Mozzarella Sticks - Baked or Fried with Cashew Mozzarella. Vegan Recipe

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4 more days to Superbowl!
I say make the Mozzarella and keep it ready to make these sticks for the big game. Go Seahawks! crispy, melty and yum.

I also wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you who writes to me to say hello, with questions, a note of appreciation, and all the deluge of emails for being recipe testers! I am so so grateful for the love. It is practically impossible for me to write back to everyone, but I do try. Thank you once again and have a fabulous week!

Ok back to this recipe. The Mozzarella is cashew based with a little oil and starches to help with the stringy meltyness. Once set, the mozzarella is sliced and breaded in this delicious breading and fried or baked! I like the fried version for these sticks :). Apart from the usual addictiveness of fried anything, the frying cooks up the breading quickly enough so the cheese inside is not over heated and hence has more chances of being melty and gooey when you serve the sticks. gotta indulge some days:) You can use any vegan mozzarella block cheese.
Mozzarella is gluten-free. The sticks can be made gluten-free with flours like rice and oat and gf breadcrumbs.

There is limited oil and starch in the cheese, so the cheese inside cools to a soft not as stringy state fairly quickly. More oil means a bit more meltyness. Serve these right out of the fryer or the oven! Stringy or not, this is one delicious addition to the gameday line up. Make some.

The 3 sticks on the top in the below picture, are baked.



On another note, I have 3 winners for the Cuties 5 lb box coupons on the Spicy Orange Tofu post. Frauline, Annie and Anonymous :) Please send me your mailing address to richahingle at gmail dot com. Please see the comments section on the giveaway post where I replied to your comments that you have won the coupon.

More Gameday Ideas!
Baked Jalapeno Poppers
Amaranth Black Bean Smoky spicy Burger sliders
Jalapeno Popper dip and Havarti cheese dip
Chickpea Kabocha fries 
and lots more on under the Gameday Category

Step pictures:
(For Ingredients and recipe text, scroll down.)
Blend all the ingredients under cashew mozzarella and cook in a pan on stove top. 



Stir frequently and cook until the cheese gets thick and starts to leave the pan or is more doughy batter than liquid.



Grease a pan with olive oil and drop the cheese mixture. Level it out, cover and let sit in the refrigerator for an hour or more. 

It is reddish in color because of the red pepper flakes. 

Remove the cheese from the pan when ready to make the sticks. Cut up slices of the cheese. 



Prep the breading station. Roll each slice in flour, then dunk in wet mixture then in breadcrumbs. Coat with breadcrumbs liberally. 



Place on parchment till all sticks are done. Freeze for 10-15 minutes. 
The top right cheese slice in the picture below, is rolled in flour and ready for the next breading step. The breading adds a lot of volume to the cheese.



Fry or bake and serve immediately with marinara, ranch or other favorite dressings. 

Inspiration: my Coconut Milk Mozarella, Cashew nacho cheeseMiyoko's Better Cashew Mozzarella and Somer's Moxarella


Mozzarella Sticks - Baked or Fried with Cashew Mozzarella
Allergen Information: Free or Dairy, egg, soy, yeast. Can be made corn-free and gluten-free. Cashew mozzarella is gluten-free

Ingredients: Makes 11-12 sticks 3 inch long sticks
Cashew Mozzarella:
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours or overnight
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tsp tapioca starch
1 tsp cornstarch or arrowroot starch
1/4 tsp agar powder (add 1/4 tsp more for a more set cheese)
1/3 - 1/2 tsp fine sea salt (to preference for saltyness of the cheese)
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp vegan butter (or evoo)
a generous pinch of kala namak (black salt)
a generous pinch of onion powder
1/4 tsp pepper flakes (optional, I like a bit of spice kick in my mozzy)

Breading:
1/4 cup flour

Breading Wet:
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup almond milk
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp flaxmeal
1/4 tsp each of garlic powder, salt, smoked paprika

Breading Dry:
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 tsp each of salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper
1/2 tsp italian herb blend (oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary)

Method:
Make the Mozzarella:
Blend everything under mozzarella into a smooth puree. Taste and adjust salt and tang if needed. Pour into a pan and cook at medium heat, stirring frequently to avoid burning, for 8-10 minutes until the mixture is really thick and starts to leave the pan (or is at a soft lightly sticky dough stage).
Grease a small bread pan (I used 5.75 by 3 inch pan) or other pan with extra virgin olive oil and drop the mozzarella in it. Even it out using a spatula. Cool completely, cover the pan and Let set in the refrigerator for an hour or more.

