A Better Buffalo Mozzarella


I am forever experimenting, trying to emulate and improve upon my own recipes. After developing my first vegan buffalo mozzarella several years ago, I was thrilled and happily served it to countless people, who seemed as thrilled as me. Then came the person – an omnivore – who was brutally honest. “The flavor is good, very close to the real thing, but the texture is nothing like buffalo mozzarella.” My heart sank. Other omnivores had found it delicious, I said to myself, yet I knew deep down that this one discerning individual was right. The texture needed improvement.

The article I penned for the fall 2012 issue of VegNews afforded me the opportunity to revamp the recipe. As often happens, I am unable to sleep at night as I ponder how to create something, and one night, I was saved by an idea. The next day, I got to work, and the 3 am inspiration proved to be the ticket. Since then, for my cooking classes and demos, I’ve simplified that recipe even further, still deriving good results.

Word got out that since the publication of Artisan Vegan Cheese that I’ve come out with a new and improved recipe. Every week, I get people asking me if I will share it. Well, here it is. The texture is, according to the discerning omnivore, much improved. In fact, pretty darn real.

Easy Buffalo Mozzarella (adapted from Miyoko’s recipe in VegNews)

1 cup plain, unsweetened soy yogurt

1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 3 – 8 hours and drained

1 cup water, divided

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

3 tablespoons tapioca flour

1 tablespoon agar powder

Combine the yogurt, cashews, a half cup of the water, and salt in a blender and process until emulsified. Transfer to a container, cover loosely, and set aside for 12 to 24 hours until slightly tangy. Whisk in the tapioca flour.

Combine the agar and remaining half cup of water in a small saucepan. Whisk together. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in the yogurt mixture and mix well with a whisk. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is smooth, glossy, and stretchy.

Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Using an ice cream scooper, drop balls of the cheese into the ice bath. Let sit for 20 to 30 minutes until firm.






  1. I think this version is out-of-this-world excellent. I didn’t try the first recipe, so this updated one is all I can speak to, after tasting it at last week’s class. Dairy mozzarrella is a very recent taste for me, but this dairy-free version is just not any different. In fact, I brought home a tiny bite for my partner to taste at home, and I insisted on his undivided attention to taste it. What you’ve done for the world of vegan cheese is nothing short of a meaningful service to veganism, seriously! Thank You! I can’t wait to start tinkering and making these recipes at home…

  2. I’m glad I found this in time. The Buffalo Mozzarella was my next one on the list to try from your book 🙂

    I loved the chevre I made, and I am now aging some harder Gruyere, but I can’t stop tasting it – hope some will be left in 48 hours.

  3. Would it be possible to make this without soy? I was looking at getting your book but I am unable to eat soy. Are there many recipes that use it? Thanks!

    • Most of the recipes don’t use soy. You could use another unsweetened yogurt in place if you can find one. Good luck.

      • Hi Miyoko,

        I’m really excited to try one of your recipes, I have been eyeing this for a while. I just have a question. I couldn’t find unsweetened plain vegan yogurt anywhere. They all have sugar in it. I did find plain coconut kefir without any sweeteners though. Would this work as well? Thanks in advance for your reply!

      • Will greek style coconut milk yogurt work?

        • Yes, I’ve used it (So Delicious Greek Style Coconut Yogurt) and it works beautifully.

          • I’m in Denver. How does altitude affects how long I let the mozzarella sit or how will affect any of the other cheeses in your recipe book. Currently the temps are in the upper 80s/low 90’s and my house does not have AC so it’s already a little warm inside.

          • I don’t think altitude is a big factor, except in so far as it affects temperature and humidity. If it’s warm, it will culture faster.

    • I’ve been using these recipes for a couple of months now with my own homemade cashew or coconut yogurt with NO problems whatsoever. Go for it!

      • Thanks!

      • Hi Laurel,
        Would you mind sharing how you make cashew and coconut yoghurt ?

        • Rochelle says:

          I started making my own cashew yogurt with this recipe. (http://reciperenovator.com/special-diets/vegan/how-to-make-cashew-yogurt/)Since then, I’ve simplified it down to 2 cups of cashews (previously soaked overnight) and 2 cups of water in the vitamix at full speed until it’s warm (2-3 minutes). Then I mix in 2 probiotic capsules on a lower speed or by hand. I have a yogurt maker now, but I’ve also done it in a warm crock overnight in the oven with the light on (but no heat). I culture it for about 10 hours, then strain it for another 4-8 in the fridge. I salt or sweeten it later as necessary. It’s been life-changing for me. Actually, it’s all thanks to this mozzerella recipe since I couldn’t find unsweetened vegan yogurt anywhere. Now, I make something that tastes better than anything I’ve EVER bought.

          • Rochelle says:

            Oops, and 1 tablespoon of tapioca flour with the cashews and water for the full-speed mixing step!

          • Carmelina says:

            Rochelle thanks for sharing your method for making vegan yogurt. I’ve made it three times since reading your post this week (twice with cashews and once with almonds) and it’s worked beautifully each time, making a lovely tangy yogurt! 🙂

          • Thanks for posting this along with your tips Rochelle! I’m going to try this out. I failed at yogurt making last time I tried, so I appreciate your help.

      • Hey Laurel, I’d love your yogurt recipe as well if you’re willing to share!
        Rochelle, I can’t wait to try out your recipe! Thanks for sharing!

    • I started that first batch of yogurt using Purely Decadent’s coconut yogurt and it worked fine. There’s some sugar in it, but 3 tablespoons in 4 cups of milk is pretty watered down and I’m sure it’s completely gone now that I’m on my 5th batch. And (if you can find it) chickpea miso tastes wonderful. So the recipes work out really well soy-free.

  4. Ooh. This DOES look better than the mozzarella I tried and I just made yogurt yesterday. Once I make this I’ll have some basic cashew cheese and gruyere all on hand. Sounds like party time!

  5. Sounds yummy! What is the best way to store it and how long will it keep in the fridge?
    Thanks so much!

    • Keep it in brine (salted water) or a vinaigrette in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

      • Do you have a preferred brine or vinaigrette you can suggest? Will one help keep it binded better than another..?

        • They keep the longest in olive oil, while brine is certainly lower fat (although they start to dissolve after awhile). Vinaigrette is also a great option. I do all three!

          • I made a simple marinade from olive oil, garlic, fresh italian herbs, crushed red pepper flakes, sea salt, and pepper. They are holding up perfectly! I have unexpectedly managed to reduce the fat as some of my omnivore friends are more than happy to help me finish them off! Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes and advice. I just received your new book, and can’t wait to try out the rest of your recipes!

  6. Were I to use carrageenan in this, would it melt?

    • It would melt a some. But not as well as the meltable mozzarella in the book because there’s no oil. Unfortunately, that’s another critical ingredient for that sensation we call melty!

    • Annie, I’m not sure if you’ve heard that it’s best advised not to consume carrageenan, despite it being used a lot in health foods. You can google for more info if you’re interested.

      • Probably best to avoid however, the study was conducted on a different form of carrageenan..poligeenan.

  7. Agnieszka says:

    I would love to make it, but I have a question: when you write “set aside for 12 to 24 hours until slightly tangy” – do you mean in the refrigerator?

    • Just on your counter.

      • Agnieszka says:


      • I had that same question from the magazine article, thanks! I had actually made it with the yogurt in the fridge, but it still turned out fine.

      • Adriana Smocovich says:

        Hi Miyoko, I am a new vegan and recently discovered your book. I can’t stop watching you in You Tube. I am learning so much! I live in Queensland, Australia. I have a question: If I leave the mozzarella out of the fridge for one day as in your recipe, wouldn’t risk going off? The current temperature in here is mid 30s Centigrades

        • Hi, Adriana. I’m glad you’re enjoying my videos! I wish it were 30 C here! A bit chillier. But to the question of leaving out the cheese for culturing, it would do just fine, because lactic acid bacteria, especially yogurt cultures, like warm environments. They actually thrive in them. This will ensure that they grow and repel bad bacteria. It is what will give it the cheesy, tangy flavor. Good luck!

  8. OMG! This was amazing and so simple!! It was amazing to see it go from liquidy/yogurty to thick and gooey and cheesy. Absolutely BRILLIANT recipe! The taste was spot on. I think that with store bought vegan cheeses, there are so many additives and/or strange ingredients to make it shelf stable, that it winds up tasting funny. This was perfection. I’d imagine that it’d make an amazing cheese sauce as well!

    Thank you! (times 1 million lol)

  9. I see you’ve switched from rejuvelac to yogurt as your culture–interesting! if I already have some rejuvelac on hand, is it still possible to achieve this superior texture you speak of? or is the yogurt a pretty crucial change?

    • It’s a completely different recipe! The yogurt is really critical for the texture.

      • Hello Miyoko,
        I am sooooo happy….your recipe works veeeeery well and easy!
        My little sweet Mozzarella cheese balls are over delicious….and I give my Mozzarella an extra kick off fresh basil….yummy for my tummy …
        Thank You soooo much Miyoko!

  10. This is not vegan. Yogurt comes from a cow and is therefore an animal product. Vegans don’t eat anything that isn’t plant based. I don’t doubt that this is good, however, I felt the need to point this out.

    • I am referring to plant-based yogurt, specifically soy yogurt. You can buy this commercially, and there’s a recipe in my book for it as well.

    • Yogurt doesn’t come from a cow. Yogurt comes from milk, and milk can come from plants OR lactating mammals.

      • Yogurt DOES come from cows. Yogurt is the product that comes out of a cow when it is very hot and the milk has begun to curdle.

        • Yogurt does not come from cows. Yogurt is the process of growing certain lactic acid bacteria in a substrate, dairy milk or nondairy milk, to thicken it.

        • Yes, and brown cows give chocolate milk!

          That’s sarcasm, btw.

          As a farm girl, I can tell you it doesn’t matter how hot a cow gets, it’s never going to give you yogurt.

    • oh my gosh. you should really do a little research before embarrassing yourself like this. yogurt is not an anomal product, lol. thanks for looking out for us vegans, but we are acutely aware of what we can and cannot eat. unfortunately flesh-eaters have no idea, as demonstrated. 😉

  11. I have guar gum, potato starch, and corn starch on hand, do you recommend any of those as alternatives to the tapioca?


  12. Jonas Ström says:

    Tapioca flour is hard to find here in Sweden – would it be possible to substitute with something else? (And how much of that something…)

    Any help is much appreciated!

  13. This turned out (mostly) fabulously! A cautionary tale: if you can’t finish the recipe once the base is cultured and you have to refrigerate it overnight, let it come up to room temperature before adding it to the gelled agar. Otherwise, the agar solidifies immediately once the cold cheese base hits it and doesn’t fully reconstitute during the next cooking process. The resultant cheese balls looked and tasted great, but had little hard nodules of agar in them. Not entirely unpleasant, but a surprise if you aren’t expecting it. And another note: the base tastes very salty initially, but when you add the tapioca flour and cook it with the agar gel, it completely changes and tastes very mild. My kitchen chemistry set arrived (kappa carrageenan & more agar), so it’s on to more AVC recipes tonight!

    • I should have read this comment before making the recipe. Yes, I found it awefully salty and was afraid that it might remain like that. And yes, not a good idea to whisk in the cold mixture. But anyway, it is tasty and nothing I would throw out 🙂

      • Hi Kelly, I’ve recently been hearing lots of bad stuff about carrageenan so I was relieved that it wasn’t included in this recipe, but now you mentioned ordering it. Did I miss something?

  14. Does this recipe work on pizza?

    • Some say it does. It softens, but there’s no oil, so it doesn’t really melt. For a meltable cheese, use the Meltable Mozzarella in my book. That makes for a great meltable buffalo mozz!

      • Is it the oil or the carrageenan that makes it meltable ?

        • Both. Carrageenan re-liquefies, while agar does not. And oil, of course, helps.

          • Is there a substitute for carrageenan? I fight an autoimmune disease, which has some inflammatory bowel symptoms, and there is more and more research coming out that carrageenan can cause bowel inflammation. I’ll make these recipes (meltable mozzarella) regardless, but if I can leave out the soy (more inflammation) and Irish moss, I’d like to. Thanks!

          • Heather, I have some tips for this on another blog post, More Cheesy Tips. However, you needn’t use soy yogurt for the mozzarella. You can use plain coconut yogurt (So Delicious makes a great unsweetenend coconut yogurt) or a homemade almond one. And the mozzarella here uses agar, not carrageenan. You can try using a low-sugar pectin for the meltable version, although it won’t be quite as firm. It will still melt on pizza.

          • This is the answer I was looking for. It would be great if a better replacement for carrageenan was found, as I’ve been hearing so many bad things about it. Let us please know if your meltable version gets revamped!

  15. Sabrina says:

    I made these and it came out great!!! Can I store in the fridge with olive oil/herbs instead of the salt brine? If so, do they need to be completely submerged in the olive oil? And, do you think they will last as long as they would if they were in saltwater? Thanks!

    • I think it was you I ran into at VegFest today! Hope you can come by tomorrow for my talk and samples!

    • I have the same question. Did you try it, and if so, how did it turn out? I made these Mah-velous Mozzarella balls, and don’t want to ruin them by storing them the wrong way.

  16. Bridgette says:

    Hi Miyoko,
    Do you drain the yogurt in this recipe like your other versions call for? Thanks so much!

  17. Hi Miyoko, I have your Japanese cookbook and just love it! I ordered the vegan cheese book and I cannot wait for it to come. I live in a place where it’s next to impossible to get vegan yogurt, I can order most things online but sadly not vegan yogurt. Do you have a substitute? Thank you 🙂

  18. Since seeing this recipe a while ago I have been very much looking forward to making it and I must say they were exquisite!! Creamy and pillowy soft, just perfect for a salad caprese or sandwich. These little dreamy bites could fool any cheese eater. Guessing these would come out even more delicious with homemade yogurt, that will be my next project!
    Thank you Miyoko, I can’t wait to get your book!

  19. Hi Miyoko,

    I tried the “Better Buffalo Mozzarella” recipe and loved it.
    So when I came across this recipe, I was really excited about making it stretchier in texture.
    Yet for some reason, after adding the xanthan gum, the flavor got starchy (I was aiming for just stretchy).
    It wasn’t close to edible so I had to throw away the entire batch.
    Is there any way of reaching the desired stretchy quality, without ruining the consistency and flavor?

    Thanks :)~

    • Anna, the xanthan gum wouldn’t make it starchy. What happened was most likely that when you added the xanthan gum, it thickened up too much so that you were unable to finish cooking it properly. If you don’t cook it long enough, the tapioca won’t be properly cooked and will remain starchy. Most likely, if you had just used it for pizza, it would have finished cooking in the oven and gotten stretchy. Adding the xanthan gum does make things harder to stir and cook, so you have to be extra vigilant to make sure that it is cooked long enough to cook out the starch.

      • Thanks, Miyoko! Do you think that dissolving the xanthan gum and tapioca in hot water prior to adding them to the yogurt mixture, would solve this issue? If so, how much water would you use, to avoid making the cheese too runny?

        Thanks again 🙂

        • Oh and by the way, I’d like to make the yogurt myself for that recipe.
          Is there a difference between Rejuvelac and Probiotic culture for that matter?
          Do you get a good result using the former?

          • You can’t use rejuvelac or a probiotic culture for homemade yogurt. You have to use yogurt cultures. You can start with a commercial soy yogurt as the culture. Follow the instructions in my book.

        • You don’t need to dissolve them. I would just add the xanthan gum at the end, or omit it entirely. I generally don’t add it.

  20. Hi Miyoko I noticed you said you were at VegFest, was that the one in Brighton? I was there but I’ll be honest I don’t remember seeing you 🙁 are you going to be at the London/Bristol VegFests at all this year? Would be great to meet you!

    • I have been to many VegFests all over the US, but not the UK. Would love to be invited to London, though! Love that town!

  21. I was pleasantly surprised at how well this worked out. The final product looks just like fresh mozzarella, has a creamy mouthfeel, and there is no detectable cashew or otherwise “off” taste. The texture of mine came out a touch mushy, but I’m thinking that I may not have cooked it long enough with the agar gel (or maybe I didn’t cook the agar gel long enough to begin with)?

    The taste of my batch was very cheesy… Ironically enough, maybe even a little too much so. I’m a new vegan and had dairy buffalo mozzarella as recently as a few months ago, so the taste is pretty fresh in my mind. What I remember is that the dairy version really doesn’t have much flavor at all– it’s not tangy or anything, just salty with a creamy aftertaste. This vegan version captures the creaminess perfectly, but the tanginess of my batch–while delicious and complex– reminded me more of a mild white cheddar or even parmesan. I did a little research, and from what I can tell it seems that dairy mozzarella isn’t really cultured for very long. I let mine sit out on the counter for 20 hours or so, so maybe next time I’ll only culture it a few hours and see if the taste is more mild.

    I may need to make a few small tweaks to end up with a perfect batch, but I am now completely convinced that it is possible to make delicious vegan cheese. Thanks for sharing, Miyoko!

  22. Hello! I am making this right now, and I am about to put the cheese into the ice bath. In your recipes in the book, it says that the ice bath should have salt in it, and when you put the cheese in it, you can keep it there for storage. Should this ice bath have salt, and can I leave it there until I eat it? Also, is it ok for the cheese to be warm or hot before going in the ice bath or should I let it cool a bit?

    • Chelsea, put it in right away or it will cool and solidify in your pot! The ice water can have salt in it, or not – the important thing is to store it in ice water so that it doesn’t get diluted in flavor. Hurry, now, before it gets hard!

      • Thank you so, so much for responding so quickly. I got it in the water before it hardened too much. I think it will be ok. Should I store it in this water, or take it out and do something with it?

      • Haha never mind, I just read your first response and got my answer! I will let you know how it turns out– I am going to make this one and your meltable mozzarella from the book and try them on Friday in a caprese salad and some pizza 🙂 Thank you so much for what you do!

  23. Rafael Juliano says:

    Hello, Miyoko!
    I just tried the “Better Buffalo Mozzarella” recipe and I wasn’t expecting it to be perfect on my first attempt, but it came out yummy. Here are some doubts, though… First, is there any noticeable difference in taste if I use (as I did) plain homemade almond yogurt? Also… it felt awkward working with the ice cream scooper to shape the balls, should I use a spoon to push out the balls? If the yougurt or the cashew mixture cultures for too long, would it alter the taste also? I also noticed from the image above that your mozzarella balls are whiter. Cashew’s quality maybe? Thanks!

    • You can use almond yogurt – there won’t be a noticeable difference in taste, although it may come out a little softer. You might want to increase the agar or tapioca a tad bit.
      Not sure about the ice cream scooper – are you using the kind with a lever? It should come out easily if you do. Otherwise, you can use a spoon to push out the balls. If you let it culture to long, it will get tangier. Mozzarella is fairly mild, so you don’t want it too tangy. I don’t know why your balls would be darker unless you used roasted cashews. Mine are always pure white. What color was yours?

      • Rafael Juliano says:

        Thank you , Miyoko! Well, my buffalo mozzarella was cream in color. My ice cream scooper has no lever. I guess I’ll add more tapioca next time. Some of my cheeses made with agar sometimes come out with a subtle bitterness and a little “sandy”. Could it be that the agar mixture is not simmering long enough? Thanks!

  24. I just purchased your book this week and while waiting for my rejuvelac to finish up I made this recipe. All I can say is wow!! I am newly vegan (2 months) and this turned out incredible. I can’t wait to get going on the recipes in your book!

  25. Hi there Miyoko,

    First of all thanks a million for continuously researching and experimenting with vegan food and for sharing all this with us, especially newbies like myself! I was so inspired by this recipe and I cannot wait to get home to finish it today. However, I was not able to track down agar agar here in Dubai. I found ground arrowroot, however according to different responses on forums online one cannot substitute this for agar. Second option I got was ‘vege-gel’ from Dr. Oeteker. The ingredients are dextrose, carageenan, locust bean gum and acidity regulators (one sached, 6 g, will set 570 ml of liquid). Do you think I can use this as a substitute for agar or leave it out altogether? Last think I have in my kitches is guar gum, but can see from your earlier responses that this is not a good option either. I did find tapioca flour though.

    Excited to receive my copy of your book as well!! 🙂

    • Hi, Rie. Nice to hear from someone all the way in Dubai. By the way, Rie is a Japanese name. Are you Japanese?

      Vege-gel is probably the closest thing to agar agar as it contains carrageenan. However, since it has dextrose as the first ingredient, it would make your cheese very sweet. Guar gum, arrowroot, etc., aren’t really equivalents to agar at all. Without agar, your cheese won’t set. I think you have two options: either order agar online (make sure it’s powdered), or try with vege-gel and see how sweet your cheese gets. My guess is that you can add it directly to the cheese mixture and boil, without first dissolving in water.

      Do you have any Asian grocery stores in Dubai? They would most likely have agar. Let me know how it goes.

      • Hi Miyoko and thanks for the quick reply! I just got home and am about to try it out with the vege-gel. Do you have any recommendations on the amount I should use? Very excited to see the result! I am sure I can find agar somewhere here, I just need to go to a few of the organic shops. I will definitely try the recipe again regardless, with agar powder.

        I am actually Norwegian. 😀 I wondered for many years where my name came from, my parents could not tell me since they just “invented it”. 😉 It is evidently quite common in Denmark as well. It was a few years back that I discovered, via Facebook (!), that many Japanese women were called Rie (I actually had a Facebook group with lots of Japanese members).

        • Hi Rie, I am sure you can find agar in Dubai, just go to a store that sells Indonesian products.
          Miyiko, isn’t kudzu also an appropriate replacement for agar?

  26. Two sachets of veg-gel and the “dough” is not thickening. 🙁 Looks like it didn´t work. Guess I have to make vegan lasagna tomorrow, the sauce could work as a vegan alfredo sauce. Nothing goes to spill!

  27. kihelaine@aol.com says:


    I have been working my way through your book and I am having so much fun, thank you!! I made the mozzarella recipe from the book first and then came across this one last week so I tried it out. This one came out wonderful! The one from the book tastes good but the texture of this one is lovely. I am attending a vegan pot luck this weekend and I am bringing a cheese tray including the air dried cheddar, Boursin, air dried Gouda, and this mozzarella. There will be some non vegan participants as well as some who have been vegan for years so it should be fun. I will let you know how it goes. I hope you expand your teaching circle one day, I would love to attend a workshop.

    • Good luck! Let me know how it goes. I frequently serve non-vegans with great results! Hope it goes well for you, too!

  28. This recipe is amazing! Thanks SO much 🙂 Is there anything that could be used to replace nuts (I’m allergic…) Many thanks and keep’em coming!

  29. Laurie Scott says:

    So I tried this recipe and it came out grainy and not light, did I under cook it? Can I reheat it and add more Tapioca?? Thanks!!

    • I’m not exactly sure what you mean by “not light.” If it was grainy, you probably didn’t puree the mixture long enough. There is a learning curve to all of this. Since I don’t know what your cheese is like, it’s hard for me to say whether or not to add more tapioca. You shouldn’t have to. Tapioca makes it stretchy and gooey; too much is not a good thing. Put if it’s starchy (as opposed to grainy), you probably didn’t cook it long enough and the tapioca starch is undercooked.

  30. Hi Miyoko, thanks a lot for this recipe! even my carnivore husband liked it in caprezza salad (-:

    Still, it wasn’t as perfect as I thought it would be for two reasons – it wasn’t solid enough, and only now I see that I should have used agar powder instead of agar flakes, can you tell me what is the conversion rate?

    Also, it had a bit of an acidic after-taste (I could sense it only when trying the raw cheese but disappeared in the salad). Is it due to a too long incubation time of the yogurt with the cashews on the counter? I used 20 hours, but its kinda warm here in Israel, will incubating for a shorter duration solve this or is this normal?


    • It’s hard to use the flakes for this recipe because you need more liquid, which would affect the texture of the yogurt. The conversion rate is usually 1:6 – you need 6 times the amount of flakes, so instead of 1 tablespoon, you’d need 6 of the flakes. It would be very hard to get that amount to dissolve in just a small amount of water. As for the acidic taste, you may have cultured it too long. Unfortunately, there’s no exact recipe for the length of time to culture, as it depends on the ambient temperature.

  31. Michel says:

    Can I use home made cashew yogurt instead? If so, how do I modify the first step? Also I can’t get agar anywhere. Will xantham gum work instead?

    • Yes, you can use cashew yogurt.Can you order agar online? Xanthan gum will only get so stiff beyond which it gets gummy.

  32. Hi, Miyoko,

    Just made my first batch of this and hoping I can get some troubleshooting help. The texture of my cheese came out perfectly. However, something funky is going on with the taste. For the first second or so, it tastes mild and great, and then a really strong unpleasant yogurty taste kicks in, making it almost inedible. I followed the instructions to the letter and can only think of three things that could have gone wrong: 1) Maybe my yogurt was the problem? I used Whole Soy & Co plain soy yogurt. When I tasted the yogurt mix after blending, it tasted pretty yogurty, but I assumed that was normal because it was…primarily yogurt. 2) Did I leave it out too long on the counter? I left it out for about 21 hours. 3) Is this just how the cheese tastes and my expectations were out of whack? It’s been a long time since I’ve had dairy and I understand that an exact taste can be tough to replicate out of different materials.

    • It’s hard to say whether or not your expectations were out of whack. I do serve it to omnivores often, and have even been asked where I procured this wonderful buffalo mozzarella from some of them (who obviously didn’t know it was vegan), so it shouldn’t taste weird. After culturing, the cashews and yogurt should meld, and the flavor should be mild but creamy. So I’m not really sure what you are tasting, unfortunately. I can’t tell you whether 21 hours was too long or too short, because every environment is different. It should be somewhat tangy when it’s ready, as it gets milder once you cook it with the agar (strangely).

  33. I made the mozzarella from the book for the first time, and I didn’t have rejuvelac but I make my own kombucha (fermented sweet tea) so used a touch of that for the bacteria action and it worked beautifully. I was thrilled with the results– you totally rock, Miyoko. Thank you for what you do. If I can make excellent vegan cheese, I can help a LOT of people become vegan because the idea of giving up cheese in their life sends them back to the dark side.

  34. There is no way that I can get vegan yogurt here (rural alaska), not even to culture and make my own. I’ve looked online for vegan yogurt starters and I haven’t found anything. Do you have any suggestions on what I should do?

  35. Hi,
    Are there different qualities / types of agar agar ? Can the results be affected by which specific agar agar which is used ? Same question about kappa carrageenan.

  36. Hi Miyoko,
    Does it matter which type of agar agar and which type of kappa carrageenan are used in your cheese recipes ? Are there different qualities ?
    Thank you

  37. LOL I think I actually have all the ingredients for these *ribs in my pantry. If I’m missing anything then it’s the canned tomato paste.

    What kind of person does that make me I wonder?


  38. This recipe is amazing! I try to stay away from soy, so I used coconut yogurt and the taste was out of this world. I didnt think I could go vegan because I’d have to give up cheese. Now I don’t have to. I’ve made several recipes from the book that I love and this particular recipe is “fool an omnivore” good. I made a large caprese salad on the 4th of July and I disappeared! I told everyone after it was gone that it was vegan and I actually made and they couldn’t believe it!!

    • That’s wonderful. If you’re lucky enough to get unsweetened coconut yogurt (I can’t get any where I am), that’s great! I was given some SO Delicious plain Greek Coconut Yogurt once and it worked beautifully in the mozzarella. As for the soy scare, if you’re not allergic, don’t believe it. Most of it can be traced to Weston Price and the dairy industries that want you to stay away from it. Avoid isolate soy protein (burgers, hot dogs), but traditional forms of soy (tofu, tempeh, soy milk) have been consumed for thousands of years safely in Asia.

      • I agree, the anti-soya movement is dairy-mafia BS. Fact: cow’s milk contains 10,000 times more oestrogen than soya, and REAL animal oestrogen which is almost the same throughout all vertebrates and therefore “works” on humans. Besides, I don’t see any politically-motivated demonizing of fennel bulbs, or yams, which are also high in phyto-oestrogens. Sicilians, who love fennel, Nigerians, who love yams, and far-Eastern people, who eat soya, have seen only benefits from these foods.

        • I disagree, soy is estrogenic. Holistic doctors know that breast cancer is caused by high levels of estrogen in the body. I personally would use the coconut yogart. I do eat soy, but not every day. But it’s definitely not some conspiracy by the dairy industry. The fact that estrogen causes breast cancer is verified by holistic doctors like Dr. Hulda Clark.

  39. Patrizia says:

    I made it today and wow, the taste is amazing!! You made a vegan Italian girl very happy today!

  40. Is there a brand of soy yogurt you have used successfully for this recipe? Or do you recommend a homemade yogurt instead?

  41. I am excited to give this recipe a try. I have a question about the plain unsweetened soy yogurt. I am in Canada and have yet to find a truly unsweetened non-dairy yogurt – soy, almond, coconut or otherwise – all of them seem to contain some sort of sweetener. Some are fruit juice sweetened, some are cane juice sweetened and some are agave sweetened – even the plain unflavored ones. Would using a plain but slightly sweetened soy yogurt still work do you think?

    Thanks for all your creativity. This sort of stuff makes me geek out. 🙂

    • You can make your own using a sweetened yogurt as the starter. Just follow the recipe for making yogurt in the book. But if you use the sweetened yogurt as the base of the cheese, your cheese will be sweet!

  42. trijbits says:

    Question about texture: My mixture in the saucepan never became “smooth, glossy, and stretchy.”

    I have watched many of the demo/guide videos and read tips and suggestions from others. I followed the recipe to the letter and used no substitutions–fresh homemade cashew soy yogurt (thank you for that recipe–a nice improvement over the recipe I’d been using before), tapioca starch (Google assures me that it’s the same as tapioca FLOUR), agar powder (kanten) boiled and sufficiently simmered, whisk, wooden spoon, etc., etc. But no matter how long I cooked and stirred the mixture, it became not smooth and glossy, but remained rather like an overly thick white sauce or paste. The cheese balls did firm up in the ice water OK, but the cheese when sliced does not look much like that in the photo. The pot was not much fun to clean out either!

    Any suggestions on what if anything I might be doing wrong?

    • Once you add the fully dissolved agar, you shouldn’t have to cook it much at all. It just needs to be mixed with the cashew mixture. It will indeed look like a thick white sauce or paste, but it should be smooth. How did they look when sliced? Were they too soft? If so, try increasing the agar by a teaspoon (you may want to add an additional 1/4 cup of water to the agar to dissolve). Also, are you keeping the agar pot covered when cooking? That is important to make sure that the heat is trapped within and doesn’t evaporate.

      • trijbits says:

        Thank you very much for your reply and suggestions! To be honest, I had never experienced real mozzarella before transitioning to a plant-based diet. The Better Buffalo Mozzarella certainly came out firmer than the result of my earlier attempt (Meltable Mozzarella), but still, well, not as solid as I would have thought. It has a kind of starchy fluffiness that is rather un-cheeselike on the tongue. I’m toying with the idea of reducing the tapioca flour a bit while increasing the agar next time to see what happens.

        • Okay, what you describe is that the starchiness is from the tapioca not cooking sufficiently. Please excuse my earlier comment about not needing to cook it long – I was momentarily confused! Yes, you didn’t cook it long enough for the starch to cook out, which is why it looked like white sauce (I was temporarily thinking about another cheese, sorry!). You have to cook it until it gets stretchy. It is pretty obvious. The tapioca should not be reduced – it is what creates the stretchy, cheeselike texture. When you say it “never” got that way, I wonder how low your heat was, and how long you cooked it. Maybe turn up the heat once you mix in the agar. It usually only takes me about 5 minutes, but some people have the heat down really low and it takes them 10 or 15 minutes. Buffalo Mozzarella (the real thing) is not firm, however. It is someone fluffy, however. Firm enough to slice, but soft on the tongue, with a little bit of “bounce” to the texture. It should not be starchy – that is from insufficiently cooking the mixture. Reducing the tapioca won’t help at all and will just yield a soft cheese.

          • trijbits says:

            Yes, 5 to 10 minutes in a heavy multi-clad saucepan over a medium gas flame, constantly stirring (I was afraid of burning it). A layer of cooked solid formed on the bottom despite the stirring. OK, if insufficient cooking might be the problem, I’ll try it with a larger saucepan over med-low heat.

            Thanks again for your feedback!

      • trijbits says:

        Endless frustration, but I think I have the answer.

        Continuing my exercise in futility :/ I attempted the Meltable Monterey Jack (page 42). Let me reiterate, I am following the recipes EXACTLY. All went well, until Step 3. I whisked in the thickeners until the mixture was smooth, then turned on the heat. Very soon the mixture started to separate into OIL and a rubbery lumpy BLOB. Further cooking only increased the separation.

        My guess is that while tapioca starch and tapioca flour may be the same thing in the U.S., the tapioca starch available to me (in Japan) is NOT the same as tapioca flour/starch in the U.S. Sadly, further experimenting with recipes that call for tapioca flour will have to be postponed for the time being.

        • I doubt it’s the tapioca, although anything is possible. My tapioca comes from Asia (not Japan), but I’ll ask some Japanese friends what they are using. The mixture does lump up initially, but then after cooking some more, it smooths out.

  43. kihelaine@aol.com says:


    I have made this recipe several times now and I absolutely love it!! I recently served it to a friend of mine who spent a lot of time in Italy and she said, taste wise, it is as delicious as she remembers from Italy. She did say that the texture is different, specifically that it is not as firm as regular Buffalo Mozarella. I was wondering if there is a simple way to make a firmer version, not a block cheese per se but somewhere in between this firmness and a block cheese.

    I continue to use your book, thank you for all of the great recipes!

  44. Hello,
    Posted this on the forum but then noticed it is not active so posting here as well.
    A few questions regarding the basic cashew cheese.
    1. Is the salt necessary ? What is its purpose in the recipe ? Can it be sprinkled on top after transferring the blended cashew to the bowl for curing if it was not added while blending ?
    2. When using the basic cashew cheese for boursin, it says to culture for 1-2 days. After 1 day in 86 degrees, it still doesn’t taste good. Is it supposed to taste good when ready ? How long should it be cultured in hot summer temperatures ?

    • Sorry, but I’m not the best at keeping up with the forum! Need to hire someone to handle my social media. 🙂

      While the salt is not absolutely necessary, a little salt helps lactic acid development and ward off the wrong bacteria. And yes, it is supposed to taste good when it is ready. When it’s right out of the blender, it will taste just like pureed cashews and not much more. After fermenting sufficiently, it will rise a little like bread, thicken greatly, have air pockets due to CO2 released by lactic acid development, and taste tangy or sharp like cheese. It will thicken even more in the refrigerator, enough to mold into different shapes. There is no set rule on how long to culture something. It all depends on the environment. Even at 85 degrees, it might take 2 – 3 days.

      • Forgot to add the salt while blending so sprinkled a bit on top after moving to the container for culturing. Is that sufficient ?
        It’s been a day and a half and it hasn’t started rising at all, but it has started to taste slightly better than the cashewy rejuvelac taste it had at the beginning.
        Should the container be covered ? Is it better to cover it with its plastic lid (a tight cover ) or just with a cotton towel (looser cover that allows more air in) ? Or maybe an airtight container ?

        • You can mix the salt in. I can’t tell you exactly how long it will take in your house. But you will know when it is done, because it won’t taste anything like the mixture in the blender.

          All fermentation takes place in an anaerobic environment, so a lid is good, not a towel.

  45. So easy, so delicious. Thank you so much

  46. Okay, I made it, and it turned out pretty good. I bought some real mozzarella balls to compare them side-by-side. The texture is marginally different–there is a slight fiber to the real mozzarella, probably long chains of protein, that this doesn’t have, but it’s something really only noticeable when you grate the mozzarella (which, of course, this kind of mozzarella is not made for anyway). The flavor was very close, with the cashew cheese being saltier than the milk cheese, and a residual cashew note left. It didn’t make it bad, indeed it was good. Next time, though, I think I’ll cut the salt a little and see what the effect is on the flavor.

  47. Hi Miyoko. Could you use silken tofu instead of soy yogurt? Thanks, looking forward to trying this.

    • You could, but it would be like substituting instant coffee for espresso. The idea behind the book is to let cultured foods, such as yogurt, provide the sharpness of cheese. Tofu isn’t cultured, so while the texture might work, it wouldn’t taste very cheesy.

  48. How do you store the cheese when it’s done? Can it stay in water in the fridge or does it do better in a dry container? I LOVE your book- looking forward to another .

  49. I have your book but had not tried any of the recipes. This was my first attempt. The “cheese” was so good that I have made it twice in 3 days. My omnivore husband asked me to add it to his dinner salad. WONDERFUL recipe . Thank you so much!

  50. Gabrielle says:

    Hi Miyoko,
    I am culturing a batch of cashews and rejuvelac right now(recipe from your wonderful book!) and i just found this recipe. I know that it’s a different recipe but do you think that i can add the yogurt to my already culturing cashews and make the new recipe? Thank you so much!

  51. can you use kombucha instead of rejuvelac?

    • Yes, but get one that is unflavored. It’s a bit sweeter, due to the sugar in kombucha, and it will make a slightly different flavored cheese, but it works.

      • Thank you Miyoko, I make my own Kombucha and like it quite tart so sugar should not be a problem. I will let you know. I have some quinoa Rejuvelac brewing right now ( i will try both to see if any differences) and I am waiting for your book which I ordered via Amazon. Can not wait to try your mozzarella!! I am missing my cheese pizza…..

        Greetings from Quebec


  52. Anna George says:

    I was hoping to make this but couldn’t find any plain non dairy yogurt. I know you say I can make it but I’m short on time. Can I use vegan sour cream instead?

  53. Anna George says:

    I’m hoping to make this but I couldn’t find plain non dairy yogurt. I know you say I can make it but I’m kind of short on time. Could I substitute vegan sour cream instead? In cooking I often swap out yogurt and sour cream. Will the souf cream give it enough of a cultured or cheesy taste? Or do I actually need the yogurt culture for a reaction?

    • I suppose you could. the commercial sour creams are highly processed, however. I do have a sour cream recipe in my book that is truly cultured as well. You can also use a sweetened but plain nondairy yogurt as a starter to make your own.

  54. Hello!

    I tried making this and, despite following the directions, ended up with a gray, gritty material rather than the white, glossy, stretchy deliciousness you show in your video on YouTube. The soy yogurt I had was off color and was on its expiration date. Would this be what caused it to turn gray/gritty? Maybe I was just clueless and used bad yogurt?

    • The yogurt is a critical component of this, so if it is gray, so will this be. The grittiness could have come from either the cashews not being pureed well enough, or the yogurt (I’ve had some yogurt that has the soy fiber in it, making for a less than appealing texture). You can make your own yogurt using the bad one as a starter. As long as the culture is living, you should be able to make a wonderful batch of yogurt that will work.

      • Thank you so much for replying so quickly! There is a smoother brand of soy yogurt I’ve used for other recipes before and I’ll make sure to get that this time. The cashews probably weren’t pureed enough too. That’s something I’ll do differently.

        One more question: Is there an approximate amount of time you’d recommend I cook the mixture in the saucepan? I know it just has to look and feel right, but wasn’t quite sure when to start putting it in the ice water and think I overcooked it too. Slowly but surely I’ll figure this out… 😉

        • It’s hard to give an exact amount of time, Michael, because everyone’s stove is different, and a medium flame to me is different for another person. But the mixture should get thick and very gooey and stretchy. It’ll also have a bit of shine to it. When tasted, you should not be able to detect any starchiness (otherwise the tapioca hasn’t fully cooked out). Good luck!

  55. I’m not having much luck. I tried for the second time today and it’s coming out quite sweet? The first time I let it culture for 12 hours, 22 the 2nd time. The first was sweeter, but neither were really good. The texture was a bit slimier than the dairy version as well. I used unsweetened soy yogurt. I’m going to try to make the homemade yogurt from your book and have another go. Do you any other suggestions? Thank you!


    • Are you sure it’s unsweetened yogurt? Did you read the ingredients? Unfortunately, there is no way to tell you exactly how long to culture the mixture. The only rule I can give you is that you will know when you have cultured it long enough when it no longer tastes like the sum of its parts (that is, cashews and yogurt). It should have a slight tang and depth, and taste like a light cheese. Sweet is not a word to describe it. As for the sliminess, I’m not sure where that is coming from, unless it wasn’t cooked long enough. If it’s too soft for your liking, you can increase the agar by a teaspoon.

  56. Hi,

    I was trying to make the recipe but I made a mistake. Instead of putting only 1/2 a cup of water in the blender I put all the 1 cup. Do you think I could soak other cashews (to double the recipe) then wait for 8 hours and then add it to the blender with the rest of the ingredients (which will be stored in the fridge)? I’m trying to recover from my mistake but I’m not sure this will work. Thanks!! Hopefully you can respond fast!!! (:


    • Yes, I think you can do that. Also, if this is your first time, try increasing the agar by 30% if you want a firmer mozzarella.

  57. Caryn Cumerlato says:

    I’m having trouble with the final product coming out grainy. What would you guess that I’m doing wrong? Thanks for any advice!

  58. Hi Miyoko,

    Can you tell me how much salt to use in weight (gram or oz)? Since sea salt comes in different grain sizes, I’m not sure how much to use!


    • Zhou, the grain sizes will make little difference since the amount is small. Saltiness is also a matter of taste. One person told me she increased the salt in the cheese by 50% because it wasn’t salty enough for her. Why not add to taste? You do want to use a salt that will dissolve easily, so stay away from really hard, rock-like salt, unless you grind it. But slight differences in grain sizes will not make a huge difference. I have used everything from Baja California sea salt to larger, chunky Celtic sea salt, and everything in between, and it does not make a big difference. However, if you need to know what it is in grams, it is about 5 to 6 grams per teaspoon, depending on the grain (the flakier type are lighter).

      • Thank you so much for such prompt and detailed response! I am learning so much from you through your recipes and videos already and it’s been less than a week since I’ve discovered you!

  59. I am on a very strict diet….. Is there any substitution for tapioca flour? I am not allowed any starches or grains, so I have been using either garbanzo bean flour or almond flour and guar and xanthum gum for thickening…. I am dairy free as well and really miss cheese…. Thank you!!

    • The tapioca is primarily to achieve a stretchy texture for the meltable cheeses. You can substitute guar or xanthan gum. For one meltable recipe, try a teaspoon or so. If you add too much, it gets gummy rather than stretchy.

      • Hi miyiko,

        I’ve spent the last hour searching through these comments for the answer to my question and lo and behold, someone asked it here. Unfortunately, I also can’t have xantham gum or guar gum or tapioca flour or most other starches. My main thickeners are spelt or kamut flour for gravies and Irish moss for cold recipes. Garbanzo bean flour or almond meal are also OK for me. Is there any chance any of these would work or do you have any other suggestions that I could try?

        • Tapioca is used specifically because it creates a stretchiness akin to dairy. Potato starch is also stretchy and could possibly be used. Or you could use arrowroot, although it won’t get stretchy. The other thickeners you mention wouldn’t really work for this.

          • What about yam flour?

            By the way, other ingredients you should look into for various substitutions (not necessarily cheese) are urad dal (like a mucilaginous white split pea used for gluten-free goods) and ogbono nuts which are also mucilaginous and could have interesting properties for vegan food

            As a cheap, allergen free substitute for cashews, hemp seeds taste plainer than cashew nuts and are easy and creamy to blend, but you’d have to take the trouble to shell your own seeds because the store-brought hemp hearts are not refrigerated and are rancid.

  60. I have heard great things about this recipe and am excited to try it out. A quick question though – about how much does it yield? I want to make sure I have enough..


  61. Miyoko,

    I am absolutely enamored with this recipe, and with the whole cultured vegan cheese methodology. I finished the first batch of Better Buffalo Mozzarella last night and am eating the last few little balls right now. 🙂 Have another batch culturing already! I’ve been vegan about 4 years and I never really missed cheese, but it’s one of my life goals to show omnis that vegan food is just as good or better! I can’t wait to get a copy of your book and try the meltable mozzarella… pizza is the *only* omni food that I miss, that I haven’t found an acceptable vegan alternative for. I’d also like to work on a vegan mascarpone, and eventually… vegan tiramisu!

    I am so inspired by you!!! Thank you so, so much for all your hard work, dedication, and your excellent cooking advice.

  62. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! My non vegan husband and niece loved it! After making it I stored it in olive oil prepared with garlic, basil, parsley, rosemary and red pepper flakes as one of your users suggested. Do the balls of mozzarella stay firm while refrigerated? I am noticing some disintegration, should I have kept them in the ice bath longer?

    • They can disintegrate some over time in any liquid, although I find they usually keep for a couple of weeks. If you’re going to make this several weeks ahead of time for something, you can always freeze them or increase the agar slightly.

  63. Have you considered making PDFs of this ( and any other improvements ) that can be cut/folded to be put into your book ?

    I just printed this out as-is and folded it to sit next to the Mozzarella recipe in AVC. It would be nice if it could look a bit nicer in there.

    • Jonathan, we will be coming out with a new, full-color edition of AVC. We’ll update recipes, including this one, and add new ones. I think it will be out in late 2015.

  64. Miyoko,

    This was awesome. I mean it came out 12 million times better than I ever thought vegan cheese could. I hate Diaya cheese and was craving caprese salad something awful, so I was so excited to stumble upon this recipe. I made your unturkey for Thanksgiving and everyone was devouring it. I love your recipes. You’re simply amazing!

    I do have a question. The one complaint I have (and it is one hundred percent my fault) is that it’s too grainy. This is because I couldn’t get the cashews fine enough. My blender is a cheap 30 dollar black and decker. I hope to have a vitamix one day, just not today.

    My question is: Do you think that cashew butter (organic, unsweetened) would work instead of grinding cashews? Just don’t add the water?

  65. Alexis Jacobsen says:

    I have your book and was comparing this new recipe to improve the texture of the fresh mozzarella to the one in your book and I see you have cut out rejuvelac. Should the recipe for the sharp cheddar on page 16 also be changed to 1 cup yogurt and 1 cup nuts with 1/2 cup water? Would it make the texture for the cheddar better?

    • Hi, Alex. No, the yogurt for the mozzarella serves as both a culturing agent and texture agent for a soft cheese. The Sharp Cheddar is GREAT if it works. What are the issues you are having? If made and aged properly, it becomes hard, sliceable, and crumbly (like an aged cheddar).

  66. Cel mai bun articol despre A Better Buffalo Mozzarella pe care l-am
    citit ora exacta pana acum!

  67. Hi there! Just ordered your book after luckily coming across the vegan buffalo mozzarella recipe online and I can’t wait to receive it. I live in Europe but have managed to find the book online anyway and have it ships here. Hopefully finding the ingredients won’t be a problem. Thank you for all your hard work that has made it much easier for animal lovers like my husband and I to live vegan happily.

  68. Hello again! Gonna get started and thankfully patience is a virtue I’ve inherited as you encourage us in this process. The book is so well put together and explained beautifully. I have a question. I’ve read through all the comments and gone through a good chunk of the book but I can’t find this detail. I’m sure there is a reason you have chosen cashews as one of your main ingredients, but I was wondering if cashews could be substituted with another nut and achieve similar results. I was thinking mainly about cashews. Reason why is here in Italy they cost a fortune and are very difficult to find. Thanks again!

    • Walnuts I meant to say, sorry not cashews.

    • Hi, Sonia. Cashews are used because they are soft and neutral in flavor. Because of that, they allow for other flavors to come out, and they produce the smoothest cheese. But you can substitute other nuts, although they will impart their own flavor and texture.

  69. I made this today and it turned out so well 🙂 I didn’t have agar agar so I used 1/2 tbsp kappa carageenan powder. Thank you for the recipe!

    I’ve tried making your sharp cheddar cheese recipe from the cookbook a few times but am hopeless at getting it right 🙁 The mixture is smooth when I blend it in my vitamix but when I cook the mixture, it’s loses the smoothness and goes crumbly. x

    • You may be cooking it a tad bit too long. However, after you chill it, wrap it in cheesecloth and let it dry in the fridge for a couple of weeks or longer. It will become firm and sliceable, a bit like aged, slightly crumbly cheddar.

  70. Another question about the yogurt. I usually make my own, and the starter I use is “direct set”–one time use, you’re not supposed to be able to take the resulting yogurt and use it as a starter for another batch. Do you think this kind of yogurt would work in your recipe, or would I be better off buying some at the store? Thanks!

    • Yes, it will work. And my guess is that you can use that yogurt to make another batch. Does it say anywhere that it can’t be used? Just scientifically, it doesn’t make sense — the bacteria should be able to grow if given the right environment.

  71. Dear Miyoko,

    First of all thank you for your vegetarian cheese-recepies. I have been trying several times doing the mozzarella cheese, as everyone is talking so good about it and I really miss my mozzarella. But it always turns out un-eatable. The texture is really good, but the taste is horrible. It taste sort f paper or cardboard. What am I doing wrong. I am doing it exactly like on the recepy. First I thougt it is the soy joghurt, so I replaced it with coconut joghurt, than I thougt maybe I did not let in on the heat enough, so maybe the taste of the stark remains. But it can’t be. Could it be the taste of the Agar agar? Maybe you have an idea? I would love to have some mozzarella, and it seems to be so easy to everybody else doing it…

    • Val, it’s really hard for me to guess why you are having this problem. Paper or cardboard? Agar has no flavor. Are you sure you cultured it long enough? It is the culturing process that will make it taste like mozzarella. How are the yogurts you are using on their own? If they are not tasty, your cheese won’t be good. You might want to make your own yogurt — there’s a recipe in the book.

  72. Veronica says:

    Hi Miyoko! I had the good fortune to watch your cooking demonstration at Farm Sanctuary this month! Can you please confirm if this is the same recipe that you used for the mozzarella that you made at the FS Orland Hoe Down? I was so impressed with the quality and simplicity of the demo, that I am excited to make this myself!
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes!

    • Yes, Veronica! This is it! If you start with good, homemade soy yogurt (recipe in my book), it will even be better!

      • Veronica says:

        Awesome! Thanks for the super fast response! I am starting the recipe today. 🙂

  73. They are saying people with latex allergies should stay away from tapioca because tapioca is related to the rubber plant. What can I substitute for tapioca?

  74. Paula K says:

    Dear Miyoko,

    i am really excited about this recipe and want to try it as soon as possible. I just wondered if i can replace the tapioca starch with arrowroot starch?

    Thanks a lot!


    • You can, but it won’t have the same stretchy texture. Arrowroot is more gelatinous than it is stretchy or cheese-like in texture.

  75. Pixellow says:

    I just made this yesterday and it is excellent!! I heard you speak and bought your book at a show a couple of years ago and have been making your cheeses ever since! My question here is about tiny hard little bits of what I assume is the agar agar that I bit into in the cheese. Not a lot, but I would of course like to avoid this. I’m wondering what I might be doing wrong. I think I am mixing things pretty well and consistently. Any thoughts on how I can make sure that this doesn’t happen? It’s otherwise perfect and DELICIOUS! I used coconut yogurt, FYI.

    • Sounds like it isn’t being fully dissolved, or the agar is being added to cold mixture. Are you using agar powder or flakes? You might want to watch my video on YouTube on how to cook agar properly so it doesn’t form hard little lumps.

      • Pixel low says:

        Thank you for the info. I am using powder and will definitely check out the video.

  76. juliana says:

    Hi there. Just made it , i dont know what i did wrong but it is shaped into balls but they are mushy in texture and its pretty tasteless like it needs salt or something… help!!

    • If they are tasteless, you probably didn’t culture it long enough for flavor to develop. Did you add salt? Sounds like you forgot the salt or didn’t add enough. Keep in mind that mozzarella is a mild cheese. In terms of mushiness, it is most likely that the agar was not cooked enough. I have a video on Youtube that shows how to cook agar properly for the cheese. This is a very common problem with an ingredient Americans aren’t well-versed using. Here’s a link to the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oa8rA7hT5dc Good luck!

      • Miyoko please list the weight of ingredients in your next book please. 1 1/2 tsp salt for example can be different depending on whether it’s coarse, kosher, mortons etc. Love your recipes! In cooking I use weights and percentages so they are consistent. thanks!

        • John, I would, and at home I have multiple scales as I weigh just about everything. But the style of books in the US is to list things volumetrically rather than by weight. It is an editorial decision, not necessarily mine! Sorry!

  77. I love your book and have made a lot of cheese. Would love if you could post updates and corrections, errata, somewhere, maybe here? Thanks

    • The publisher is talking about a revised edition, so will do so there. If you have specific questions, feel free to ask me!

  78. Hi Miyoko,
    I just made this and must have messed up!! Please tell me what I did wrong? The texture is very gooey and it tastes a little flourey….. can I save it?

    • It sounds like you did not cook it long enough to cook the starch, which is why it is soft and starchy. When cooked, there should be no residual starchiness. IT should be very shiny and smooth, without a note of starchiness (what you call floury). You might be able to save it by re-cooking, but if I were you, I would add some wine and water, some nutritional yeast, garlic, etc., and turn it into a sauce for pasta. There’s always a way to save something!

  79. My very omnivorous friends invited me over for a vegan meal. They wanted to make a Caprese salad and asked about alternatives and offered to make your cheese for them. I just finished a batch and wow! Oh wow wow wow! I can’t believe the texture or taste!

    Unfortunately, I screwed up one ingredient. I grabbed the WholeSoy plain yogurt since it was recommended in the forums but didn’t realize until after I mixed everything together that the one I grabbed had cane sugar in it. Bad on me for not reading the ingredients! I should have realized that the little cups usually have sugar in them of some sort. Our local coop doesn’t carry large tubs of WholeSoy so I’ll switch to Nancy’s next time, at least until I make my own. I may try the So Delicious Greek Style Coconut Yogurt if I can find it.

    Fortunately, my friends postponed the dinner so I can get it right next time. In the meantime, I’ll have lots of wonderful cheese to eat. Yummy! Even though it came out a tiny bit sweet due to the cane sugar in the yogurt, it’s delicious and so much better than Daiya’s mozzarella, which I’ve found to be extremely sweet.

    Two questions:

    1) Does this cheese melt or do I need to use the meltable mozzarella cheese recipe in your book? This recipe looked like a cross between your two mozzarella cheese recipes so I wasn’t sure. It would be great if I could use it for Caprese Salad and pizza. 🙂

    2) Should we add 1 teaspoon of sea salt to the ice water bath like the two recipes call for in your book or is it enough to just store the cheese in a brine after they’ve been made?

    Thanks in advance for answering my questions!

    • So Delicious Greek Style Coconut Yogurt works like a charm in this. I’m less enthralled with Nancy’s, which is an odd brown color.
      For melting, you can add some refined coconut oil or canola oil to this recipe, or just make the meltable. Let me know what your Omni friends think!

      • Thanks for responding so quickly! Do I add ⅓ c oil like the meltable mozzarella recipe? I’ll definitely let you know what my omni friends think. The dinner has been moved to the 28th. I’ll make it with the So Delicious Greek Style Coconut Yogurt. I’m sure Whole Foods carries it if the PCC doesn’t. BTW, my veterinarians have offered to be cheese tasters for me! They couldn’t believe the mozzarella I made. Can’t wait to try this yogurt and bring some in for them.

      • My friends absolutely loved it! They were dreading tasting it (they’ve had store-bought vegan cheese) but after they did, they ended up putting it on everything in the meal. I was astonished! They even commented that they’d like to have it again and one person asked if your book had a recipe for feta cheese. By the end of dinner, one was starting to talk about maybe she would try eating a plant-based diet now that she knows there are good alternatives to the things that she’d miss. Wow!

        I’d upload a picture of the Caprese salad here but it doesn’t look like we can in the comments. I’ll check over at the forums. Thanks so much for the changes to this recipe and for the suggestion to use So Delicious Greek-Style Coconut Yogurt. It made a difference.

        • Fantastic! Love it when the omnis find something that will help them transition. My next book, The Homemade Vegan Pantry, has an excellent Feta cheese recipe in it. It is brined, and gets better and better over the weeks.

  80. Hi Miyoko, Kind of a generic question while I’m waiting impatiently for your book to come in! I was wondering if you’ve ever experimented with glucomannan, (konjac) the starch used for making shirataki noodles, as a thickener for cheese or plant milk yogurts other than soy that need some help with body when culturing? It seems like a natural, especially for yogurt because you can just mix it right into the liquid and add the culture. I often make mixed plant milks and just got some glucomannan, and was curious to try it out. Soy usually sets up fine, but most of the others need some help, and I don’t really like the effect of adding some starches. Haven’t tried agar yet either. Thanks in advance, and for all you do!

    • I haven’t used konjac for yogurt yet. Konjac reacts with pickling lime to set — it doesn’t just set by itself. I have used it for other things. It also doesn’t liquify when exposed to heat, so it’s not great for jelling purposes. I have suggestions for getting almond yogurt to set up in my upcoming book, The Homemade Vegan Pantry.

  81. Hi miyoko 🙂 i love all ur creations !!!
    Wanted to ask ur advice on two things :
    1- if i will add a bit of rejuvelac and a bit of xanthan gum to this cheese – i would like to have a bit more cheesy tast and a bit more struchy of the cheese. Would it be ok or its a waste of ingridient and time ?
    2- what kind of blender do u recommand to use to get this creamy
    Blends. I saw u have red blender what is this brend ?and do u recomand on vitamix or there are some other brends who could work fine for the cheeses cream ?

    • Hi, Tula. First, regarding the blender — I use a Blendtec or Vitamix. In my video, I use a Blendtec. They both work well, although you do need to use the damper (stick thing) for the Vitamix. Regarding the cheese you want to make cheesier — which one are you talking about? Adding more rejuvelac will just make your cheese softer. It is culturing it longer that will make it cheesier. You want to give the lactic acid bacteria time to grow. Xanthan gum will make it stretchier, as will tapioca starch if cooked. But it all depends on the type of cheese you’re trying to make.

  82. Hi I want to try this but can the mixture be left in the fridge fir the 8 to 12 hours instead of the counter I have a very crafty dog who would no doubt find a way to get it

    • Hi, Debra. Can you find a spot high on a shelf away from your crafty dog? The mixture needs to be in a warm place for fermentation to happen. Below 60 degrees, the bacteria have a hard time growing.

  83. We made your mozzarella from your book and placed it into the brine about 20 minutes ago. They still seem very soft, any suggestions?

    • I have a video you might watch about this. I suspect that it is inadequate cooking of agar, if that is the recipe you used, or using the wrong type of carrageenan (should be kappa), if you are talking about the meltable mozzarella. In either case, I have a video of both. For the first, go here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oa8rA7hT5dc

      If it’s the meltable mozzarella, this video might be helpful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce2e8bfw5IU

      • I’m pretty sure we did the agar powder right..hmm. Do you think if we give the agar another go, and re-blend the mozzarella in the new agar, it will possibly work?

        • If you are very familiar with agar, it’s possible it was done correctly, but that’s the part that I’ve found people struggle with the most. Most people don’t know how to cook it properly, and without really boiling it, it doesn’t set. I would definitely try reblending the cheese and adding more agar. You could even increase it a bit, maybe by 25% or so.

          • I’ve done the process over 4 times total. They are still as soft as in the beginning. I followed your video, brought agar to a boil, simmered agar down every time for 5 minutes till it looked just like what you had in the video. I’m not sure what’s going on?

          • I’m so sorry you are having trouble. It must be really frustrating! Are you using powder agar?

          • Yes, from Mountain Mama’s. It gels up all nice in the pan, whats left. Just won’t gel up once it’s blended in with the cashews cheese. I guess we will just turn it into a soft cheese. Any suggestions?

          • Each time you re-process, you need to increase the agar because the mixture has a higher water content (from the water you added to dissolve the agar the first time). So if you re-processed it four times, the mixture is getting diluted each time, making it harder to get it firm. Are you making the mozzarella from the book or this blog? I would suggest that you start from scratch and simply increase the agar by 50% from the get-go. Also, are you cooking the mixture after you add the tapioca so that it gets really thick, stretchy, and glossy?

          • There’s no tapioca in the book for the fresh mozzarella recipe.

          • Okay, sounds like you’re making the recipe from the book.. Try this one on the blog — people have more success with it. I’ve taught it all over the country, and it seems to be better for most.

  84. Finally, a yogurt recipe that’s not a dessert. Thanks for sharing this.

  85. Henrietta says:

    I found this recipe today (17/3/2015) so it’s a long time since you posted it. I have a question (well, three questions really, but they are related).

    1. How long will it keep in the fridge

    2. Can it be frozen?

    3. Should it be stored in water as commercial non vegan mozzarella is packed?

    Thank you


    • It keeps for a couple of weeks. You needn’t keep it in water, but you can marinate it in brine (where it will deepen in flavor), or olive oil, or your favorite dressing. It’s best not to freeze as it changes the texture.

  86. This is amazing! Thank you, Miyoko. I have one question: is there anyway I can replace the cashews with something else? I try to keep it low fat.. Or reduce them maybe? And how many mozzarella balls does this make?


    • Celine, any time you make a substitution of a major ingredient, it changes the recipe. You could try oats, but of course, it will be different. How many balls? Depends on the size you make. It makes about a pound.

  87. After becoming vegan a year ago I find there’s only three non vegan things I really miss and buffalo cheese pizza is one of them. Could this be adapted to a pizza cheese?

  88. hello , i am not a vegan so do you think i can use dairy plain yogurt

  89. for your meltable mozzarella recipe if i use agar powder how much do i need

    • Agar is not heat-reversible except at very high heat. It will soften, but not melt like carrageenan. You can use the same amount of powdered, or increase it a little for a firmer consistency.

  90. Itay Raphael Oron says:

    Hi Miyoko,

    I have read the recipe in VegNews Magazine and have a question:
    The VegNews version calls for a 24 ounces soy yogurt that should be drained to 1 cup thick yogurt. The recipe here calls for 1 cup soy yogurt without mentioning its texture. Why the difference and how it will affect the final result?

    Thank you !

    • The process and other ingredients are different, resulting in one recipe requiring thicker yogurt than the other.

  91. Hi, I’ve been a vegetarian for 5 years now and have only gone vegan in the last few weeks. The idea of giving up cheese is what has been standing in my way. So this really helps. Thanks! I made this recipe tonight and it tastes great. It makes nice, sliceable balls, however mine came out just a bit softer in texture than I would like. They are solid but a tad mushier than actual mozzarella. I could only find agar flakes , which I increased to three tablespoons, dissolved, then blended, then boiled before adding to the mixture. My soy yoghurt was also a bit runnier than some. What is the best way to firm things up? More agar? Press the yoghurt? More Tapioca? Just wondering how I should go about improving the consistency. Or is it that these are just going to be a bit softer than mozzarella? Regardless, they are still great. So much so that I just ordered two of your cookbooks. Thanks again.

    • Agar flakes don’t work as well. You need about 6 times the amount to make them work, and then you have to increase the liquid, which makes it difficult. Asian grocery stores generally have an inexpensive brand called Telephone Brand, which works great. The runni-ness of the soy yogurt isn’t really too big of an issue. You can drain it in cheesecloth, however, which will improve the consistency some. Too much tapioca makes it too gooey. I think you need to get powdered agar.

    • Agar flakes don’t work as well. You need about 6 times the amount to make them work, and then you have to increase the liquid, which makes it difficult. Asian grocery stores generally have an inexpensive brand called Telephone Brand, which works great. The runni-ness of the soy yogurt isn’t really too big of an issue. You can drain it in cheesecloth, however, which will improve the consistency some. Too much tapioca makes it too gooey. I think you need to get powdered agar.

  92. you mentioned in one of the comment that in melt-able Mozzarella You can try using a low-sugar pectin instead of Carageenan,
    can you please mention the amount of pectin to be used?

    • Low-sugar pectin will work to an extent, but makes a VERY tangy — too tangy — cheese. The tanginess is also not the same as for cheese (which is more savory and sharp). Also, most of the no-sugar pectins are cut with dextrose or another sugar, so it adds sweetness as well. You can actually buy pure pectin in bulk (try modernistpantry.com), and while that works better because of its strength and lack of sweetness, it is still too sweet. Try agar instead. In low amounts, it will thermo-reverse.

  93. Veggplant Parmesan says:

    Hi Miyoko! I’m so happy to stumble upon your page. I’ve recently turned vegan and am finding it exciting and enriching. My boyfriend is not planning to turn vegan but he has been incredibly open-minded. His favorite recipe that I make (and his favorite dish period) is eggplant parmesan, so I’m searching for substitutions because I would love to knock his socks off with a vegan version. The search for mozzerella is what led me to you.

    Will this recipe work in Eggplant Parmesan, where it is layered and baked with eggplant and tomato sauce? Will it melt/soften, or do you have an alternate suggestion for this?


  94. I tried making this today and the texture and everything turned out just great but I’m not a fan of the taste at all. Unfortunately I don’t think I will be able to eat it. I am going to try making it again with a different yogurt. I used Nancy’s, do you think that is why it didn’t taste very good? I also have access to yoso and so delicious (but not the greek style ones yet). What do you recommend?

    • Oh, I’m sorry, but the yogurt does in fact affect the flavor. I’m not a fan of Nancy’s, either. Try making your own yogurt (recipe in my book). You can also try So Delicious’ Greek Style Unsweetened Yogurt if you can get it.

      • That’s what I figured. Thank you for your response. I have never seen the greek style yogurt (I live in Canada) so I will try making my own. Thanks again 🙂

  95. Hi Myoko! I made this cheese today, what fun! I used the yogurt recipe from your Vegan Pantry book, using unsweetened soy milk. The recipe worked great, but the end result is a little on the soft side (although I did use agar powder). Also, I can taste the yogurt in it, which doesn’t seem right. Please help, I want to perfect these. By the way, I am having so much fun with your books! I love your smoked provolone recipe. Thank you!

    • It sounds like it wasn’t quite cultured long enough if you can still taste the yogurt. You may also want to adjust the salt. As for the texture, make sure that the agar is completely dissolved. Sorry this reply is so late — I have been having problems with this site.

  96. I make my own cultured coconut yoghurt so I tried it with this recipe. I have to say, this is probably one of the tastiest dairy replacement recipes I ever had/made. Thank you so very much.

  97. Bill Colangelo says:

    you boil the yogurt so it kills the acidopholus. I wanted to do something sliceable but with live cultures (like cheese was before they sterilized it)

    • There are plenty of recipes in Artisan Vegan Cheese that have “live” cultures. However, the aim of the recipes isn’t to produce raw or “live” foods — the aim is to make vegan cheese. The other mozzarella recipe in my book preserves the cultures, so you might want to try that.

  98. Hi Miyoko,
    thanks a lot for sharing. This mozzarella tastes so good that I ordered your cheese book today! I have a question though; my mozzarella got firm, but it’s very soft, kind of like dough. It’s almost impossible to slice it, it just falls apart. Any idea what might have happened?
    Greetings from a Swiss lactose intolerant cheese lover.

  99. Hi – want to make this – is there a substitute for the agar powder – I have agar flakes but not powder??? Thank you…

    • Hi Fran,
      The Agar Flakes will work, but they just take additional time to work with. Here is a quick comparison between flakes and powder.
      “Agar flakes are available in most grocery stores. They thicken well, requiring 2-3 minutes of boiling to soften, and must be blended for a smooth result. Agar Powder is cheaper, easier and quicker to use. It dissolves in water almost instantly, can be cooked very briefly to soften, and does not require blending. Find agar powder online.”

  100. Hey Miyoko! I tried this recipe and it turned out soooo wonderful! Thank you for posting this. I shared with my mum and Italian carnivore boyfriend and got the omnivore approval from both.

    Really loved it. I linked back to your website in my post. Hope that’s cool. 🙂

    Cheers from Canada!


  101. I´ve made those about ten times, I absolutely love your mozzarella ( And I´ve tried many different Mozzarella recipes)
    My omnis like it to, especially in caprese salad.
    Thank you very much!

  102. Lady, You knocked this one out of the park! FYI, I suddenly got busy and had to refrigerate the cashew/coconut yogurt blend after they’d completed their window sit…and didn’t get back to them for THREE days. I did not bring that mix to room temperature before adding it to the hot agar & water, but I didn’t have any problems of crystallization, as some mentioned in previous comments. I was patient as I stirred and stirred (~20 minutes), decided to sprinkle just a wee bit of agar on top (1/16th teaspoon) because I was feeling a bit panicky, but when i thought, “screw it” and plopped my first ball into the ice bath…MAGIC! These are delicious. Thank you, thank you Miyoko.


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  17. […] Ihr Mozzarella-Rezept klang nicht nur einfach, sie benutzt es als Demo-Rezept für Vorträge und veröffentlichte es sogar auf Ihrer eigenen Website. […]

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