Although I’ve made melty vegan mozzarella cheese before with success, getting the texture just right for a solid mozzarella cheese has been a bit of a challenge. You need the right ratios of agar for firmness, xantham gum for binding, tapioca flour for stretchiness and potato starch or arrowroot for bulk to get that firm-yet-springy texture of real mozzarella cheese. This version hits the mark not only in texture, but also in taste, and looks lovely skewered caprese-style with some fresh basil and tomato, and finished with a few drops of fresh balsamic vinegar.
for the mozzarella
1 TB potato starch powder or arrowroot powder
1/2 TB tapioca flour or starch
5 TB water
1 can good quality, full-fat coconut milk (403 mL)
3 tsp agar powder
1 1/2 tsp coconut vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 TB coconut oil
1 tsp xantham gum
fresh basil leaves
Combine the potato starch and tapioca flour or starch with the water in a small bowl and stir until fully dissolved. Set aside.
Heat the coconut milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a low boil. While you are waiting for the coconut milk to boil, place the coconut oil and xantham gum in a Kitchen Aid mixer on its highest setting and blend for a few seconds. Once the coconut milk has achieved a low boil, add in the agar powder and whisk briskly until dissolved, then add in the vinegar and salt. Reduce the stovetop heat to its lowest setting, then add in the flour mixture and the xantham gum/oil mixture, whisking very quickly to combine, then transfer to a small-cubed silicone ice cube tray before it gets too thick to pour. Speed with this step is very important. Then place into the refrigerator to fully set for a few hours.
When ready to serve, assemble the mozzarella cubes with the tomatoes and basil leaves on skewers or a toothpick. Spoon or pipe some fresh balsamic vinegar over the top and serve immediately.