How to Use Agar Agar
Agar agar is a gelling agent derived from seaweed & used in Japanese gelled desserts. It can be used to make vegetarian gels, hot gels, and liquid gels. Here’s how you use it.
- Powdered Agar Agar
- Liquid to be Gelled* (demonstrated with apricot juice)
- Kitchen Scale
- Gram Scale
- Small Pot
- Container or Mold for Setting
- Blender (for liquid gels)
- Plastic Bag (for hot gels)
Agar agar is typically used in concentrations ranging from 0.5% to 2%. How much you use depends on the application – the more you add, the firmer the resulting gel will be.
Alternatively, you can let the mixture cool until just warm, then move it to the fridge to set more quickly.
If the agar gets too hot and melts, let it cool until it re-sets (likely in the shape of the bag…you can avoid this by pouring it back into your mold).
Tannic acid (found in some wines, beers, juices (check ingredients), etc) can inhibit agar’s ability to gel. If your liquid contains it, be aware that you may need to adjust your recipe/have a backup plan.
Molecular Gastronomy Recipes & Techniques