Set up the Breading station when ready to fry or Bake:
Keep flour in one plate.
Mix everything under Breading Wet in a bowl.
Mix everything under Breading Dry in another deep plate or bowl.

Remove the cheese from the pan and Slice the Mozzarella into about 1/4 inch thin slices (I got 12 slices. The cheese will not be a shred-able hard cheese. It should just be set enough to slice). Keep the slices small since the breading is going to increase the size by 2 or 3 times. Roll each slice in flour. Then dip it in the wet mixture, then dip in the breadcrumbs to coat well. Place on parchment lined sheet. Bread all the slices and freeze for 10 minutes.

Fry:
Heat enough oil in a fryer or deep pan on medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the sticks 2 or 3 at a time to fry. The oil should be hot enough that it takes only a minute to brown one side of the sticks. Flip and cook for another half or 1 minute depending on the heat and quantity of oil. Remove and serve immediately. Wait for a minute before adding the next batch so the oil can come back to a high temperature.

Bake:
If baking, then freeze the breaded mozzarella for 15 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Remove moxy sticks from freezer, spray oil or brush oil on the sticks. Bake for 4 minutes. Move the sheet to the top level of the oven and Broil for 1 minute or until the breading starts to brown. Remove and serve immediately with marinara, ranch or other favorite sauces.

Notes: Longer cooking time at not high enough temperature takes the cheese from set to melted to clumpy soft stage. For the cheese to be melty, it has to heated at a high temperature for a short time. Be generous with the breading and the cheese will stay nicely tucked inside. Irrespective of the meltyness, this is an awesome gameday snack!
To make it gluten-free, use glutenfree flours like oat + rice flours in place of regular flour and gf bread crumbs.
If the cheese ends up too soft, Plop it in the freezer for a few to help harden it a bit for slicing


This Snack is being shared at Allergy Free Wednesdays, rickis wellness weekend

52 comments:

  1. Do you have the nutritional info on this recipe?

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    Replies
    1. I am really short on time Angela. You can add the recipe into one of the nutrition calculators online that will give you a good approximation. like caloriecount.com or recipes.sparkpeople.com please do send me the nutrition calculation if you do:)

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  2. you made your own mozzarella- how innovative! it looks delicious! is the agar essential?

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    1. you can omit it. the starches are enough to keep the cheese solid enough for slicing.

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  3. Omgosh! Stop it! This looks too good for words!

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  4. Woah Richa these look super tasty! I've never had mozzarella sticks, vegan or otherwise, but I'm sure I'd enjoy these.
    Have you tried that cheese on pizza? It looks like it's got some "stretch" in it :)

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    Replies
    1. havent tried this paticular one, but will try it on tonites pizza!

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    2. Please let us know how it goes! I'd love to have a homemade/less-processed option for pizzas and sandwiches.

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    3. Any word on this for pizza yet?? :) ~Lynda

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    4. it tastes amazing on the pizza. just not as melty as i would like. I am reworking the recipe to make it super melty for the pizza.

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  5. Oh wow these look amazing Richa! My dad loves an evening snack when he watches football and these are perfect to make.

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  6. Thanks for providing baking and frying directions...I usually don't fry much but for Superbowl Sunday I'm making lots of exceptions. My brother's a sports reporter so he has to work that day and miss the parties but we're bringing him a care package and he will be gobsmackinglyhappy at these crazyyumful things! Cheers! :)

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    Replies
    1. yes exactly, that is the right adjective for these moxy sticks. they make people gobsmackingly happy!

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  7. I wish there was a restaurant down the street that would serve these (and all your food!)

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  8. Very clever Richa, your food just blows me away!

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  9. this looks really yummy! i have made fermented cashew cheese that i think would work with this... i could ferment it a bit longer to make it more sharp like cheddar cheese which would be interesting with jalapeno... hmmm.

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  10. G'day and wow and YUM! true!
    I WISH I could come through the screen and try these right now! Good on ya re the recipe! Great photos too!
    Cheers! Joanne

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  11. Richa - just shared this on facebook and pinned twice. Seriously happy! My son is ecstatic!!!!!

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  12. Will try making these .. Doing all foods that fit the Fast metabolism Diet for game day and these will work great. thanks

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  13. This is the most epic recipe I have ever seen!!!

