Back when Georgetown had a chance at winning the NCAA tournament, my very fun office had lunch at a local sports bar to watch them play. Someone ordered cheese sticks, which turned out to be mozzarella sticks in spring roll wrappers. I was inspired! My wonton version with marinara dipping sauce is fantastic and crave-worthy. Five people wolfed down this plate in record speed!
To make these bite-size beauties for yourself, get a package of wonton wrappers and a log of mozzarella cheese. Slice the cheese into rectangles that fit diagonally inside of the wonton wrappers, about 1.25 inches long, 1/2 inch wide, and 1/4 inch high. Then, wrap the mozzarella cheese up like a burrito. Fold the bottom half of the wonton wrapper over the cheese, fold in the two sides, and then continue rolling until the cheese is completely encapsulated. Use a wet finger to seal the outside corner of the wonton wrapper, and then continue rolling the rest of your mozzarella sticks.
Fill a pan about 1/4 inch high with vegetable oil, and heat it over medium-low. The oil is ready when a dropped-in piece of wonton wrapper bubbles around its edges. Once the oil is hot, place your mozzarella sticks into the pan, making sure not to overcrowd them. Let the mozzarella sticks cook on one side for about 30-45 seconds until they are brown and crisp. Flip the mozzarella sticks over to continue cooking. When the mozzarella cheese starts oozing out of the wonton wrappers, they are done. Transfer the mozzarella sticks to paper towels to drain and cool, and continue frying your other batches.
If you want to serve homemade marinara dipping sauce, you should start cooking it at least one hour before you begin working on the mozzarella sticks. Pour 1 can (14 ounces) of plum tomatoes into a pot. Add in 1/4 of a diced onion and 1 minced garlic clove. Let the tomatoes simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes until they have thickened and lost their tartness. Stir the mixture occasionally to keep it from burning and to break up the tomatoes. Add in water to bring the sauce to your desired consistency, and season it with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and fresh basil. For ease, you could also serve marinara sauce from a jar.
Arrange the mozzarella sticks around the marinara sauce, dip, and enjoy. To prepare for a party ahead of time, I think you could easily wrap your mozzarella cheese in the wonton wrappers, freeze the sticks, and then fry them when you’re ready. Alternatively, you could fry the mozzarella sticks ahead of time, let them cool, and then reheat them on a baking sheet in the oven. As long as these mozzarella sticks are around, I know your party will be a hit. But once they run out- no guarantees!
For the mozzarella sticks-
- Wonton wrappers
- Mozzarella cheese log
- Vegetable oil
For the marinara sauce-
- Plum tomatoes- 1 can (14 ounces)
- Garlic- 1 clove
- Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes
This post is part of BlogHer’s March Madness Game Day Eats editorial series, made possible by Kettle Brand Chips.