Tempura fried cheese curds are my favorite happy-hour or game night snack! They’re lightly crunchy and perfect with spicy & garlicky Sriracha mayo.

An overhead image of a metal pan with tempura fried cheese curds and a wood bowl of spicy mayo on a marble counter next to a blue and white striped linen.

When it comes to sportsball, I 10/10 only care about the food.  For me, half of the fun of going to a sportsball game is getting to drink beer and indulge in my once-a-year habit of eating fake cheese.  The boyfriend, on the other hand, has feelings about football.  I have never known so much about football players’ personal lives until now.  It ended up working out perfectly though, because I think we’re going to have an epic Superbowl party as a way for Marc to humor me and my obsession with sportsball food.  I have big dreams of making homemade pretzels and a cute little football field of guacamole.  Also on this list will be tempura fried cheese curds with sriracha mayo.

My initial introduction to proper cheese curds was in the form of this tater tot poutine I made a year ago.  Afterwards, I had all these leftover cheese curds and nothing to do with them.  So, I did what anyone would do.  I went to Instagram.  And posted something along the lines of “wtf do I do with these things”???  Luckily, an old friend I met while studying in London was like* “duh, fry them and dip the bitches in Sriracha mayo”.  And then I was ashamed, because I should have known the answer is always. to. fry.  Then I took another year to actually do it.

*not an actual quote

An overhead image of fried cheese curds with tempura batter in a metal pan next to a striped linen on a marble counter.

I think the reason that it took so long to try this recipe is because I hate frying things.  I know it’s easy and all, but it’s just not my jam.  However, I think I’m becoming accustomed to the idea of frying more, because 1. these were delicious, and 2. I really want to make donuts someday.  Fried cheese curds can be a little frustrating, because until you get the hang of it, they may melt.  The first couple of batches may turn into crispy/melted cheese covered in fried batter.  (Let me clarify something: this is not a bad thing.  They’re like little tempura Cheez-Its, and dipped in sriracha mayo?? I die).  But, once you start to understand the cheese-curd frying ways, it’ll be totes fine.

For this particular recipe, I used yellow cheese curds that I picked up at the Tillamook Factory while I was roadtripping through Oregon.  However, you can just use whatever you find at the local grocery store.  Also, you will want to be prepared when you make these.  The process goes fast, and you don’t want your little curds to burn!  Lastly, I would recommend serving these right away.  If that’s not possible, make them an hour or two in advance, and keep them warm in a low-temp oven.

Happy Football Sunday!!!

Tempura Fried Cheese Curds with Sriracha Mayo

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Tempura Fried Cheese Curds with Sriracha Mayo

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
These fried cheese curds are a perfect snack for happy-hour or while watching the game!


Tempura Fried Cheese Curds

  • 1.25 lb cheese curds
  • 1 cup cake flour, sifted
  • 1 cup very cold club soda
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 qt vegetable oil

Sriracha Mayo

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp Sriracha (more or less, to taste)
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced


  • In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the vegetable oil until it reaches 375* F. Meanwhile, whisk together the mayo, Sriracha, and garlic. Set aside. Combine the cake flour, club soda, and salt. You want to barely mix it. Some lumps are ok!
  • When the oil is heated, you can start the frying process. (You will know it’s hot enough when a drop of batter sizzles and thoroughly cooks). Working with about six cheese curds at a time, dip the curds into the batter. Let some batter drip off, and then drop them in the oil. Fry them until a light golden-brown, about 1-2 minutes. Do not overcook, or they will turn into the aforementioned tempura Cheez-Its. Place the fried curds on a sheet pan lined with paper towels. You can keep them warm in a low-temp oven.
  • Serve the cheese curds immediately with the Sriracha mayo.


I like to start with about 2 tablespoons of Sriracha to 1/2 cup mayo and then add more from there. If you don’t like spicy, I would start with 1 tablespoon of Sriracha.
Cuisine: American
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Serving: 0.5cups, Calories: 416kcal, Carbohydrates: 22.3g, Protein: 13.3g, Fat: 30.4g, Saturated Fat: 10.9g, Cholesterol: 51mg, Sodium: 507mg, Potassium: 70mg, Fiber: 0.6g, Sugar: 1.6g, Calcium: 326mg, Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @sundaytable.co on Instagram!

xo Sara Lynn

*Song of the day: You Might be Sleeping by Jakob Ogawa