Tequeños (Venezuelan Cheese Sticks) Recipe

Photographs: Joshua Bousel

Recipe Facts



Active: 45 mins
Total: 75 mins
Makes: 14 tequeños

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  • 10 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 6 tablespoons cold water, plus more as needed
  • 12 ounces queso blanco or queso de frier, cut into slices 1/2-inch x 1/2-inch x 2 1/2-inch
  • Peanut oil, for frying


  1. Place flour and salt in the workbowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade; pulse to combine. Sprinkle butter evenly over flour and pulse until butter is cut into pieces slightly smaller than a pea, about 8 1-second pulses. Transfer dough to a large bowl.

  2. Add in egg and water. Using a rubber spatula, press dough against side of bowl until it forms into a ball. If dough is not fully forming, add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time until it comes together. Press dough into a disc, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

  3. Unwrap dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out into a square 1/8-inch thick. Cut off edges to create a 12-inch square. Cut square into strips 3/4-inch wide.

  4. Take one strip of dough and drape end over top of one cheese slice. Wrap entire cheese slice in dough on a diagonal, overlapping dough. Cover bottom of cheese slice in dough and pinch edges close to fully seal. Repeat with remaining cheese slices.

  5. Fill a cast iron skillet with 3/4-inch of oil. Heat oil to 400°F over high heat. Place tequeños in oil and fry until crust is golden brown and blistery, 3 to 5 minutes, turning halfway through. Transfer tequeños to a paper towel lined plate, let cool for 1 to 2 minutes, then serve immediately.

Special equipment

Food processor, cast iron skillet

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