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Fried Mozzarella Sticks for Chanukah

Fried Mozzarella Sticks for Chanukah


Ooey, gooey, yummy, cheesy . . . does it get any better than breaded, fried, melty mozzarella cheese?

This recipe combines two elements of traditional Chanukah food—cheese and oil.

Why oil? After winning the war against the Syrians, the Maccabees returned to Jerusalem to liberate it. They entered the Temple and cleared it of the idols placed there by the Syrian vandals. Since the Temple’s golden menorah had been stolen by the Syrians, the Maccabees now made one of cheaper metal. When they wanted to light it, they found only a small cruse of pure olive oil bearing the seal of the high priest. It was sufficient to light the menorah only for one day, but by a miracle of G‑d it continued to burn for eight days, till new oil was made available, which is why we celebrate Chanukah for eight days. Because of the miracle of the oil, it’s traditional to eat fried foods on Chanukah (like doughnuts and latkes).

It is also customary to eat dairy foods on Chanukah, in commemoration of the bravery of Yehudit. Click here to read the story of this brave woman whose daring courage led to a great Maccabee victory.

So these fried mozzarella sticks are a perfect Chanukah combination. You can even plate them in the shape of a menorah.

The two most important things to keep in mind when making this recipe are:

  1. Make sure you freeze the breaded cheese for at least 30 minutes before frying.
  2. Make sure your oil is not too hot, otherwise the crumbs will burn and the outer layer of melted cheese will push its way through the crumbs and stick all over the bottom of the frying pan, while the inside stays frozen. In other words, you will end up with an inedible, burned mess.

Other than that, it’s pretty simple!


  • 10 mozzarella sticks (you can use string cheese, or cut a block of cheese to size)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ cup flavored Panko crumbs
  • Oil for frying
  • Marinara sauce for dipping (optional)


  1. Coat each cheese stick in flour, then dip in egg and coat with the crumbs.
  2. Place the coated cheese sticks on a tray or plate lined with wax or parchment paper. Freeze for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat the oil to medium, then drop 2–3 sticks in the oil. Cook until brown on one side, then gently flip and cook until the other side is lightly browned. Remove from pan and place on a piece of paper towel.
  4. Serve immediately, with warm marinara sauce for dipping (optional).

Miriam Szokovski is the author of the historical novel Exiled Down Under, and a member of the editorial team. She shares her love of cooking, baking and food photography on’s food blog, Cook It Kosher.
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Miriam Szokovski December 8, 2015

why fried foods Hi James - we eat fried foods to commemorate the miracle of the oil. Scroll up the page and read the third paragraph of my post for more details. Reply

Miriam Szokovski December 8, 2015

fried food True, it is certainly not healthy to eat heavy, fried food all the time, but it does not have to be so.

For example, I went to a Chanukah party the other night where we had butternut squash soup, baked salmon, Israeli salad dressed with lemon juice, crunchy steamed green beans, potato latkes and a beet & lettuce salad dressed with balsamic vinegar. The latkes were the only fried, unhealthy food. Everyone ate, was full and did not feel sick afterwards. That is the way to do it, in my opinion. Reply

Miriam Szokovski December 8, 2015

Syrian-Greeks You can read more about the Chanukah story and the Syrian-Greek empire here: Reply

James More Sea Sound City December 8, 2015

Fried foods Now I wonder why this is a time for fried foods? Reply

Michael Fenton NJ December 8, 2015

Artery clogging food Eating all this fried food, cheeses, donuts, latkes, brisket, etc. just is not healthy. And it isn't just eight days in the year. Every holiday is loaded with artery clogging, heavy food. Sure, it taste's good, but I never feel good after eating it. Reply

chava Beitar Illit December 7, 2015

?? syrians? what did i miss? Reply

Stephane Liege, Belgium December 7, 2015

great recipe I just followed this recipe and the result is perfect.
Thanks a lot and 'hag samea'h Reply

Miriam Szokovski November 30, 2015

marinara sauce I used store bought, but I will be happy to work on a homemade marinara recipe in the future. Reply

David Chester Petach Tikva, Israel November 27, 2015

The Temporary Menorah I did not know that the Maccabees had to use a temporary menorah until I read this article. It might explain how the oil lasted for 8 days without needing a miracle, since this menorah could have been smaller with a lower rate of fuel consumption. Any more information about this would be greatly appreciated. Hag Sama'ach! Reply

Keren Micha-El Stein Fort Worth TX November 26, 2015

I love all of the recipes which I have tried. The latest one -- fried cheese sticks -- is suggested to perhaps use marinara sauce for dipping. How about a great recipe for marinara sauce too, since you mentioned it. Please email recipe like all of the other ones. Reply

Sarah Leah Lawent Jerusalem November 26, 2015

Totally awesome! Why didn't I think of this? And now - since we love our hot peppers - I think I'll even try Israeli "jalapenos" stuffed with cheese. And harissa (if you don't want marinara or ketchup) - thanks so much for the idea. And it looks so cute on the plate - the edible menorah!! Reply

Zohar Sasson Brooklyn November 24, 2015

YUMMMMM! Thank you! Definitely going to try this and the Chanukah Surprise Cake IY"H! Reply

Cook It Kosher features recipes from food blogger Miriam Szokovski, as well as guest bloggers and cookbook authors. Let us know if you’d like to contribute!
Miriam SzokovskiMiriam Szokovski is the author of the historical novel Exiled Down Under, and a member of the editorial team. She shares her love of cooking, baking and food photography on’s food blog, Cook It Kosher.
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