Fried little balls of cheese are simple perfection. Be sure to drain the bocconcini well, for the perfect crumbed crust.
- 12 (or more, depending on their size) small bocconcini
- grapeseed, peanut or sunflower oil, for frying
- simple tomato salsa, to serve (optional)
- plain (all-purpose) flour
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten with a splash of milk
- homemade fresh breadcrumbs
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Allow 30 minutes to drain the bocconcini.
Drain the bocconcini for at least 30 minutes, then pat dry with kitchen towel.
Place the flour, egg mixture and breadcrumbs in separate shallow bowls. Lightly roll a bocconcini in the flour, dip in the egg, and then roll in the breadcrumbs. Double-crumb the cheese by dipping in the egg and rolling in the breadcrumbs a second time. The cheese should be completely coated with breadcrumbs so it does not leak out during cooking. Repeat with the remaining bocconcini.
Heat 4–5 cm (1½–2 in) oil in a heavy-based saucepan (or use a deep-fryer) to 180°C (350°F). Test the temperature of the oil by dropping in a cube of bread. If it starts to turn golden in 5 seconds, the oil is ready. Fry the bocconcini for 1–2 minutes, turning frequently, until golden. Drain on kitchen towel and allow to cool a little before serving.
Serve on their own or with the simple tomato salsa for dipping.
This recipe is from Italian Street Food. (Smith Street Books). Photography by Paola Bacchia.