Useful Tips

How to use agar-agar: composition, use and proportions


Molecular cuisine in Moscow

For those who have not heard enough about molecular cuisine, we’ll explain what it is, and you can see what it is eaten with and how it looks on the pages of our website, where everything is described in detail. This type of cuisine represents the latest trends in world culinary.

It is interesting that in international culinary competitions, chefs - representatives of molecular cuisine - are increasingly winning.

The traditions of this cuisine were laid by the best chefs in the world. Now molecular cuisine dishes are beginning to be found in restaurants in the country.

Molecular gastronomy: a matter of taste

An interesting idea for a holiday and a buffet table is molecular gastronomy! What is the feature? This is a non-standard approach to cooking, which involves the use of special natural ingredients (textures) and unique cooking technologies.

When familiarizing yourself with molecular cuisine, you will get the opportunity to try many interesting dishes, such as: watermelon caviar, apple spaghetti, kiwi foam, strawberry spheres and much more. A significant difference of this kitchen is that the finished dishes retain their beneficial properties and do not lose vitamins. This result is achieved due to a certain processing of products and the selection of the exact proportions of textures for cooking.

Cooking Technique

Molecular food is made from ingredients called textures. More detailed information on the textures can be found on the page of our store. There you can choose and order textures with delivery in Moscow or by mail to other cities of the CIS. If interested, get to know! A wide selection of new dishes using available products will open for you. For this, the consultants of our store will help you choose the right textures for any dish. All textures are presented in the texture store for molecular cuisine.

New cooking workshop

If you are in Moscow, you can use the most interesting way to learn the skills of gastronomy, this is to organize a team-building master class for yourself and your colleagues or a master class among your like-minded friends. Our specialists from the Molecularmeal team will be happy to organize an interesting and useful molecular cooking workshop for you. A master class for children is held in a very interesting way. You can find out how to organize a master class for yourself by going here. After familiarizing yourself with the practice of preparing molecular cuisine dishes, choose the necessary textures in our store and try to cook on your own.

And there is the easiest way to try new dishes. If you plan to hold public events: banquets, birthdays, presentations, weddings. Invite us to this event. Children's events with our participation remain in the children’s memory for a long time, pleasant emotions will go through the roof. We cook in front of guests, use liquid nitrogen (its temperature is -196 C °). Guests can participate in culinary performances. You can try the dishes, and, if not scary, dip your hand in liquid nitrogen, and then break it into very small pieces. About breaking a hand is a joke! If you follow the instructions, it is safe to dip your hand in liquid nitrogen. Who wants to - try. The necessary information is here.

What is agar-agar: composition and properties of the product

The strongest of all gelling agents has the ability to form dense gelatin in aqueous solutions at much lower concentrations than gelatin. Agar-agar is a thickener of plant origin, obtained by extraction (extraction) from red algae growing in the Pacific Ocean. Externally, the substance is a yellowish powder or plate. Unlike gelatin, agar-agar cannot be dissolved in cold water, but only in hot water at a temperature of 85-95 °.

Among confectioners, a natural thickener is known as the safe food supplement E406, which is tasteless and odorless. Agar-agar has a different gelling ability, which is determined by its labeling: 700, 900, 1200. Therefore, the higher the specified value, the less substance should be added to the aqueous solution.

Most housewives often use gelatin when preparing homemade desserts, since not everyone knows how to use agar-agar. In fact, everything is not as complicated as it might seem at first glance. The main thing to remember is that for the formation of jelly only 1% agar-agar is required in relation to the mass of the finished product.

Cooking Application

Agar-agar is widely used in the food industry as a thickener. It is used in the manufacture of marshmallows, marmalade, marshmallows, chewing sweets and other jelly sweets, soufflé, jam, confiture, ice cream, various sauces and even concentrated soups. It is sold in the form of powder, plates, flakes and long ribbons. But in China, agar-agar is made in the form of hard jelly, which has no taste, and served with various sauces that enrich its taste. It is also used as a thickener for juices and other meat, fish and vegetable dishes.

Use agar-agar, like gelatin, should be by adding it to various liquids. Only for its dissolution requires a temperature of at least 85 degrees, and 38 ° is enough for solidification. In this case, when re-heated, it again returns to its original state.

How to use agar powder agar: proportions

As mentioned above, a natural thickener of plant origin is soluble only in hot water and its concentration is much higher compared to gelatin. This is important to remember before using agar-agar. Otherwise, the technology of its application should not cause any particular difficulties.

When working with agar-agar, the proportion should be adhered to: 2 g or 1 teaspoon of powder per 200 ml of water. But it matters both the acidity of the medium and the desired density of the finished dish. When diluting agar-agar in juice, its concentration in a liquid medium must be increased by 1.5 times, since acid reduces the gelling properties of the thickener. Thus, in order to thicken 200 ml of juice, you will have to take not 2 g, but 3 g of powder.

