Japanese-Spiced Goat Cheese Ball with Pistachios

Japanese-Spiced Goat Cheese Ball - an easy, gluten-free party appetizer. It's filled with Japanese spices and covered in toasted pistachios! by Lisa Lin of healthynibblesandbits.com

Here’s the deal. I’m starting a cheese lovers’ club, and you’re all invited. It was supposed to be called a cheese appreciation society, but that sounded too high-brow, too much of a pinky-in-the-air kind of a thing. We all know that we get down and dirty with cheese over here.

She doesn’t know this yet, but I’ve already named my talented friend, Sarah, the Creative Cheese Officer (I swear I’ll come up with a better title later.) She’s a miracle worker with all the cheesy and gluten-free things. Just take a look at her seeded cheddar Brazilian cheese bread and her almost no-bake pumpkin cheesecake mousse. Scrumcheesylicious.

And guess what, you all came just in time to help welcome a new member to the cheese club: Sarah and Lucas’s #cheesebabygirl! (Okay, so maybe she’s not due until next month, but I’m already making #cheesebabygirl part of the club.)

To celebrate, a huge group of bloggers and I are getting together for a cheese and sweets soirée, the #cheesebabyshower. I hope you came with an empty stomach because you’re going to want to snag a bite of all the dishes we’re bringing to the party!

When I visited Sarah last year to make macarons, she and Lucas were so sweet and took me out for dinner at one of their favorite Japanese spots! (Seriously, guys, what did I do to deserve that?!) Besides the good food and company, I still remember my first Ici ice cream and being educated about criss-cross applesauce. Fun times.

Inspired by our Japanese feast, I’m bringing a Japanese-spiced cheese ball to the #cheesebabyshower. I’ve added a ton of furikake to the inside and outside of the cheeseball. You’ll also find a tiny hint of spice from the shichimi togarashi—not enough to light your throat on fire but enough to make you wonder what you just tasted. Friends, I actually could not stop dipping into this cheese ball as I was shooting photos of it. My family couldn’t help themselves either.

Japanese-Spiced Goat Cheese Ball - an easy, gluten-free party appetizer. It's filled with Japanese spices and covered in toasted pistachios! by Lisa Lin of healthynibblesandbits.com

I hope you’re ready to eat because here’s a feast of cheese and sweet eats coming right at you:

Cheesy Things

Sweet Things

Cheesy & Sweet Things

Japanese-Spiced Goat Cheese Ball - an easy, gluten-free party appetizer. It's filled with Japanese spices and covered in toasted pistachios! by Lisa Lin of healthynibblesandbits.com
Japanese-Spiced Goat Cheese Ball - an easy, gluten-free party appetizer. It's filled with Japanese spices and covered in toasted pistachios! by Lisa Lin of healthynibblesandbits.com

Japanese-Spiced Goat Cheese Ball - an easy, gluten-free party appetizer. It's filled with Japanese spices and covered in toasted pistachios! by Lisa Lin of healthynibblesandbits.com

MASTER MY MISTAKES / COOKING NOTES

  • Pistachios: For this recipe, I used roasted, unsalted pistachios and shucked them out of the shell, one by one. It was tedious. My fingers hated it. But it was worth it. The nuts tasted and looked much better than the raw pistachios I find in bulk bins or the toasted shelled pistachios I get at Trader Joe’s. Of course, if you are pressed for time, just use shelled pistachios.
  • Furikake: There are some varieties of furikake that are not gluten free. Be sure to check the labels! Generally, nori komi furikake is a good bet for being gluten free.
  • Softening Cream Cheese: First of all, you’re better off mixing the cheese with a wooden spoon than using you food processor. Cleaning the food processor after it’s been caked with creamy cheese is no fun. If you’re mixing the cheese by hand, try using softened cheese at room temperature. I cut the cheese into small chunks and left it on my counter for an hour to soften it.
  • Gluten-Free Crackers: The crackers that you see in the photos are Mary’s Gone Crackers’ original crackers. I just happened to pick these up before shooting the photos, and I thought they tasted awesome!

If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes by leaving a comment or sending me a message! Or take a photo of the food and tag me on Instagram so that I can give you a fist bump. I love seeing your creations!

P.S. For all inquiries about the cheese lovers’ club, reach us at 1-800-CHEESE-4-U. (Kidding! But wouldn’t it be awesome if that was a real number?)

