Fried cheese curds are a delicious deep fried appetizer or snack food often found at summer county fairs. Fresh cheese curds are battered with seasoned panko bread crumbs, then deep fried until the cheese melts. An easy, cheesy, crowd pleasing recipe!
Today I thought I’d share with you this quick and easy appetizer recipe for fried cheese curds, because…fried cheese.
I’ve been wanting to make these at home for some time now, but I’ve never gotten around to trying it. Then on my birthday, my boys and I spent the morning at Pike Place Market. We got some hot chocolate, watched the fish being thrown, sat on Rachel the Pig and watched some cheese get made.
While we were watching the cheese being made, I decided that since it was my birthday, I was going to buy myself some Beecher’s Handmade Cheese Curds as a birthday present.
Best. Decision. Ever.
We stop at Beecher’s every time we go to the market because Kellan and Preston like to watch them make the cheese. I, like to snack on the cheese. It’s a win, win for both of us. And while the cheese is fantabulous, the curds are where it’s at. Super flavorful and just the right amount of squeak that you’d expect from curds. I could snack on them all day.
Whenever I think of cheese curds, the nursery rhyme about Little Miss Muffet comes to mind. They are simply the fresh curds of cheese, usually cheddar. They have a firm, rubbery texture and the freshest ones will even squeak when you bite into them hence the nickname “squeaky cheese”.
Now fried cheese curds are every bit as good as their non-fried siblings BUT they are fried. And you simply cannot go wrong with fried cheese in my opinion.
Yes! Thank goodness. I have found cheese curds in my grocery store. They are often in the deli section near the fresh mozzarella and other specialty cheeses. I’ve also seen them at Costco. If you can’t find them in your store, you can also order them online. I know Tillamook sells theirs online.
Traditionally fried cheese curds are made with a wet batter. I have tried these multiple times, but if I’m being honest, my absolute favorite way to coat them is with panko bread crumbs. The panko bread crumbs make the coating really light and crunchy.
The bread crumbs may not coat the curds completely and some of cheese might start to ooze out a smidge. And it’s kind of my favorite because then you get crispy cheese edges.
These homemade fried cheese curds are so good. They are crispy brown on the outside and perfectly melty on the inside. Everything a good fried curd should be. And they are perfect on their own. In fact, that I’m going to say they don’t even need a dip. Although, as with all my favorite fried things, ranch would be divine.
And if you are looking for more fried cheese, because like I said fried cheese is life, these Jalapeno Mozzarella Sticks are the bomb.
Set up an assembly line to coat the cheese curds. In one bowl, whisk together milk and egg. Place flour in another bowl. Place bread crumbs in a resealable plastic bag.
Dip the cheese curds in the milk and egg, then dredge in the flour, then back into the egg and place them in the bag with the bread crumbs and shake to coat. Repeat until all cheese curds are coated.
Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Drop a piece of panko into the oil and if it sizzles it's hot enough. Fry the cheese curds, stirring often and in batches if necessary, just until golden brown. It's ok if a little of the cheese starts to melt out. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle lightly with salt, serve hot.