May 18, 2021
These vegan mozzarella sticks have all the flavor of the original, and even some of the stretch, too! If you're missing this cheesy appetizer (or you need an indulgent snack for the big game), no worries, I've got you! Just whip up a batch of my tangy, salty vegan mozzarella, coat it in a batter and seasoned breadcrumbs, and fry it! (Or bake it, your choice, but I like them fried). The mozzarella doesn't have the exact mouthfeel of the dairy version (I have yet to find one that does), but it does stretch a little, and the flavor is really close.
As I mentioned, I prefer to fry these cheese sticks. They get crunchy and turn a nice golden color that way. I fry them the traditional way, but I suspect these would work well in an air fryer. You can also bake them, but they don't turn color as nicely.
For the homemade cashew mozzarella, you'll need raw cashews, water, coconut oil, lemon juice, agar agar, salt, and tapioca starch. After making the mozzarella, it will be ready to use after an hour or two of refrigeration. It just needs to be sliceable. Shape the mozzarella into a 3-inch-wide rectangle before you refrigerate it so you can get even slices when you cut it.
These mozzarella sticks are delicious with my spicy marinara dipping sauce, but feel free to use your favorite marinara sauce out of a jar!
Can I bake these instead of frying them? Yes! Just keep in mind that they won't have the same color, and you may lose a little crunch. Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C). Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with oil. Place the mozzarella sticks on the foil and bake for 15 minutes, turning halfway.
Can I use store-bought vegan mozzarella if I don't want to make my own cheese? Yes, you can, and I'd recommend Miyoko's vegan mozzarella. However, in my tests, the homemade mozzarella did have a little more stretch than the Miyoko's.
Will these stretch like regular mozzarella sticks? Not quite, but I do have some tips to get as much stretch as possible from the homemade mozzarella. First, avoid disturbing or reshaping your mozzarella while it's cooling. The more you move the mozzarella during this stage, the more likely you are to break the bonds which hold the cheese together and give it its stretch. Second, this mozzarella is stretchiest when it's hot. But don't cook your mozzarella sticks in oil that's too hot, or you will lose some stretch. And eat the mozzarella sticks as soon as they're cool enough to eat!
Yield8 mozzarella sticks
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Prepare your vegan mozzarella ahead of time. Before refrigerating, shape the mozzarella ball into a 3”-wide rectangle so it can be sliced to make even mozzarella sticks. Refrigerate the mozzarella for 1-2 hours before using in this recipe.
Slice your mozzarella into 8 sticks (approximately 3 inches long), then set aside.
Add flour, salt, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, baking powder, and white pepper to a wide bowl and mix well. Then add water and mix until a smooth batter forms.
In a separate wide bowl, mix panko breadcrumbs with basil, oregano and thyme.
To a third wide bowl or plate, add 2 tablespoons of flour.
Add about an inch of oil to a large saute pan and heat over medium heat. Be careful not to overheat the oil.
Take a slice of mozzarella and roll it in the flour to coat. Then, dredge it through the batter, making sure all sides are covered. Finally, roll it in the panko breadcrumb mixture. The mozzarella should be covered with panko on all sides; if not, you can spoon some of the panko onto bare spots and press it in with your fingers. Set it aside on a plate and repeat with the remaining mozzarella slices. Add more flour to your plate as needed.
Carefully add mozzarella sticks to the oil. When the first side is golden brown (about 2-3 minutes), turn and cook the other side until golden brown. Use a metal spatula to transfer the mozzarella sticks to a paper towel to drain.
Let cool for a few minutes, then serve with spicy marinara dipping sauce.
To bake instead, preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C). Line a baking tray with foil and spray with oil. Place the mozzarella sticks on the foil and bake for 15 minutes, turning halfway.
Homemade mozzarella is stretchiest when it's hot. See the FAQ above for tips on getting the most stretch out of this recipe.
If your oil is too hot, your breadcrumbs will brown before the mozzarella has a chance to melt.
Note: This data should be used only as an estimate. Please see the nutrition section of my terms and conditions for more information on how this data is calculated.
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