Pictured: Pork rinds as a be-yoo-tiful breading? Oh YES!
If you were lucky enough to be born and bred in the State of Wisconsin, it comes as no surprise the great power of cheese can bring about world peace.
Now, thanks to pork rinds, you can proclaim your love of all things Wisconsin through cheese, and maybe bring about some of your own world peace in the process.
Gluten-free and very low-carb, these Mozzarella sticks are great for induction!
I was desperate for mozzarella sticks, and I needed something to use for breading, so, spying a bag of pork rinds (I’d burned out on these in 1984) that had been taking space in my pantry for months, I decided it was time to use or keep them because of guilt and regard them with a pained grimace. With the savory herb blend I found in the cabinet, I found a happy medium: pork rind crunch coupled with a nice flavor.
These are not technically the healthiest food you’re ever going to enjoy, but as an occasional addition to whole foods, these are a fun deviation.
Now, before you lick the screen, read the instructions and prepare for cheesy, melty, gooey bliss, even if you’re sure you thought you could never tolerate pork rinds…
Mozzarella Cheese Sticks
1 cup crushed pork rind recipe
1 egg, lightly beaten
16 pieces of string cheese
peanut oil (enough to fill a skillet 1/2″)
Preheat oil in the skillet over medium heat.
While the oil is heating, crush the pork rinds in a gallon ziplock bag with a rolling pin (or crumb using a food processor) until the pieces are bread-crumb-fine. Add Mrs. Dash (or other preferred seasoning) to the bag.
Lightly beat egg in a bowl. (This is going to be the egg bath.)
Taking a string cheese, completely cover with egg in the bowl. Transfer the cheese to the crumb/spice bag.
The crumbs will not necessarily want to stick to the cheese. That said, and because the cheese should be completely covered (to keep ooze at bay in the pan), you are going to want to firmly “mold” the rind crumbs around the cheese while the cheese is still in the bag. (I mean firmly. Not green-Hulk crush-the-cheese tough) (down boy), but enough to invalidEmbedTag the breading bits into the cheese as best you can before removing from the bag.
Cook in preheated oil until the coating is lightly browned, about 2-4 minutes, turning once, and cooking for 1-4 more minutes. Move to a plate covered with a paper towel to remove excess fat.
Serve warm with ranch dressing or marinara sauce.
This recipe makes 16 mozzarella sticks.
Per cheese stick:
Nutritional information: Calories: 125, Carbohydrates: 1g Fiber: 0 g, Net Carbohydrates: 1 g, Protein: 11 g, Fat: 10 g.
Tip 1: Freezing string cheese, pre-cooking helps keep the cheese from becoming a puddle of goo in the pan
Tip 2: A too-cold pan will yield greasy sticks. Too hot, and the cheese will melt out of the crispy crust
Tip 3: Don’t forget to cover the ends with rind coating as well, lest the cheese ooze from the edges.
What about the crush that "sizzles" right off the cheese?? I have yet to make one that the crush stays on long enough to have the cheese melt, usually its gone in 1/2 second.
I've had luck with rolling them in powdered parmesan cheese. Delicious!
Anne H says
Please, god, let me die here.
I have everything now.
If you were going to bake these instead of fry them to make them lower in fat, how would you suggest doing that?
For mine "
I roll in gluten free flour then roll in egg wash, next roll in crumbs**, last freeze for at least 15- 20 minutes before frying.
or do as I do and make up a whole batch and as they freeze on the wax paper then transfer to freezer bag and voila you have ready made mozz sticks already in the freezer!!!!
**You can also use crushed rice or corn chex cereal as the "breading/crumbs" mixture.
***lay on cookie sheet covered with wax paper and "flash" freeze them before cooking they don't ooze as bad.
My family even the not gluten free ones prefer these over store bought ones!!!
Delicious! I froze mine for about half an hour before cooking. I am going to picture mine on my Atkins blog and link back to your recipe. Thanks so much!
Your Lighter Side says
I am so glad, Kimberly! Make sure to shoot me a link so I can behold the beauty of cheese.
Cathy White says
I just made these and I’m actually GIGGLING as I eat! These are insanely good! I didn’t freeze mine before cooking but they turned out crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. Thank you so much for this site!
Thank you so much for letting me know, Cathy! I am so pleased.
Jamie, made these today using string cheese. 1/2 pork rinds and 1/2 powdered parmesean with italian seasoning. used Rao’s marinara that I found at Walmart. Deep fried them in my new Presto Kettle cooker…. heaven, pure heaven. I will definitely be doing these again and again and again! I froze them as you suggested, but didn’t use Hulk force on them so some of the breading floated off, but they did not leak or ooze at all. Absolute perfection!!! thank you again you culinary genius!
Dear Jamie, why use string cheese for these moz sticks and not mozzarella?? My supermarket does do string cheese but it looks like orange rubber so I have never felt any compulsion to buy them… I always have mozzarella though, think that would work?? x
Real mozzarella may work, but I was under the impression the string cheese I buy is mozzarella–or a facsimile thereof)… Real mozzarella is pretty soft, and the string cheese tends to hold up better to the smooshing of the pork rinds into it.
Smooshing is a scientific term, BTW.
OK, no it isn’t.
Lol! I ★ℒℴѵℯ ℒℴѵℯ★ℒℴѵℯ ℒℴѵℯ★ℒℴѵℯ ℒℴѵℯ★ℒℴѵℯ “smooshing” !!!
It is a verb……
“To squash, crush, or flatten” says my iPad “define” prompt!
Terri Trueblood Mccord says
I hope you like them! It goes quickly whenever I have them in the kitchen. The kids narf them down.
These were soooooo yummy!!! I tweaked the recipe a little and added grated parm & flaxseed. I also put them in the freezer for about 10 minutes before frying. My husband and my kids did not even know the “breading” was low carb! Thank you for all the wonderful and yummy recipes!
I am so glad you like these as much as we do. Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know!
HOLY FAST FOOD! DOES THIS SOUND AWESOME! cant wait to try
Hi! I would love to try this recipe, but I am vegetarian. Please suggest an alternative to pork rinds. Thank you!
You can use just parmesan cheese and garlic salt just repeat egg to parmesan bout 3 times should do the trick
Jenifer and Josh says
Just made these and discovered the ultimate trick to get the rinds to stick!! Cut the string cheese in half (short side not long ways) so they are shorter and easier to work with. Run a fork longways down each side of the string cheese creating score lines on all sides. Then poke the cheese with the fork almost all the way through several times on all sides. Drop in the egg then immediately (without shaking off any egg) drop into the breading bag…shake it around (no smooshing required 🙂 ) then drop in the oil…boom! The breading is perfect every time and doesn’t fall off. These were delicious! Thanks for the idea!
Your Lighter Side says
Yummmers!!! Thanks for sharing your tips!!!
I’ve used almond flour with parm too. So yummy!
I added basil and extra salt to the pork rinds. I used a block of cheese and made 1/2 inch slices. I dipped the cheese in an egg wash then in the ground pork rinds. I then did the process a second time to get a great coating. I popped them in the freezer and later fried them up in peanut oil. Oh my! Sooooo light and delish! Pretty high in calories but zero carbs make it worth it! Fantastic recipe!