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Shared by Moselle Tobias and Florence Cohen

Syrian String Cheese

Yield: 3 cheese twistsTime: 1 h

Syrian String Cheese

Yield: 3 cheese twistsTime: 1 h

Family Journey

Aleppo, SyriaBrooklyn, NY
Deal, NJ

This recipe was shared by Moselle Tobias and Florence Cohen. Read more about their family in "From Grandmother to Granddaughter: A Syrian String Cheese Recipe Is Passed Down" and try their recipe for ka'ak (anise-laced crackers).

Make ahead: Store the cheese twists in an airtight container a refrigerator for up to one week or in a freezer for up to 3 months.


  • 3 lbs mozzarella cheese curd, chopped into ½ inch cubes
  • ¾ teaspoon nigella seeds, divided
  • 3 ¾ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
SidesDairyVegetarianMiddle East


  • Step 1

    Set aside a large bowl with an ice bath and one sheet pan. 

  • Step 2

    Make the cheese: Place a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Place 1 pound of cheese curd into the pan and sprinkle ¼ teaspoon nigella seed and 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt into the pan. Using 2 heatproof spatulas, stir and knead the cheese curd in the pan as the cheese melts and separates from the liquid whey. Knead the cheese until all the cubes have melted and formed one smooth piece of cheese. 

  • Step 3

    Shape the cheese: Quickly transfer the piece of cheese onto a sheet pan using the spatulas. Wear a pair of kitchen gloves to reduce the heat contact from the cheese on to your hands. Working quickly, create a hole in the center of the cheese with your fingers and start stretching the cheese into a ring-like shape. Twist the curd to make two loops and place the loops on top of each other to make them into one loop again. Stretch the loop with your two hands and when you can stretch no further twist the curd again to make two loops and overlap the loops to make one larger and thicker loop. Continue stretching the cheese and twisting it about 6 to 8 more times. For the final twist, twist the curd in opposite directions (like ringing out a towel) until it is tight and insert one end of the loop into the other end to create one cheese twist. Immediately place the cheese twist into the ice water bowel. Repeat the melting and shaping of the cheese twists with the remaining cheese curds, 1 pound at a time. Chill the cheese twists in the ice bath for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour. Drain the cheese from the water.

  • Step 4

    String the cheese: Untangle a cheese twist into one log of cheese. Starting from one end, pinch about  1 inch from the cheese and pull it away creating a long string of cheese. Continue pinching and pulling the strings of cheese until you have your desired amount of cheese.

  • Step 5

    Serve the cheese cold with ka’ak or vegetables.