Agar Agar FAQ: What you need to know

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How to Use Agar Agar

Three Methods:

Agar Agar--also known as kanten, Japanese gelatin, vegetable gelatin, Chinese isinglass, China glass, and dai choy goh--is a vegan gelling agent derived from seaweed. It has many uses but is used primarily in cooking. Agar agar is odorless, tasteless, and has only 3 calories per gram. This article will teach you how to prepare Agar and some of the different ways it can be used.


Preparing Agar Agar

  1. Find Agar and decide which form works best for you.Agar usually comes in three forms: powder, flakes, or a bar. All three work equally well; the real difference is ease of preparation. Powdered Agar is usually the easiest to use, as it can be substituted for gelatin in a 1:1 ratio (1 teaspoon gelatin is equivalent to 1 teaspoon Agar powder).The powder also dissolves easier than flakes or bars.If you're not sure which type to use, default to the powdered Agar.
    • Agar bars are white, lightweight and made of freeze-dried Agar. They can be ground in a coffee or spice grinder so they dissolve easier or can be broken up by hand. One bar is equivalent to 2 teaspoons of Agar powder.
    • Agar flakes can also be ground in a coffee or spice grinder and are less concentrated than the powder. They are white and look a little like fish food. 2 tablespoons (29.6 ml) of Agar is roughly equivalent to 2 teaspoons of Agar powder.
    • Look for Agar in natural food stores, Asian grocery stores, or online.
  2. Add Agar to the liquid and mix with a whisk.The firmness of the gel is determined by the amount of Agar you add. If your recipe doesn't give you a measurement, you can follow this rule of thumb: to thicken 1 cup (.25 liters) of liquid, use 1 teaspoon Agar powder, 1 tablespoon (14.8 ml) Agar flakes, or 1/2 Agar bar.
    • If you are substituting gelatin with Agar you can use the same amount of Agar powder to thicken the recipe. Otherwise, for every teaspoon of gelatin you will need to use 1 tablespoon (14.8 ml) flakes or 1/2 bar.
    • If you are trying to jellify a somewhat acidic liquid, such as those derived from citrus fruits or strawberry, you may need to add more Agar.
    • Some fruits are too acidic or contain enzymes that prevent gelling and must be broken down by being cooked first. These fruits include kiwi, pineapple, fresh figs, papaya, mango, and peaches.
    • Using canned versions of these fruits will cut out the extra step of cooking them, since canned fruits have all been pre-cooked.You can also hydrate the Agar in boiling water and then mix in the acidic liquid.
  3. Bring the solution to a boil and allow it to simmer.The powder should simmer for about 5 minutes while the flakes and bars should take between 10-15 minutes.Stir the solution until the Agar is completely dissolved. This process will hydrate the Agar, which will allow it to jellify the liquid when it cools.
    • Warm up the liquid as much as possible. One advantage of Agar is that it begins to set at a higher temperature than gelatin, so it is a solid at room temperature or even when you warm it up. The liquid will begin to gel when it falls below 113°F (45°C). Because the addition of other ingredients may cause the temperature to drop and the Agar to set before you are ready, getting the liquid as hot as you can will make it less likely to drop below 113°F (45°C) until you remove it from heat.
    • If you are making an alcoholic gel, boil the Agar with any juices or mixers first, then whisk the alcohol in at the very last moment. This will prevent the alcohol from evaporating.
  4. Pour the mixture into a mold or container and leave it out at room-temperature to gel.The mixture will begin to gel when it reaches 104°F to 113°F (40°C to 45°C) and will stay in this form as long as it stays below 175°F (80°C). You don't need to refrigerate the gel unless you want to serve it cool, so you can leave your dish sitting out at room-temperature without it melting or collapsing.
    • If you're not sure if you used the right amount of Agar, pour a small amount in a cold bowl to see if it firms up. If it doesn't set after 30 seconds, add more Agar. If it's too firm for your liking, add more liquid.
    • Don't stir or shake the Agar jelly until it has completely set, or it will collapse.
    • Don't grease, line, or oil the mold before pouring in the mixture. It should pop out of your mold just fine, and these things can actually affect how well your mixture gels.
    • Unlike gelatin, you can melt the gelled mixture (if you wanted to add another ingredient, pour it into a different mold, add more agar to make the gel more firm or add more liquid to soften it), bring it to a boil again, then cool it again without compromising its gelling abilities.

