what I wanted: a slightly thicker coating, one that didn't overpower the cheese stick or border on batter-like.

Enter the double dip. While double dipping is never, ever welcome at parties, it's more than welcome in this recipe.

To make crispy mozzarella sticks that don't leak during cooking, simply roll a piece of string cheese in seasoned white rice flour, then in a whisked egg, and then—here's where the double dip happens—return once again to the white rice flour, and again to the egg, and only then roll it in bread crumbs. When breading remember to coat the ends of the sticks. This is important. Forgetting to coat the ends will result in leaky sticks.

I pan fry the sticks in about ½-inch of oil instead of deep frying them. This is not only quicker, it also gives you a little more control over the sticks. Fry them in about ½-inch of oil for 30 seconds, turn the sticks, and fry for another 30 seconds.

What you decide to serve with mozzarella sticks might depend on where you live. I like mine with tomato sauce. However, in upstate New York, they are often served with raspberry sauce! Several folks on Facebook who live in the Midwest, mentioned they eat mozzarella sticks with ranch dressing. As long as your dipping sauce is gluten-free, serve them with whatever you love!

About the author: Elizabeth Barbone of joins us every Tuesday with a new gluten-free recipe. Elizabeth is an alumna of the Culinary Institute of America and Mount Mary College. With her solid professional baking background, Elizabeth is known for creating gluten-free recipes that taste just like their wheat counterparts. She is the author of Easy Gluten-Free Baking.

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