06 Mar Vegan Mozzarella Cheese
My husband and I are trying this whole vegan thing, which means giving up foods that we LOVE. We eat a 90% vegan diet (we did so even before he asked if we could try transitioning to a vegan diet), but there are some things we just do not know how to give up: chocolate, ice cream, and cheese. So I did some research to try out a vegan cheese recipe, because the ones in the store are astronomically expensive. My attempts are as follows.
Batch one: We want some cheesy pizza!
I followed The Hidden Veggies’ recipe for provolone, simply because I came across that recipe on Pinterest first. In the notes she mentions “If you want a melty vegan cheese for pizza or grilled cheese, increase the tapioca flour by 2 tbsp. (this will equal a total of 2 tbsp+1 tsp) for a stretchy vegan pizza cheese.”
Unfortunately, this came out like goop – I could barely hold it without it breaking apart. It didn’t melt like cheese does – it stayed in one spot, only more melted. Not great for the kind of pizza that I’m used to.
Also, the taste of the nutritional yeast is so strong!
Batch two: Trying the mozzarella recipe.
I did some more digging in the recipe page and found her recipe for mozzarella. This called for less nutritional yeast (1 tbsp as opposed to 1 tbsp + 1 tsp), which was a good sign for me. It also removes the lemon juice, which didn’t really make a difference to me. I also stuck to the 1 tsp of tapioca flour.
This was still quite soft, but MUCH easier to handle than Batch One. I found the nutritional yeast to be still too strong. However, that’s definitely just my taste, as my husband loved the taste.
We used this cheese on toasties. It didn’t melt as much (there were soft but not melted parts) but it still worked really well.
Batch three: It can grate!
I decided to wing it a little, which is something I am always very hesitant to do. I cut down the nutritional yeast to 1 tsp, and I cut down the tapioca flour to ½ tsp.
To my delight, this batch was solid enough to be grated and sliced with ease. We used the grated cheese on tacos, and made some cheese-on-toast in the oven with the rest. The flavour was very muted, which my husband said was great when complementing the tacos. Dosed in some salt and pepper, it tastes great on the toast, too.
In my opinion, I don’t find the taste to be great on its own, especially cold. However, when it’s heated, I really enjoy the taste!
Disappointing disclaimer: this is definitely not a replacement for cheese as non-vegans know it. It is an enjoyable new topping that can’t really be compared to anything, but it doesn’t suit for topping our nachos. The search still goes on for that, though I may never be satisfied. Maybe I’m too picky. Either way, I hope you enjoy this “cheese”!
Hot tip: I could only find the agar agar at my local Asian store. They also had jackfruit which I couldn’t find anywhere else, which is what was on the aforementioned tacos!
Without further ado, please enjoy making this “cheese” recipe 🙂
Vegan Mozzarella Cheese
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1-2 tsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp agar agar powder
- 1/2 tsp tapioca flour
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 can coconut milk full fat (400ml)
- 1/2 cup hot water
- Prepare your container. Grease it with some oil or vegan butter. I used some spray coconut oil. The container I used is a 360ml glass container, and it fills it 3/4 of the way.
- Put all dry ingredients in a separate bowl and mix. This really helped me to make sure I wasn’t allowing any clumps of agar agar to form.
- Turn the heat onto medium. Pour the can of coconut milk into a sauce pan. To make sure you get all the coconut milk out, pour the 1/2 cup of warm water into the empty coconut milk can and then pour it into the pan.
- Add the dry ingredients to the pan and stir with a whisk frequently until it boils.
- Turn down heat until the cheese sauce is just barely boiling and stir constantly for 6 minutes until it is very smooth.
- Pour into your prepared container.
Let it cool with the lid off for about 15 minutes at room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to firmly set. Once the cheese has cooled completely, cover and store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to a week.