Using Agar Agar in Cooking

  1. Make jelly candies by preparing Agar with fruit juices or sweetened milk.Agar is tasteless and will take on the taste of whatever it is mixed with, giving you endless flavor possibilities. These candies will stay firm at room temperature, so you can leave them out in a little dish or bowl without worrying about them melting and making a mess. Try mixing agar with teas, juices, broth, coffee--anything that sounds tasty to you!
    • Try boiling chocolate milk with agar powder, then adding a pinch of cinnamon. Pour it into little glasses to cool for a rich treat.
    • Remember certain acidic fruits may require extra steps, as their acidity or enzymes interfere with Agar's ability to gel.
    • Pour the mixture in silicone molds in cute shapes. Then your jelly candies can look like stars, kittens, hearts, shells, or any other shapes you can find.
  2. Make edible cocktails with agar.You can prepare little gelatinous shots for parties by boiling your mixers with Agar. After allowing the mixture to simmer and the Agar to dissolve and disperse, add the alcohol and stir. Pour the mixture into shot glasses or ice cube molds and allow them to set.
    • Try mixing agar with the ingredients for a hot toddy and serve the cubes warm at holiday parties.
  3. Use Agar as a substitute for egg whites.If you have a recipe that calls for egg whites but you are vegan, allergic to eggs, or simply don't like them, Agar is a suitable replacement. To replace one egg, mix 1 tablespoon (14.8 ml) Agar powder in 1 tablespoon of water. Use an immersion blender or whisk to vigorously whip the mixture, then put it in the refrigerator to chill. Once the mixture is cool, take it out and whip it a second time. This mixture should perform the same function as egg whites in your baking and won't even alter the taste or color.
  4. Make vegan puddings or custards with an Agar fluid gel.Gelatinous desserts usually call for a lot of eggs for thickening and texture. Instead of eggs, try making a basic gelled mixture of Agar and water, following the steps in method 1. Use a blender or an immersion blender to puree the gel until smooth.Mix this in with your other ingredients and you'll find you have a delicious, eggless dessert.
    • If you want to thicken the pudding or custard, add a little xanthan gum.
    • If you want to thin out the dessert, stir in a little water or another liquid.

Using Agar Agar for Health Purposes

  1. Use Agar as an appetite suppressant.Agar expands in your stomach, which tricks you into thinking you are full. It's know as the "kanten diet" in Japan and is used by many to try and prevent them from eating too much.People with type 2 Diabetes who supplemented their diet with Agar lost a significant amount of weight and improved their metabolism.It may also help stabilize blood sugar levels.
    • Make sure you check with your doctor before embarking on this diet.
    • Make snacks using Agar to stay full throughout the day, or mix it into your meals so you stop eating sooner than you normally would.
    • Be aware that Agar can also stimulate your intestines and make you need to use the bathroom.
    • Make sure you take Agar with at least 8 oz. of water, otherwise the Agar can swell and possibly block your esophagus or intestines.
  2. Use Agar pills to stimulate bowel movements and act as a laxative.Agar is 80% fiber, so it can be helpful if you need to relieve constipation. It should never, however, be used when you have a bowel obstruction (a kink or blockage in your intestines that prevents you from passing gas or having a bowel movement), as this can make the obstruction much worse.
    • If you have sudden, severe pain in your abdomen, swelling in your abdomen, and vomit or become nauseous, do not take Agar. Call your doctor instead, as you may have a bowel obstruction.
    • Make sure you take Agar with enough water, at least 8oz, for it to work as a laxative.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Can agar agar powder be added into foods that are never cooked? I am curious if agar agar can be used to add fiber, but without cooking (such as in tuna salad, for example).
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    This is not really a good idea as it will swell in your digestive track. It's better to just make plain agar agar cubes and add those instead.
  • Question
    Will agar get hydrated if I disperse it in normal temperature water and keep it overnight?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Agar powder does not require it to be hydrated before use. Other forms of agar require some kind of heat to be applied before use.
  • Question
    How do I make vegan agar agar?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Luckily, agar agar is already vegan as it's derived from seaweed.
  • Question
    How much should be used for joint relief?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Animal based gelatine is recommended for joint relief. You can use about a teaspoon daily mixed with water.
  • Question
    Can agar agar be used in ice cream?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes. Gelatin or agar agar will provide the same result, but the agar is usually used in vegan ice cream.
  • Question
    How do I use agar agar on my baby?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You do not use it on a baby.
  • Question
    Can I use agar agar during the preparation for a colonoscopy?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You could use it for a basic cleanse, but a colonoscopy calls for perfectly clean bowels. Agar agar won't have as desirable outcome as what your doctor will provide you with.
  • Question
    Can I use agar agar as a substitute for coconut?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, you should be able to replace the coconut with agar agar.
  • Question
    Can agar powder be used in the production of sausages?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, it can be.
  • Question
    Does agar agar help bones?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, agar agar can help strengthen your bones.
Unanswered Questions
  • Can Agar powder be used to set coconut oil? I make little chocolates using coconut oil and I'm looking for something other than gelatin that I can use to set them at room temp?
  • Will raspberries make agar not set properly?
  • Can I use agar to thicken a liquid but not gel? Will it gel with only water and not juice?
  • Does agar powder need to be refrigerated until use or can it be kept on a shelf?
  • How to proceed with agar powder for making cheese cake?
Ask a Question
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Quick Summary

If you want to prepare Agar, combine 1 teaspoon of Agar powder with a cup of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Then, allow the mixture to simmer for 5 minutes and stir it until the Agar is fully dissolved. To let the Agar set, pour the mixture into a mold and leave it at room temperature. If you'd like to make candies with Agar, add tea, coffee, or chocolate powder to the mixture before pouring it into molds to cool. Alternatively, you can also use Agar as an appetite suppressant since it expands in your stomach.

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Date: 06.12.2018, 00:59 / Views: 94435