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Fry Some Burrata And You'll Never Think Of Mozzarella Sticks Again

Two burrata balls on wooden board
Two burrata balls on wooden board - Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock

You might think it's impossible to top the perfect mozzarella sticks -- that crispy breaded exterior paired with a gooey, cheesy interior. Dip one in some zesty marinara, and you're living your best life. But if you think mozza sticks are the pinnacle of cheesy goodness, then you probably haven't tried fried burrata. Think of it as a bigger, better mozzarella stick, in ball form. It's a little more delicate, a little bit creamier, but a whole lot tastier.

Burrata and mozzarella are cheesy siblings. Burrata has an outer casing of stretchy, fresh mozzarella, but it has a loose, creamy center. The center is a mix of cream and curds (also called stracciatella cheese) that makes it that much richer. Mozzarella walked so burrata could run; it's hard to pinpoint exactly when burrata had its glow up, but chances are you've seen it on menus at trendy restaurants more than once in the last few years.

Luckily, you can now also find it at most cheese shops or even grocery stores. So put that box of frozen mozza sticks back on the shelf. It's time to fully replace your mozzarella stick craving with fried burrata -- and once you do, you'll never go back.

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Fried Burrata Is The Cheesy Snack You Need

Fried burrata over salad
Fried burrata over salad - thesidecarbar/Instagram

As far as Italian food goes, burrata is fairly new, as it was only invented in the last 100 years. Burrata was the product of leftover food; it was a way for cheesemakers to use the cream that formed atop recently collected milk from cows, along with the spare pieces of stretched mozzarella. But since the late '90s, it's become a star ingredient in restaurants on everything from salad to crostini and even pizza. But perhaps the only way to enhance this near-perfect cheese even more is to fry it.

A ball of burrata is thick, and it's soft in the center, meaning it melts easily. When preparing to fry it, your best option is to dredge it in flour, egg, and panko bread crumbs. You can even double-dredge it to ensure none of that cheese oozes out during the frying process. Once it's been double-coated in the protective layers of bread crumbs, throw it in the freezer for about 20 minutes before shallow-frying or deep-frying. It's best to fry it in oil with a high smoke point, such as canola or grapeseed oil, because you want to flash-fry it -- meaning let the exterior cook quickly to prevent the interior from overcooking -- which requires a high temperature.

How To Serve Burrata

Burrata over tomato salad
Burrata over tomato salad - Daniel Simoc-Minea/Shutterstock

Another tip to take your fried burrata up a notch is to season the bread crumbs. Salt is essential here, but other spices like garlic or onion powder, smoked paprika, or red chili flakes will add another layer of flavor. Dried herbs like parsley or chives are another way to add more savory elements to the breading.

Fried burrata's crispy exterior will be extremely hot when it's first removed from the oil. Give it a minute to cool down, sitting it on top of a paper towel to drain some of the oil. You can serve it on its own (as though it were a giant mozzarella stick), or try shaving frozen tomatoes over top of your crispy burrata. Maybe even add some fresh basil for a caprese-style salad. Serving it over marinara sauce, or arugula salad, or drizzling it with pesto are other easy ways to enjoy the dish. Burrata itself is rich, dense, and creamy, so pairing it with vibrant vegetables and herbs will help create a balancing act.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.