The String Cheese Upgrade You've Been Missing Out On

TikTok food innovations can be hit or miss. Some are simply overrated — the viral pickled Dr Pepper, for example, fell flat for our reviewer. Then there are the stupidly obvious and maddeningly genius hacks, like the egg bowl rotation. But even when these TikTok hacks work, they're still annoying, because we didn't think of them first. So when I heard about pan-fried string cheese on TikTok, I have to admit I was mildly infuriated.

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Pan-fried string cheese is exactly what it sounds like, and it's incredibly simple to prepare. Unwrap your string cheese while heating a dry pan (no oil necessary), toss the cheese in the pan, and smush it flat with a fork. Let it fry for a minute until it gets crispy and brown before flipping it. Exercise all of your patience and restraint as you wait for the other side to get crispy, and voila — you have a skillet full of fried, cheesy, melty deliciousness. It's sort of like mozzarella sticks, sort of like halloumi, and 100% stupidly, annoyingly delicious.

Why pan-fried string cheese is so amazing

When I saw this pan-fried string cheese hack on TikTok, I almost did a double take. It doesn't take a genius to determine that fried cheese will taste good — anyone who's ever consumed cheese curds, mozzarella sticks, halloumi, or queso frito (to name only a few of the world's wonderful fried cheese products) can attest to this fact. But why should you pan-fry string cheese, specifically?

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String cheese has a lot going for it. It's cheap, accessible, and conveniently packaged. Plus it tastes really good and it's just plain fun — there's a reason it's a staple of children's lunchboxes everywhere. Most importantly, for this hack at least, string cheese is not designed to melt as easily as other processed cheeses. This means it will hold its shape and fry up nice and crispy rather than melting all over the place and ruining the pan. Sure, it may not be quite as delicious as halloumi or queso frito — that's a pretty high bar. But if you are struck by a sudden need for fried cheese, it's a convenient, quick, and tasty option.

How to serve pan-fried string cheese

Pan-fried string cheese is delicious on its own. I mean, it's fried cheese. But it is possible to upgrade your pan-fried string cheese even further by serving it with delicious accompaniments. You could drizzle it with honey or maple syrup, or slather it with jam for a breakfast bread cheese vibe. You could pair it with a side of marinara for a classic mozzarella stick feel. You could even serve it on toast to make the ultimate open-face grilled cheese. Don't be afraid to get creative, because this hack wouldn't exist if people had stuck to the string cheese status quo. 

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I'll admit I have always been a bit of a string cheese purist, pompously insisting that anyone who did not string their cheese was committing an unforgivable dairy faux pas. But it seems TikTok has achieved the impossible — finding an acceptable way to eat string cheese that doesn't involve stringing.

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