One of my favorite snack foods when growing up was mozzarella sticks. I grew up in fairly small town, however it had three or four pizza places (mostly run by Greeks instead of Italians) and none of the pizza was ever spectacular or out of this world but the mozzarella sticks were always good (and their sandwiches!). I would much rather have an order of mozzarella sticks instead of pizza; I don’t know if it was because I loved cheese so much, or that they were hot, gooey and crunchy at the same time. No matter the reason, I was a huge fan. That was until I was told I was lactose intolerant (or so the doctors thought back then). I gave up on my love of fried cheese way back then so when I was finally diagnosed with having Celiac Disease I never really gave them much thought.
I can’t remember exactly what made me think of them and crave them again, but last time we went grocery shopping I mentioned to Bryan that I can try to make them gluten-free, he of course said “sure”. I began looking online for recipes on how to make mozzarella sticks at home, which I figured wouldn’t be hard but I needed to see the basics. You need mozzarella, bread crumbs, flour, oil and egg. I found a “regular” recipe and a gluten-free recipe that were pretty much the same so I figured I would try that one first, and of course make a few minor adjustments. First off instead of using bread crumbs I used Orgran’s Rice Crumbs and seasoned those (see below), I also changed some of the measurements from the original recipe. I made Bryan these for lunch today. He being my official taste tester really enjoyed them. I love him being a non-gluten-free taste tester because if he says something is good, then it is.
Gluten Free Mozzarella Sticks (GF/OF)
1/3 Cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (you could use another flour blend if you wish)
1/3 Cup Corn Starch
1/4 Cup Water
1 to 1 1/3 Cup(s) Rice Crumbs (or bread crumbs)
2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
2 Teaspoons of Italian Seasoning (Parsley, Oregano, etc.)
1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 16oz package of Mozzarella Sticks – cut in half (12 sticks)
Canola Oil – enough to have 1/2 inch come up the side of your pan
3 Shallow Dishes
- In the first shallow dish add the flour and corn starch, mix well. In the second dish add the egg and water, whisk well. In the third dish combine the rice crumbs, garlic, Italian seasoning (your choice of herbs), pepper and salt, mix well.
- Open all of the mozzarella sticks and cut in half. You should have 24 pieces. You could cut this in half again and make little mozzarella poppers.
- In batches of four or six, coat the mozzarella sticks in the flour/corn starch mixture. Shake off any excess.
- Then add them to the egg and water mixture – make sure these get coated all around – including the ends.
- Before adding the sticks into the rice crumb and herb mixture shake off any excess egg. Coat well in, including the ends.
- You can either leave them as they are or go back and repeat steps 4 and 5 – I did this and the came out with a great crunch. Trust me you will have enough egg and rice crumb mixture to do all of these twice.
- Place the ready to fry sticks either on a plate or cooling rack.
- Add oil to a large sauté pan so it comes up about 1/2 inch. Heat oil over medium heat.
- Again, in batches of four or six add your mozzarella sticks and cook for about thirty seconds on each side. Take out of the oil and place on a cooling rack with paper towels underneath to catch any excess oil that may drip off. Repeat this step until all of the sticks have been fried.
- Serve with warmed up marinara sauce.
If you have the time (I didn’t) before you fry these up, place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet and freeze for about an hour. This will help them from bursting open when you fry them.
You can also make these in advance and then freeze them in smaller batches to easily be heated up again at a later time. I would suggest heating them in a toaster or regular oven. This is a great idea for an after school snack for your kiddos. Instead of buying the frozen ones at the store, make them at home, freeze them in small portions and there you go!
The rice crumbs worked perfectly! If you haven’t tried these yet or are looking for an alternative to bread crumbs, you should really give them a try.
Some recipes are just so easy so why not make them at home? That way you know for sure you can eat them and the best part you know what is going into them. These really did come out great. Very simple, easy and quick recipe. I think I will make these for our super bowl party this year.