Mozzarella sticks are classic appetizers with crispy breaded exteriors and a soft and gooey filling. You can buy them from restaurants and also prepare them at home with a few ingredients. So, what are mozzarella sticks made of?
Mozzarella sticks are made of mozzarella cheese sticks or string cheese. These sticks are coated with bread crumbs and deep-fried in oil. Traditional mozzarella sticks recipes use seasoned Italian bread crumbs for the coating. But some recipes may use other types of bread or batter for the coating.
Let’s delve deeper into mozzarella sticks now.
The Fascinating Origin Of Mozzarella Sticks
We can trace the practice of frying batter-coated cheese back to Medieval Europe.
Literary evidence suggests that batter-fried cheese was comfort food in olden France.
However, these batter-fried dishes don’t resemble the mozzarella sticks as we know them today.
Mozzarella sticks in their current form are more likely linked to the growth of fast-food joints in America in the 20th century.
The growing interest in deep-fried snacks and the easy availability of mozzarella cheese would have led to the invention of this snack.
Although we’re unable to credit this discovery to a single chef or restaurant, we know that mozzarella sticks grew to fame in the 1970s.
Mozzarella cheese became abundantly available in the 1960s, and chefs and household cooks began experimenting and creating recipes with this delicious ingredient.
This was also the time when deep-fried snacks started gaining popularity in the USA.
So it was only a matter of time before someone came up with the idea of coating and deep-frying mozzarella cheese.
Mozzarella sticks quickly joined the ranks of French fries, onion rings, and other popular deep-fried snacks.
Main Ingredients Used To Make Mozzarella Sticks
The basic recipe for mozzarella sticks has mozzarella cheese, bread crumbs, and hot oil.
However, there are endless ways in which you can play around with these ingredients and create different variations of mozzarella sticks.
Let’s now take a closer look at the two main ingredients used to prepare this snack.
1. Mozzarella Cheese
Mozzarella cheese is an Italian cheese made from the milk of water buffaloes.
It’s soft and has high moisture content.
The color of the cheese ranges from white to yellow, according to the diet of the animal.
Variants of mozzarella cheese are also made from cow, sheep, and goat milk.
They generally cost less than cheese that is made from water buffalo milk.
Since mozzarella cheese is very moist, it spoils quickly.
You must use fresh mozzarella cheese within a day of production when it’s stored at room temperature.
It will last much longer when vacuum-sealed and stored in the refrigerator.
Mozzarella sticks are made from low-moisture mozzarella cheese.
Cheese is molded into thin strips instead of balls to make string cheese.
The stretchy quality of mozzarella cheese makes this possible.
You can eat them raw, make them into mozzarella sticks, or add them to other dishes.
2. Bread Crumbs
Traditional mozzarella sticks use seasoned Italian bread crumbs as the coating.
The string cheese is dipped in a slurry of egg or flour and water before rolling in the bread crumbs.
You can use any type of bread for the bread crumb coating of mozzarella sticks.
Various herbs and seasonings will add more depth of flavor to the recipe.
Many food joints use panko crumbs in the coating.
You can also find mozzarella sticks with batter coating, though they may not taste the same or be as crispy as a bread coating.
The crisp texture of this snack adds to the appeal of this snack.
It’s crispy on the outside and soft and sticky on the inside.
Frying the cheese in hot oil makes it melt and become soft and sticky.
The contrasting texture of the outside and inside of the cheese makes it a delicious snack.
How To Make Mozzarella Sticks?
The recipe for mozzarella sticks typically involves the following steps.
- Preparing the cheese: String cheese is long. So you should cut it to make it the right size for mozzarella sticks. You can divide a piece into two or three pieces based on your preference.
- Prepare the breading: You can prepare the breading with Italian bread crumbs and seasonings of your choice. Different herbs like oregano, paprika, pepper, garlic, and salt will add more depth of flavor to the dish. These aren’t essential, but they can make the snack more flavorful.
- Coat the cheese sticks: To ensure that the bread crumbs stick to the cheese sticks, you will need a binding agent. A beaten egg will serve this purpose. After dipping the sticks in the egg mixture, coat them in the bread crumbs. You can repeat the same step if you want a double coating that will secure the cheese better.
- Deep fry the cheese sticks: The last stage of the process is deep frying the cheese sticks in hot oil. Heat the oil in a wide pan until it’s hot. Then drop the cheese sticks into the oil and wait till they’re golden brown. Remove the mozzarella sticks from the oil, drain the excess oil using a kitchen towel, and serve them hot.
Mozzarella sticks have a crisp golden crust and soft, oozing cheese inside when they’re hot.
You can also air fry or grill the mozzarella sticks instead of deep-frying them.
What To Serve Mozzarella Sticks With?
Mozzarella sticks are typically served with marinara sauce.
Marinara sauce is a tomato-based dipping sauce made from tomatoes, onions, garlic, chilis, and herbs.
It’s spicy, aromatic, and works very well with mozzarella sticks.
Apart from Marinara sauce, mozzarella sauce also works well with various other dips and sauces.
You can serve them with flavored mayonnaise, ketchup, ranch dressing, hot sauce, sweet Asian sauces, and various other dips.
Are Mozzarella Sticks Good?
The main ingredient of mozzarella sticks is mozzarella cheese.
Mozzarella cheese has relatively low fat and fewer calories than other types of cheese.
It also contains healthy probiotic bacteria. It has less sodium than most cheeses.
Mozzarella cheese is a good source of dietary protein.
Apart from protein, mozzarella cheese also contains calcium and phosphorus.
So mozzarella cheese has many benefits.
Mozzarella sticks are an easy and tasty way to enjoy this cheese.
One portion of mozzarella sticks will usually have three pieces. It will contain 14 grams of protein.
However, you should remember that mozzarella sticks are deep-fried food.
Deep frying isn’t a healthy cooking method since it uses oil that increases the calorie content of the food.
Although mozzarella cheese is a low-calorie cheese, the calorific benefits are lost when you deep fry it since the process introduces extra calories.
Like all deep-fried food, consume mozzarella cheese sticks in moderation.
You can also make mozzarella sticks using techniques like grilling or air-frying, which are better than deep-frying.
However, you may have to vary the ingredients or quantities in the traditional recipe to achieve the same texture and taste.