Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How to make Your Own Delicious Cheese in Japan

This cheese comes out as a crumbly, creamy cheese perfect for salads, toast, and any dish that you could imagine putting a cheese with a consistency of feta. The final product tastes very creamy, and you can add to the flavor by adding salt and spices of your choice. For instance, some of the cheeses have added salt, pepper, basil, oregano, dill, rosemary, garlic chips. It's really up to you. You can follow this recipe, but there are also lots of videos on Youtube about this process.

The Milk:
I just learned the other night that milk in Japan is often pasteurized at a higher temperature than some other countries, which is why it affects the flavor. News to me. However, if you find a milk with a lower temperature, it will be creamier and thus, your cheese will be more delicious. Have fun choosing your milk.

The heating of the milk:
Warm the milk on a low heat in a pan until a slight film forms at the top. When the film covers the surface, that's when you know it's time to pour in the lemon juice.

Putting the lemon in:
It's probably best to squeeze the juice from 1 lemon into a bowl before you heat the milk. Mix the milk as you pour in the lemon.

The Curdling of the Milk:
Soon after you pour in the lemon juice, you will notice the chemical reaction separating the solids from the liquids. The solid, white chucks are called the curds, and the yellowish liquid is called the whey. Yes! Curds and Whey, just like the stuff Little Miss Muffet eats!

The Cotton Stuff:
It may be hard to find cheesecloth in stores of Japan, but a good substitute might be this netted gauze (which is not gauze at all) which can be found at Daiso 100 yen shop.

The Net all ready for pouring:
Set up the net above a pan that can hold the contents of the curds and whey pan.

Pour it in, Pour it in:
Pour slowly, allowing the netted gauze to catch the curds and drain the whey. If it gets clogged, you can scrape the bottom with a spoon.

Wrap it up and push it down:
After you let the whey drain out of the net, you need to wrap it up and squeeze the excess whey out of the cheese to give it a solid, cheesey consistency. You can set up something like this and place a heavy object to create pressure on the cheese wrap.

Eat it up:
Before you take it out and sprinkle it on your food, feel free to mix it with salt, pepper, or the other spices listed above.

Enjoy your cheese!

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