37min prep: 14min cook: 23min
Turn fried cheese into a fun party appetizer. Bite-sized, full of flavor.Notes:
- This recipe makes about 18 balls.
I tend to prefer panko breadcrumbs over traditional Italian, but either will work in this recipe.
- Fresh Basil — 3 Tablespoons
Cheese & Lunchmeat
- Buffalo Mozzarella, Cherry-Size — 6 Ounces
Dairy & Eggs
- Eggs, Large — 2
Grains & Pasta
- Marinara Sauce — 1⁄2 Cup
Spice & Baking
- Black Pepper
- Flour — 1⁄2 Cup
- Kosher Salt
- Panko Breadcrumbs — 1⁄2 Cup
Condiments, Oils & Dressings
- Vegetable Oil — 3 Cups
- Paper Towels
- Stove Top
- Chef’s Knife
- Cutting Board
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Mixing Bowl, Medium — 3
- Oil Thermometer
- Pot, Large (4-6 QT)
- Pick basil leaves off the stems, then finely chop. Place in a medium bowl. Stir in panko.
- Crack egg into another medium bowl and whisk to combine.
- Pour flour into another medium bowl. Line up the 3 bowls: flour, egg and panko.
- Drain liquid from mozzarella balls. Drop a few in the flour and toss to coat. Lift them out and shake off excess flour, then transfer to the egg. Toss to coat, then lift and shake off excess egg. Place in panko, coat well, then place on dish or sheet pan. After all mozzarella balls are breaded, place in freezer and chill until they feel solid, almost like ice cubes (at least 30 minutes).
- Pour vegetable oil into large pot so it’s at least 1-2 inches deep. Place over medium heat and warm until oil thermometer reaches 350 degrees.
- Prepare a plate with layers of paper towels. Set plate near stove.
- Once oil is hot enough, remove mozzarella balls from freezer and carefully lower into the oil. Do not crowd the pot. Work in batches. Place any cheese that isn’t being fried back into the freezer. Cook until golden brown, flipping as they cook to brown evenly, about 2-3 minutes. You want them to brown quickly before they burst, so it’s important for the oil to be at least 350 degrees.
- Transfer fried mozzarella to the plate lined with paper towels. Season with salt while warm. Allow oil to come back to proper temperature, then repeat with remaining mozzarella. Remember to keep any extra cheese in the freezer until ready to fry.
- Transfer the fried mozzarella balls to a serving plate. Serve marinara sauce on the side. Ready to eat!