Vegan fresh mozarella isn’t readily available in stores, and for Italian cooking, it’s super important to have. It’s a fun and easy cheese to make, as you can learn basic fermentation techniques. It slices well, melts great, browns with the best of them, and can be eaten both raw and cooked. It tastes amazing either way!
Fresh Mozzarella [Vegan]
6-12 mozzarella balls
Ingredients You Need for Fresh Mozzarella [Vegan]
For the Cultured Cashew Milk:
- 1 cup (140 g) raw unsalted cashews, soaked
- 4 cups (946 ml) water
- 2 tablespoons (15 g) soy lecithin
- 1 tablespoon (12 g) acidophilus powder (probiotic powder)
For the Fresh Mozzarella:
- 5 cups (1.2 L) cultured cashew milk (1 recipe)
- 3 tablespoons (33 g) kappa carrageenan
- 1 teaspoon lactic acid
- 1 cup (120 g) plus 2 tablespoons (15 g) tapioca starch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups (355 ml) melted (liquid) coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon (18 g) salt per 1 gallon (3.8 L) of water (brine)
How to Prepare Fresh Mozzarella [Vegan]
To Make the Cashew Milk:
- Drain and rinse the cashews. Blend the cashews, water, soy lecithin, and acidophilus powder together in a high-powered blender until well emulsified.
- Transfer to an extremely clean (preferably freshly boiled) glass container. Cover with plastic wrap and set on the countertop for 12 to 24 hours. The longer it sits, the “tangier” the flavor will be.
To Make the Mozzarella:
- Add the cultured cashew milk, kappa carrageenan, lactic acid, tapioca starch, and salt to the high-powered blender. Blend until smooth.
- Add the coconut oil and blend just until glossy and combined well.
- Transfer the mixture to a saucepot over medium heat, whisking for about 30 seconds to a minute until the cheese starts to “break.” Use an immersion blender to re-emulsify the cheese and continue to whisk consistently for another 2 to 3 minutes until thick.
- Now, shape the mozzarella. This needs to be done quickly. To make a standard-size mozzarella ball, use a 2-ounce (60 ml) dish and scoop two small balls from the mixture into the center of a piece of plastic wrap. Fold the plastic wrap over itself, grab the ends, and twist it around in a quick swinging motion until a larger ball forms. Tightly pull the two ends of plastic wrap under the ball and tie in a double knot.
- Immediately place the wrapped mozzarella balls into an ice bath.
- Repeat using all of the mozzarella mixture. Transfer the ice bath to the fridge and allow to cool for about 8 hours.
- Make the brine by slightly heating the water and stirring in the salt to dissolve. It should taste like lightly salty sea water. Let the brine cool.
- After the ice bath, remove the cheese from the plastic wrap and add to the salt brine for 24 hours before consuming.
- You can make any size mozzarella balls—super tiny ones or ones even bigger than the 4-ounce (115 g) ones shown here.
- The amount of time you allow the cashew milk to culture will give it a stronger flavor. For a very mild cheese, skip the culturing process altogether. Just follow the same steps but don’t add the acidophilus powder and once you make the cashew milk, you can immediately continue making the cheese.
- Most of the miscellaneous ingredients like lactic acid, kappa carrageenan, and acidophilus powder (probiotics available in powdered or capsule form) can be found online if you don’t find them in a specialty store!
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