When Chicago Soy Dairy sent me a complimentary log of their mozzarella Teese, which claims to melt and stretch, I decided to put it to the ultimate test: vegan mozzarella sticks.
I know, I really should make a category for food that is “devoid of nutritional content.” Consider this the first entry in Hell Yeah It’s Vegan’s new section, “Veganize Everything!” I don’t really think deep-fried cheese needs any further introduction. For the full diner experience, crack open a jar of pickles, whip up some vegan milkshakes, and make sure you have marinara sauce on hand. And remember, all food tastes better around 2AM.
I can’t share this recipe without first commenting on the stretch factor, which will vary depending on the brand of vegan cheese you use. Teese is the cheese used in these photos, and while it was definitely more substantial than the previous version of Teese, which was so prone to liquifying under heat that I wouldn’t put it in my deep-fryer if you paid me a million dollars, it wasn’t particularly stretchy. It doesn’t melt into a plastic puddle, which I definitely appreciate. But it doesn’t exactly offer resistance when pulled, either, and you have to handle it pretty gently to create visible strings. FYI!
- 5 oz vegan mozzarella
- oil for frying
- ½ c flour
- ½ c water
- 1 tbsp cornmeal
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- garlic powder
- 1 c breadcrumbs (I used panko)
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp parsley flakes
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp oregano
- ¼ tsp basil
- In a wide, shallow bowl, combine ingredients for wet mix, flour through garlic powder. The consistency should be like pancake batter, so adjust accordingly if needed.
- In another wide, shallow bowl, stir together breadcrumbs and remaining spices.
- Slice vegan cheese into ½” strips. (I cut the log in half and then trimmed the rounded edges off to form a rectangle to make it easier. They’ll look really small and measly, but trust me, the batter and breading will fill them out.)
- Lightly coat each stick with flour.
- Dredge each stick in the wet mix, then toss in bread crumbs until fully coated.
- Place sticks on a cookie sheet in a single layer, not touching one another, and freeze for at least one hour.
- Heat up your deep fryer, or if you don’t have one, pour an inch of canola, corn, or peanut oil into the bottom of a deep pot and heat.
- Carefully dip the end of a stick into the oil to check for readiness; if the oil sizzles continually, it’s ready. If not, let it heat up some more.
- Once it’s up to temperature, fry sticks in batches (I did six at a time, not touching one another), about 1 minute per side or until they’re golden brown and you can see a little cheese oozing through the breadcrumbs.
- Season with garlic salt and serve immediately, with marinara sauce for dipping.