Gluten Free Deep Fried Cheese Sticks are super easy to make and way cheaper than buying from the a grocery store. I am not even sure if retailers sell gluten free cheese sticks, so if you miss these little indulgences because you are on a gluten free diet, enjoy without moderation!
You can use a variety of different cheese in this recipe. Your imagination is the limit to what you can do. For this particular method, I’ve used stretchy pre packaged cheese strings – the kind they make specifically for snacks and for kids. They are already the correct shape, size and texture. That’s not to say you can’t cut your own cheese into sticks as well. My recommendation, however, is to use pizza mozzarella if you can as it’s a bit stretchier. Having said that, any type of hard or semi hard cheese will work really well too.
The trick here is to balance the cook time and oil temperature so the outside is golden brown, while the inside cheese just starts to melt. Cook too long and your cheese will start to ooze out into the oil causing a splattery mess. Undercook and your cheese will be hard. You also have to make sure you layer enough coating on each stick to ensure the cheese is locked in. Finally, popping them in the freezer will freeze the cheese, allowing a longer cook time (will take longer for the cheese to melt, thus letting the outside coating to brown longer).
It’s a balance and it may take a few to get the hang of it. If you have one of those self contained deep fat fryers, your life will be a whole lot easier as the temperature is pretty accurate and you don’t have to worry about burning down the house! But alas, soon enough you’ll be a master cheese stick maker! Your gluten free friends and family will love you for it.
This recipe is also great way to use up any left over gluten free bread too. Making bread crumbs from left overs is a great way to stretch your shopping spend and cut down on waste. These can be made up ahead and frozen prior to cooking and are great for kids and snacks.
- Hard Melting Cheese (like mozza, cheddar or marble)
- Gluten free flour
- 1 -2 Egg (s) lightly beaten
- Gluten free bread crumbs (in a food processor, blitz any left over gluten free bread you have lying around).
- Salt (optional)
- Vegetable Oil for deep frying
In three separate bowls, add flour & salt for seasoning, eggs and breadcrumbs. Your assembly line is complete. You should have three bowls – each one holding a different ingredient.
Cut cheese into two to three inch sticks. Dip into flour and ensure all sides are covered (tips too!), then dip into egg and then breadcrumbs. Repeat two to three times, ensuring the entire stick is covered in breadcrumbs and no cheese is showing through.
Place on a cookie rack and continue until your sticks are done. Pop the rack into the freezer for about 40 – 60 minutes or so.
Add vegetable oil to a large pot covering about an inch deep. Or, preferably use one of those deep fat fryer majiggers as they are safer and easier to use. heat the oil to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C).
Add sticks (don’t over crowd and make in batches if you are doing a lot!) and cook until golden brown. Cooking times will vary so simply keep and eye and ear on them. If they start to turn really brown and you don’t hear any ‘popping’, remove from heat anyways. You don’t want to burn them! If you find the cheese is still frozen or not melted, a sneaky trick is to pop them in the microwave for 5 seconds – the cheese melts really fast leaving the outside coating crispy!
If you start to hear a lot of splatter and popping, your cheese has started to leak out. You should remove from oil immediately. Your cheese will end up oozing from it’s casing and you’ll be left with hollow bread batter. BORING. You’ll need to start from scratch again, I am afraid.
It’s for this reason, I recommend cooking in small batches at first until you figure out the temperature cook time. Like I mentioned above, you can always cheat and pop in the microwave if the insides are not done, but you can’t save them if they are over cooked and your cheese has melted into the pot of boiling oil.
Serve hot with your favourite sauces – tomato, sweet chilli or even ketchup (for fussy kids!)