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Vegan Feta Cheese


  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This Nut and Oil-Free Vegan Feta Cheese is super easy and delicious--it even melts! It only takes 10 minutes of cooking and a few simple ingredients.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 block of firm tofu (approx. 198g) (see note 1)
  • 1 cup water
  • Juice of 2 large lemons (taste before adding second lemon)
  • 1.5 tbsp miso paste (white or yellow)
  • 3/4 tsp salt (see note 2)
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch / flour (see note 3)
  • 2 tbsp kappa carrageenan (see note 4)
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tbsp unfortified nutritional yeast, optional

Instructions

  1. First, add your tofu, water, and miso paste to the blender. Squeeze the first lemon in, blend and taste. Add the unfortified nutritional yeast if desired.
  2. When you’re happy with the flavor, add the tapioca starch and kappa carrageenan. Blend until smooth. Finally, add the oregano and basil. Pulse a few times to mix, but I didn’t want mine to get pureed. If you find a little mixture still unblended or it won’t blend in the herbs, don’t worry. Simply transfer it to the pot, then mix it yourself with a spatula or wooden spoon.
  3. Now, pour the mixture into a small pot or saucepan. Make sure to use a spatula to scrape out any leftover mixture in the blender.
  4. Heat the liquid over medium high heat, stirring constantly once it gets hot. Keep stirring until it begins to curdle or stick together in clumps. Turn the heat down to medium now--it’s almost done. Keep stirring and you’ll notice the texture go from clumpy to shiny, thick, and glossy. It will be stretchy, and start to pull away from the inside of the pot. Transfer the mixture to a glass or ceramic container with a lid.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours and test it. I usually do mine overnight. It should be relatively hard to the touch, with some give but not a lot. 
  6. To remove the set cheese from the container, run a butter knife around the inside perimeter. Flip the container upside down onto a cutting board and tap the container several times onto the board. For troubleshooting, see the article above this recipe.
  7. Enjoy! This cheese shreds, melts, slices, and cubes. My favorite way to eat this cheese is either with crackers or in this refreshing vegan watermelon feta salad (internal link).
  8. This cheese will last for up to one week in the fridge in an airtight container (you can use the same one you used for setting it if you like, I usually do).

Notes

  • Note 1: Firm tofu is what I used, but medium tofu should also work. If you use silken, you may need to reduce the liquid considerably. If you don’t want to use tofu at all, you may substitute soaked cashews, soaked sunflower seeds, or white beans, but you may need to increase the water to get it to blend. You’re looking for a thick batter that can still pour out of the blender.
  • Note 2: I used mild miso paste (it’s either labelled as white or yellow at the grocery store, chickpea miso will also work), to give the feta a brine-like and salty flavor. I thought this really amplified the taste as opposed to using just salt. You could definitely play with the amounts of salt and miso in this recipe, but most cheese is very salty, and feta is exceptionally so.
  • Note 3: Tapioca starch is often labeled tapioca flour and they do the same thing, but cassava flour is different even though cassava is the root vegetable that tapioca is made from. Cassava flour is used for something different, so don’t use that with this recipe. I am often asked if cornstarch or arrowroot powder may be used in place of tapioca. The quick answer is no. It will not stretch like tapioca. Only thicken. So I cannot say for sure if this will work with the kappa carrageenan to give you the right consistency.
  • Note 4: Though it has the name carrageenan in it, kappa carrageenan is a seaweed derived food agent that is entirely safe to eat. Anything you’ve heard about carrageenan is based on a study done on poligeenan, a degraded form of carrageenan used in barium contrast solutions for diagnostic tests like X-rays and CT scans. Kappa carrageenan is totally safe to consume and awesome for changing liquid into solid and for melting!
  • Category: Cheese
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vegan, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan Cheese, Vegan Feta, Vegan Feta Recipe