- Agar agar is a natural vegetable gelatin, which is approximately 80% fiber.
- It’s suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets.
- It has no taste, no odor, and is semi-translucent.
- It sets more firmly than gelatin and
- It sets at room temperature.
- Unlike gelatin, it can stay in jelly form at warmer temperatures.
- Great for dieting as it makes you feel full.
- 3 calories per gram
Agar (or agar agar) or Kanten as it is also known, is extracted from red edible seaweed. It has many uses, but is used primarily in cooking as it has extremely powerful thickening and gelling properties. Though it may be new to western cooks, it has been used for hundreds of years in Asian cooking. Today, agar’s use has been growing steadily among modernist chefs who specialize in molecular gastronomy, as it is a great alternative to animal or chemical-based gelatin.
Agar is suitable for vegans, vegetarians and is suitable for most religious diets. It is used as a clarifying agent in brewing. Agar is also used for scientific purposes to provide a growth medium for organisms in a petri dish. In small quantities, agar is incorporated into modeling clay as a binder. It is also used as an impression material in dentistry. Due to agar's high fiber content it can also be found in laxatives and appetite suppressants.
However, it remains an important culinary ingredient. As it has wide use as a thickening agent for soups, fruits preserves, ice cream, sauces, jelly-based desserts, custards, puddings and other epicurean recipes.
To Make a Gel
(1 tsp. agar agar powder = 1 tsp. powder gelatin)
- To set 1 cup (250 ml) of liquid, you will need Agar/Kanten powder = 1 tsp. (2 g). The gelling of acidic liquids, such as citrus fruits or strawberry, you will need to add more Agar
- Bring the mixture to a boil and allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Stir the solution until the Agar Agar is completely dissolved. This process will hydrate the Agar, which will cause the liquid to gel when it cools.
Cape Crystal Kappa Agar Agar is available in sizes 2-Oz / 8-Oz / 14-Oz.