Depending on the desired density of the final product, the proportions of agar-agar and liquid will be as follows:

  • for jelly - 0.8 g of powder per 500 ml of liquid,
  • to obtain a soft texture - 1.3 g of thickener per 500 ml of liquid,
  • for jelly - 5 g of agar-agar per 500 ml of water or juice,
  • for sweets - 7 g of dry matter per 500 ml of an aqueous solution.

The benefits of agar-agar over gelatin

The main difference between the gelling agents presented is as follows:

  1. Agar-agar is a plant product rich in polysaccharides, mineral salts and algae pectins. It is much more useful than gelatin, which is a processed cartilage and tendon (connective tissue) of cattle.
  2. Dishes prepared with the addition of agar agar harden faster and do not “float” at room temperature.
  3. The plant product has antibacterial properties and inhibits the development of harmful microorganisms in dishes, thereby extending their shelf life. But it is equally important to know how to use agar-agar.
  4. The solutions prepared on the basis of plant powder are always transparent, whereas on gelatin they turn cloudy.

How to use jelly agar?

Work with agar agar as follows:

  1. Prepare a stewpan by pouring 200 ml of water (broth, juice or other liquid) at room temperature into it.
  2. Pour 2-4 g (1-2 tsp) of agar-agar in powder form into the prepared container, mix and soak it for 15 minutes.
  3. After the time has passed, bring the contents of the stewpan to a boil, constantly stirring it so that the agar-agar is completely dissolved.
  4. Add flavoring agents to the aqueous solution: fruit slices, spices, herbs.
  5. Pour a viscous and clear liquid into prepared containers. Cool the jelly first at room temperature and then in the refrigerator. After complete cooling, the agar-agar-based dish will have a dense, strong texture.

To understand if the amount of agar agar was calculated correctly, a teaspoon of the prepared jelly should be placed in the freezer for 30 seconds. If it is frozen, it means that the proportion is correct, and a viscous liquid can be poured into containers. If the mass remains liquid, add a little more powder to the stewpan and bring its contents to a boil again.

Jellied Agar Agar

Using the thickener in the preparation of jellies, there is no doubt that the dish will turn out to be necessary in terms of density of consistency. It can easily be cut with a knife into portions to serve. You can learn how to use agar-agar for jellied meat from the following step-by-step instructions:

  1. Remove skin from 1.2 kg of chicken thighs. Put the pieces of the bird in the pots and pour water. Bring to a boil, then drain the first water.
  2. Put the hips back to the bottom of the pan. Top with peeled carrots, onions, salt (1 tsp), several peas of allspice. Pour ingredients with 3 liters of water.
  3. Cook the aspic for 1 hour. 10 minutes before the end of cooking add bay leaf.
  4. Put all the components of the dish on a plate, separate the meat from the bones, and cut the carrots into circles.
  5. Strain the broth. Add 10 g of agar agar to it. Put the pan with the broth on the fire and, stirring with a whisk, cook it after boiling for 1 minute.
  6. Put the meat in a container, spread the carrots on top. Pour the broth on agar agar. Allow the dish to cool at room temperature, then put it in the refrigerator.

Souffle on agar

To prepare such an amazingly delicious, festive dessert is the power of every housewife. Knowing the proportions of the thickener and the liquid base, it is easy to figure out how to use agar-agar for soufflé.

To prepare a dessert you need this way:

  1. Agar-agar (5 g) pour warm water (30 ml) for 15 minutes.
  2. Beat soft butter (100 g) with a mixer with condensed milk (2 tbsp.). Put the resulting cream aside for a while.
  3. In a stewpan over medium heat, boil sugar syrup from 400 g of sugar and 100 ml of water. It must be boiled to a temperature of 120 °. It will take about 8 minutes.
  4. Remove the stewpan from the heat. Add soaked agar-agar to it and mix.
  5. Return the stewpan to a small fire. While stirring, boil the syrup for 2 minutes. At the same stage, add lemon juice to it (1 tbsp. L.)
  6. Beat the whites of 3 eggs to a state of strong foam. Pour hot syrup into them in a thin stream. Beat for 5 minutes, then add oil cream and immediately turn off the mixer. Put the dessert in glasses and cool.

Cherry Jam with Natural Thickener

From the following instructions, you can learn how to use agar agar in jam:

  1. Soak powder (3 g) in cold water (50 ml) and leave for 15 minutes at room temperature.
  2. Put the pitted cherries (800 g) into a saucepan and pour sugar on top (500 g).
  3. Put on a small fire, bring to a boil and cook after that for 20 minutes.
  4. Add agar agar. Stir well and after 3 minutes remove the pan from the heat.
  5. Arrange the jam in sterilized jars.