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.
VEGAN MOZZARELLA, CHERRY TOMATO AND BASIL SKEWERS
Yield 10-14 cubes, depending on the size of tray used
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
- cherry tomatoes
- fresh basil leaves
- balsamic vinegar
- 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.