Korean Fried Cheese Sticks

MAKES ~28 CHEESE STICKS

INGREDIENTS

SWEET GARLIC SAUCE
½ C brown rice syrup or corn syrup
¼ C soy sauce
¼ t korean red chili flakes
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T mirin
1 T sesame oil, to finish

CHEESE STICKS
16 oz pepper jack cheese
1 stalk of broccoli
1 lb boneless chicken thighs
1 C buttermilk

BREADING
4 eggs
2 C breadcrumbs
2 C panko
1 ½ t salt
¼ t garlic powder
¼ t onion powder

GARNISH
scallions
sesame seeds

INSTRUCTIONS

MAKE SAUCE

1. Combine all ingredients, except sesame oil, in a small pot.

2. As soon as it boils, lower heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

3. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

4. Once at room temperature, stir in sesame oil.

PREPARE THE BROCCOLI

1. Chop broccoli into ¼” pieces and set aside in a bowl.

PREP THE CHICKEN

1. Remove skin and dice chicken into ¼” pieces. Marinate in buttermilk for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

2. Drain and lightly pat off excess buttermilk.

3. Preheat pan at medium high heat with oil and cook chicken until it has a light sear, and reaches 165°.

4. Drain if there’s excess liquid. Season with salt and pepper.

PREPARE THE CHEESE STICKS

1. Preheat a nonstick pan on medium heat.

2. While pan is heating, cut pepper jack cheese into small pieces.

3. Add cheese to pan. Stir occasionally to distribute heat and melt completely.

4. While waiting for the cheese to melt, line two small sheet pans with plastic wrap then foil.

5. Pour hot, melted cheese evenly into the two pans.

6. Evenly sprinkle broccoli on one, chicken on the other, or make a combo.

7. Press broccoli and chicken down so it’s firmly embedded in the cheese.

8. Put pans into refrigerator and cool.

9. Once the cheese is fully solid again, remove the blocks from the pans. Cut cheese into 2 ½” x 1” sticks or of your preferred size.

10. Prepare three bowls for the breading. Crack eggs into one, place breadcrumbs in another, and combine panko, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder in the last. Bread in the order of: egg > breadcrumbs > egg > breadcrumbs > egg > panko

11. Freeze breaded cheese sticks until ready to eat.
 

FRY IT

1. Preheat canola oil, 2-3 inches high, in a pot to 350°. Keep an eye on this temperature so you don’t burn your oil.

2. Fry a few at a time, until golden brown, and season lightly with salt.

3. Toss with sweet garlic sauce in a large bowl.

4. Plate and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.