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  14. I can't wait to try these!! Cheese is one thing I miss since going vegan, and I used to love mozza sticks! I may not watch the Superbowl but I'll be snacking on these anyway! Thanks for the awesome recipes! :)

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  15. When I saw the recipe title, I thought for sure I was going to have to skip this one due to tofu/soy. So I was pleasantly surprised to see it was cashew-based. Ingenious! I am definitely making these for Sunday. I hope my cheese sticks together as well as yours does. Thank you!!
    -Laura

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  16. These look amazing! I'm literally dying to try them and imaginging their wonderful depth of flavor. I have all of the ingredients, except the agar powder. I hope it will still hold well. When I have some extra time, I'm totally making these. Yum!

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  17. These look amazing! Can I come watch the Super Bowl at your house?

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  18. Say what?!?!? Is this real life? I used to order mozzarella sticks all.the.time in my pre-vegan days. I even got to the point that I would make them at home. I was addicted. I haven't had any in well over 2 years. That obviously ends now! Thanks Richa!

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  19. Seriously? I must make these -- stat. They look ahh-mazing!

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  20. Hello,

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  21. Oh my goodness!!!!! These remind me of croquettes…I want to make your cashew mozzarella sometimes…perhaps for my pizza! :)

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  22. Looks absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing.

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  23. I am dying to make those but I can't find Agar powder. Where can I find it?

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    Replies
    1. you can find it at a health store, or online on amazon, vitacost or iherb.com.
      you can omit it. add 1 tsp more tapioca starch. the cheese wont be as set. freeze it for 10-15 minutes, then slice it up.

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    2. Our Whole Foods had it... it's by the seaweed

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  24. I made these for the SuperBowl, and they were definitely the highlight of my night! My dear Broncos didn't do so well, but these sure made up for it! They were SO good. I am thinking about making them again today.
    Do you know how long the cheese could be in the fridge or freezer for? I'd like to double the batch and save some for later to put on a pizza or make the sticks with. Thoughts?

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    1. Awesome! so glad you liked them! You can keep the cheese refrigerated in an airtight container, coated with oil, for upto 5 days. the textures changes a bit when frozen, so i prefer refrigerating it.

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  25. Do you think these could be made ahead? I'm thinking do deep frying then refrigerating and baking in the oven.

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    Replies
    1. you can fry or bake them and keep refrigerated for upto 3 days. and reheat them. the cheese consistency doesn't stay as melty when reheated again. tastes the same though. :)

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  26. My son can eat cashews but not almonds - what would you substitute for the almond milk? Soy?

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    1. yes, soy milk, cashew milk(just use more cashews and water). coconut milk, should all work

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  27. My son misses cheese (lactose intolerant) so I would love to make these for him. What would you suggest as a substitute for the almond milk (allergic)... soy?

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  28. Part mad scientist, part genius. I actually swore when I licked the spoon... "Holy #$%^&* - this is CHEESE!"

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  29. this looks AMAZING i can't believe this is vegan!!!!

    * Greetings from a greek vegetarian.

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  30. I tried making these this afternoon. Yum!!!! I've tried making vegan cheeses before, but never had one come out tasting decent. These were great!! I made them gluten-free and swapped around a number of other ingredients, but I think they were still true to the original idea. Thanks for thinking this up, and for sharing it with the world!

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  31. Hi. This sounds amazing! I am allergic to yeast though... could I omit n the nutritional yeast or swop it out with something else?

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    Replies
    1. you can omit the nutritional yeast.

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  32. Can we put the Agar Agar powder straight in with the other ingredients or should I dissolve it in water and simmer before adding? Thanks for all of your AMAZING recipes!

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    1. you can add it with the other ingredients. the whole mix is getting cooked for a good 8 minutes so the agar will get activated.

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  33. I love that u have recipes for cheese! my biggest pet peeve as a vegan is that so many restaurants use store bought cheese.

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    1. some of the store ones do taste quite similar to the real cheese, with the work load they have at restaurants i can;t blame them for using store cheeses:)

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  34. Amazing! I see form above post you can omit agar but what about tapioca starch? Could I just add more cornstarch? Thanks in advance!

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Hi! I am Richa. I love to whip up plant-based meals which make me and hubbs swoon and not miss any animal or animal products in them. Find out more About Me here.


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