Fried Cheese Curds with Buttermilk Ranch Dipping Sauce

White Cheddar cheese curds are battered and deep-fried until they're golden brown for an irresistible appetizer or snack perfect for game days. The batter includes white rice flour, which is the secret to extra-crispy frying. It's spiked with lager and gets a subtle zip from yellow mustard. Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dipping Sauce is a tasty complement to the crispy curds; the fresh chives, parsley, and dill in the sauce make it nice and herby.

Fried Cheese Curds
Photo: Photo by Huge Galdones / Food Styling by Christina Zerkis
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
35 mins


  • Peanut oil

  • cup mayonnaise

  • cup sour cream

  • ¼ cup whole buttermilk

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • ¼ teaspoon celery salt

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • ¾ teaspoon onion powder, divided

  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder, divided

  • ¾ cup (about 3 1/4 ounces), plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided

  • ¼ cup white rice flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard

  • ¾ cup lager beer (from 1 [12-ounce] bottle)

  • 1 (1-pound) package white Cheddar cheese curds


  1. Pour oil in a medium Dutch oven to a depth of 2 inches; heat oil to 375°F over medium-high. While oil is heating, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, chives, parsley, dill, lemon juice, celery salt, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon each of the kosher salt, onion powder, and garlic powder in a small bowl until combined. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

  2. Place 2 tablespoons of the all-purpose flour in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk together rice flour, baking powder, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon each of salt, onion powder, and garlic powder and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour in a separate medium bowl. Whisk egg and mustard into rice flour mixture. Gradually whisk in beer until just combined.

  3. Line a baking sheet with paper towels; place a wire rack over baking sheet. Working in 6 batches, toss together cheese curds and reserved all-purpose flour in a medium bowl; shake off excess flour. Using tongs, dip each cheese curd into rice flour batter, turning to fully coat; let excess drip back into bowl. Fry cheese curds in hot oil, stirring often, until puffed and golden brown, about 2 minutes, maintaining oil temperature between batches. Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer to prepared baking sheet. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.

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