Mozzarella? Yes! This version of the famous cheese is made from cashew nuts. The recipe is based on one of Myoko Schinner’s from her book, The Homemade Vegan Pantry.
Delicious in the classic Italian caprese salad, on a pizza or in a grilled sandwich, this vegan mozzarella can do everything regular mozzarella can do.
5 large balls or 16-20 small
- 200g raw cashews, soaked overnight or for 1-2 hours in hot water
- Juice of ½ lemon
- ½-1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp agar agar (available from Waitrose)
- 4 tbsp tapioca starch
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
For the brine (optional)
- 2½ tsp good-quality salt
- 750ml cold water
- To make cashew soured cream, blend the soaked cashews with 180ml water, the lemon juice and salt in a high-speed blender until completely smooth. Set aside.
- Pour 200ml water into a pan and set over a low heat. Add the agar agar. Whisk the mixture constantly until small bubbles form and the mixture starts to boil. Reduce the heat to its lowest and put the lid on. Leave the water bubbling away for 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, dissolve the tapioca starch in 60ml water and set aside.
- Mix the nutritional yeast into the cashew soured cream and set aside.
- After 3 minutes have passed, remove the lid from the pan with the agar agar and add the cashew mixture while whisking thoroughly. Once mixed, add the dissolved tapioca and keep mixing until the cheese becomes all stretchy – this may take 3-4 minutes. Stir well, otherwise the mixture will burn.
- To finish the mozzarella, you can pour it into a glass mason jar, leave it to cool, then store in the fridge. When you take it out of the jar, you can slice it, and it will keep for four to five days like this.
- For a more traditional look, prepare a bowl of ice-cold water (or cold water with ice cubes in it) and an ice-cream scoop. Drop a full scoop of the cheese mixture into the cold water so that a ball forms. A big scoop will give you about five balls, a small scoop 16-20. Leave in the water for at least one hour. Then make a brine using 750ml fresh water and about 2½ teaspoons of salt. Add the mozzarella to the brine and store in the fridge for four to five days.
Recipe from Vegan for Good by Rita Serano (Kyle Books, £17.99)