You can find this mild, salty, and slightly tangy cheese on pretty much any Mexican dish. This vegan cotija cheese is perfectly crumbly and adds a blast of umami flavor to your favorite foods.
Vegan Cotija Cheese [Vegan]
- 1 1/2 cups almonds
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon agar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3 tablespoons refined coconut oil
- To begin, soak the almonds in room temperature water for about 12 hours, or overnight. Then, drain the nuts and remove their skins (they should come off easily).
- Place the almonds in a high-speed blender or food processor with vinegar, nutritional yeast, and salt. Pulse together until the mixture is crumbly (stopping to scrape down the sides a few times).
- Set aside while you heat the agar powder and water in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a low boil while stirring constantly.
- Once it's at a low boil, turn the heat down to simmer and continue stirring constantly for about 3-5 minutes, or until the mixture starts to thicken up.
- Add the agar mixture to your blender, then the coconut oil. Blend everything together for another 1-2 minutes, or until similar in texture to ricotta. Taste and adjust salt as needed (cotija cheese is traditionally quite salty).
- Transfer everything to a cheesecloth (or nut milk bag) over a bowl or plate. Bring the edges of the cheesecloth in and twist together to remove the excess liquid. Transfer to your fridge and let the cheese set in the cloth for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight.