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Wasabi Vegan Cheese with Tomato Arugula Salsa | Cashew Based | Oil-Free

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Bob and I are fans of wasabi so anytime I can come up with a recipe that includes it, well, Bob is always game. That is why I created today’s recipe. My sweet Bob has been working so hard on the site (background grunt work) – the type of work that goes unseen, except by me. So, I decided to make him a special treat. To complement and balance the wow-factor of the wasabi cheese I made a “salsa” of yellow cherry tomatoes, sliced green onion, and arugula microgreens.  Simple but the flavors paired so well. When I went back to see if he was enjoying it, half of the cheese and salsa were gone. Now, that’s a good sign!

vegan cashew based cheese with agar

Taste and Texture

If you are looking for a delicious way to tap into your culinary creativity, this recipe just might inspire you. We will dive into that down below but first, let’s talk taste and texture. This cheese has a wonderful mouthfeel, it’s not creamy like cream cheese or firm like cheddar cheese… it’s somewhere in between, sort of in a class of its own. It holds up well and stays staple sitting out at room temperature during festive gatherings or for grazing spouses.

Each ingredient shines through when you take a bit. You experience a gentle heat from the wasabi, which people sometimes describe as a feeling of wasabi heat going “up their nose” when they take a bite followed by saltiness and umami that the miso and nutritional yeast add to the cheese.  It tastes great on crackers or as an added layer to a sandwich. We were out of crackers and I didn’t have time to make any, so I toasted Bob some gluten-free bread to eat it on.

vegan cashew based cheese with agar

Ingredient Run-Down

Wasabi Powder

Agar Powder

White Chickpea Miso

vegan cashew based cheese with agar

Shapes and Molds

When creating vegan cheese such as this recipe with the ingredient agar, you can be so creative and use darn near any object for a mold. The main thing you want to avoid is molds/containers that have a lip that curls inward, which would permit the cheese from popping out. Silicone molds are the best but I have used small glass containers, bread pans, mini tart pans, beakers, and so forth. There is NO need to grease or line the container either. So much fun!

I hope you are all safe and healthy as we venture through this new way of life. Please be sure to leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you. blessings and health, amie sue

vegan cashew based cheeseIngredients:

yields 2 cups

Cheese base:

Agar slurry:


Cheese base:

  1. Soak the cashews in 1 cup of water to soften them.  Once done soaking, drain and discard the soak water.
  2. Set aside a 2 cup container (mold). You can use just about anything to mold the cheese in.  Be creative. I find that I don’t need to grease or line the mold, the cheese just pops out.
  3. Wasabi paste – whisk the wasabi powder and 2 Tbsp of water in a small bowl. Set aside for 15 minutes.
    • Creating a paste first will help activate the wasabi flavor. See the Ingredient Run-Down section above.
  4. In a blender add the water, cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, miso, wasabi paste, salt, mustard, onion powder, and garlic powder and blend until smooth.  Check for grit, if you feel any, keep blending.  A food processor won’t work for this cheese, in case you were wondering.

Agar slurry:

  1. Place 3/4 cup of water and agar in a small saucepan.  Whisk together until the slurry just starts to get a small boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, whisking often, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until completely dissolved.
  2. Once the slurry is ready, start the blender and get a vortex going.  Quickly but carefully pour the agar slurry into the blender, add the dried minced onion and dill.  Blend for about 10 seconds.  As the agar slurry starts to cool it starts to thicken, so don’t dilly-dally here.
  3. Pour into container(s) and cool uncovered in the refrigerator.
  4. When completely cool, cover and chill several hours.  To serve, turn out of the container and slice.
  5. Store covered in the refrigerator.  It will keep 5 to 7 days.

2 thoughts on “Wasabi Vegan Cheese with Tomato Arugula Salsa | Cashew Based | Oil-Free

  1. Joanie says:

    Amie Sue! This is the most amazing cheese ever! I love it! I found the Japanese wasabi and agar at my Asian store (so much cheaper) than elsewhere. I doubt I will be able to stop eating it! Thank you for creating such stupendous recipes! I have never understood why so many want to eat foods that harm when clearly they could eat foods that heal and are absolutely delicious! Thank you!

    • amie-sue says:

      Oh, a girl after my own heart. Nothing like a clearing of the sinuses with a good dose of wasabi! lol I think many people are AFRAID of healthy foods… let’s face it, back in the day, they didn’t have a good reputation for tasting delicious. Minds need to be opened so they can experience all the amazing flavors of healthy ingredients. Plus, I really believe that people’s taste buds are numbed down by all the chemical-laden, fast foods, that they have grown accustomed to. I know that when I started eating more whole foods, my taste buds WOKE up, not only could I taste food better but my sense of smell is that of a hound dog. Ask Bob. lol He jokes about how well I can smell things. So many benefits!

      Thank you for sharing with us. Enjoy and have a blessed day, amie sue

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