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Deep-fried bocconcini with thyme

Junior Chef Showdown competitor 12-year-old chef Victor Chow cooks up his fried bocconcini served with roasted tomatoes and a side salad. 



Roasted Tomatoes

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2 shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Bocconcini Crisps

  • 2 bocconcini, thinly sliced

Fried Bocconcini

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 12 bocconcini
  • Canola oil, for frying


  • 200g package of bocconcini balls
  • Micro greens
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped


For the Roasted Tomatoes 

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. In a cast-iron pan, add the garlic and shallots.  Toss in cherry tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil. 
  3. Add thyme and roast in the oven for approximately 30 minutes on a rimmed baking sheet.
  4. When done, remove from oven and season with salt and pepper and let cool. 

For the Bocconcini Crisps

  1. Prepare the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and set them aside. 
  2. Heat the same frying pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced bocconcini in a single layer in the pan. Allow to melt and cook until golden and crispy, about three to four minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool and harden. Cut or break into rough shards. Set aside.
  3. Cut bocconcini balls in half, toss with tomatoes and drizzle with oil/vinegar mix.

Fry the Bocconcini

  1. Line a large plate with a paper towel. Place each flour, eggs and panko into separate shallow dishes. Stir the salt into the flour. Roll bocconcini in flour mixture, then dip in egg, then coat completely in panko. 
  2. Pour enough oil into a large heavy-bottomed pot to reach one and a half inches up the sides. Clip a deep-fry thermometer to the side. Heat over medium until temperature reaches 350°F. Add bocconcini. Fry until golden, about three minutes. Transfer to the prepared plate to drain excess oil.

To Serve

  1. To assemble, place the microgreens in a bowl, then top with tomatoes and bocconcini and fried bocconcini balls. Tuck bocconcini crisps between fried balls. Sprinkle with basil before serving. Enjoy!

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