Agar Agar: All Information About The Vegetable Gelling Agent

Agar Agar: A gelling agent made from plants

Agar Agar is obtained from the cell walls of blue or red algae. The name comes from Indonesian and means something like “jelly”. The ingredient has been used in Asian cuisine for centuries.

  • The vegetable gelling agent is a carbohydrate, more precisely a polysaccharide, i.e. multiple sugars. From a chemical point of view, this polysaccharide is similar to the roughage contained in our native vegetables and fruits.
  • Agar agar is in powder form. If you mix it with hot water, the structures swell, and the powder gels.
  • Since the vegetable gelling agent is tasteless, it can be used for both sweet and savory dishes.
  • However, you cannot substitute agar for gelatin one-to-one. The herbal remedy gels six to ten times stronger.
  • Since agar also reacts differently with different liquids – acid or fat reduce the ability to gel – exact quantities for use are hardly possible. You have to do a jelly test.
  • To do this, first, place a small plate in the freezer. Agar agar needs to boil in order to set, so once the liquid has boiled, put a spoonful of it on the cold plate. If the liquid gels within two to three minutes, you have taken the right amount. If it’s too tight, add some liquid. If it doesn’t gel, you have to add some more agar.

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