Japanese-Spiced Goat Cheese Ball - an easy, gluten-free party appetizer. It's filled with Japanese spices and covered in toasted pistachios! by Lisa Lin of healthynibblesandbits.com

15

Japanese-Spiced Goat Cheese Ball with Pistachios

1 hr, 15 Prep Time

1 hr, 15 Total Time

Save Recipe

Ingredients

    Cheese Ball Filling
  • 8 oz (225g) goat cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 8 oz (225g) neufchâtel cheese (or low-fat cream cheese), softened at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 TBS chopped chives
  • 3 TBS furikake (seaweed rice seasoning)
  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven-spice)
  • pinch of salt, if necessary
  • Pistachio Crust
  • 2/3 cup (90g) shelled roasted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 1 TBS black sesame seeds
  • 1 TBS furikake

Instructions

  1. Mix the goat cheese and neufchâtel cheese in a bowl. Stir in chives, furikake, sesame seeds, and shichimi togarashi. Use 1/4 teaspoon of the shichimi togarashi if you want only a faint trace of heat in the cheese. I used 1/2 teaspoon. Add a pinch of salt, if you like. Scrape cheese onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and shape into a ball. Wrap cheese ball tightly and refrigerate for an hour.
  2. Mix chopped pistachios, sesame seeds and furikake on a plate. Roll chilled cheese ball on the chopped nuts. Sprinkle more chives and shichimi togarashi on the cheese ball, if you like. Use leftover chopped pistachios for your salad or soup.
  3. Serve immediately. Store leftover cheese in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Recipe Type: gluten free, appetizer
http://healthynibblesandbits.com/japanese-spiced-goat-cheese-ball/

Nutrition

Calories: 151 cal
Fat: 12.2g g

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to the furikake and shichmi togarashi. They’re always on hand in my pantry. 

40 thoughts on “Japanese-Spiced Goat Cheese Ball with Pistachios

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  8. Traci | Vanilla And Bean

    How fun the two of you got together to make Macaroons! Getting to chat over dinner must have been a blast. One of the best things about blogging is meeting your blogging friends! This cheeseball is perfection, Lisa, although I’ve never tried furikake, I imagine it is delicious and is bold with umami. Gorgeous presentation. I’d devour it!

    Reply
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  14. Erika

    WOWOWOW. Just when I think the recipes can’t get any more awesome…a Japanese-spiced goat cheese ball!??! I HEART FURIKAKE SO MUCH IT’S NOT EVEN FUNNY. I love this; it is for sure going on my shortlist for entertaining the next group of people I have over! I also LOVE your photography (how do you edit your photos?! Do you use filters or is this just your insane natural talent?) and your “master my mistakes cooking notes”–I have a feeling they’re going to come in super handy when I try making this. So much love for you, this and Sarah!!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Post author

      Thank you SO much, Erika!! Your kind words mean a lot to me! Sometimes, I use filters (especially when I want those dramatic shadow-intense photos). Other times, (especially for my brighter photos) I’ll just play around with the settings in Lightroom. Black foam boards are also my friend! Thanks again!

      Reply
  15. Karen @ The Food Charlatan

    I think you should stick with “Creative Cheese Officer” for Sarah’s title. Can I be the cheesy underling? or maybe Captain Sharp Cheddar? General Goat Cheese? okay this is going nowhere, I’m embarrassing myself. LOOOOVE this cheese ball Lisa!!

    Reply
  16. Amanda Paa

    Yay for this amazing baby shower, and your gorgeous cheeseball. I think it might be the savory snack I would take a bite of first. I remember when you visited Sarah last year, and that’s actually how I stumbled about your blog. Truth: great people introduce us to other great people. xo

    Reply
    1. Lisa Post author

      Yes, indeed! I’m so glad to be able to get to know other food bloggers through mutual blogger friends. Thank you so much, Amanda!

      Reply
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  18. Sarah @ SnixyKitchen

    Omg – I forgot about Criss Cross Applesauce (I still don’t remember HOW it came up though haha). Japanese inspired goat cheese ball?! This is the stuff my cheesy dreams are made of. I must make this ASAP. Also – I feel so honored to take the title of Creative Cheese Officer (I hope it means I get to eat cheese for every meal:). Thank you so much for making such a creative and delicious recipe in honor of #cheesebabygirl!! (Come back and visit again soon?)

    Reply
    1. Lisa Post author

      Haha, I have NO clue why we were talking about Criss Cross Applesauce either. I’m soo glad you like this, my friend! Yes, we need to set up another playdate!

      Reply
  19. todd wagner

    OMG Lisa…this is the most gorgeous, delicious looking cheese ball in all the land!! Thanks for taking part in Sarah’s special day. Cheese Appreciation Society, here we come!!

    Reply
  20. Catherine

    Dear Lisa, I made my first cheese ball a couple of weeks ago for a New Year’s party and it has quickly become one of my favorite appetizers. I love the bold flavors in this cheese ball. Pinning for later! xo, Catherine

    Reply
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