One of the ‘cheeky treats’ I used to love as a vegetarian was a Mozzarella Stick, a piece of cheese that was coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried. Alongside a decent Marinara sauce this was a little bit of junk food heaven for me. The switch to veganism I thought would deprive me of this unhealthy snack, especially as many dairy free cheeses don’t melt in the way a decent Mozzarella does.
I tried a variety of different brands and varieties of vegan cheeses to see which one worked the best once I’d worked out how I was going to make the crispy shell. We found Violife’s Mediterrean Style Block worked well, despite the fact it lacked the oozy quality of a good Mozzarella Stick. It definitely had the cheesy taste, however, and got a thumbs up from the Teen. Wilmersburger Cheddar was also amongst the successes, although it was a little too much like magma after its ten minute blast in the oven. Pictured above was my trial run!
The best dairy free alternative I found was Violife’s Mozzarella Style. It lacks the stringy quality of the ‘real deal’ but worked well with the breadcrumb coating. There are recipes online for how to make my own version of the cheese just as I have done in the past (see my raw Cashew Cheese here) so I may attempt to have a go in the future. But for now, I know I can knock together these sticks without too much hassle.
I don’t have exact measurements so I’m not going to lay this post out in the way I normally would a recipe. These breadcrumbs are widely available in supermarkets – I get mine from Tesco – and they come in different textures. I like the golden variety on account of how well they crisp in the oven.
These sticks could be deep fried but baking in the oven certainly shaves some of the calories off from the oil.
Fill a bowl with some seasoned plain flour (garlic granules, pepper, mixed herbs, chilli if desired), one with the breadcrumbs and another with unsweetened plant milk. Cut the Mozzarella into fish finger sized chunks (or the dairy free alternative you are using) and first dip into the milk. Roll in the flour and ensure the stick is covered, then dip back into the milk. Finally roll in the breadcrumbs and place on a lined baking sheet. Make sure there are no gaps in the coating so you don’t get a cheese explosion! I cooked mine in the oven on Gas Mark 3 for ten minutes. Depending on the thickness of the coating they may need a little longer for a lovely crispy shell. Serve with any sauce you like.
Thanks for reading,