Agar-Agar is ideal for those who want to replace gelatin from animal sources with one of vegetable origin, such as vegetarians and cultures where pork is not consumed. The common jellies can be either cow or pork and often this very important detail is not mentioned on the packaging, as I already explained in this post here.
What is Agar-Agar?
Agar-Agar, also called Kanten, is a gelatinous substance extracted from algae from the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, widely used in Japanese cuisine. It can be found in the form of transparent horned or powder blades. (Check out more information about Agar-Agar here).
Agar-Agar also has a greater gelling power:
– The Agar can be raised to 85 ° C, when it dissolves, and will start to harden when it reaches between 32 ° C and 40 ° C. That is, you don’t have to go to the fridge.
-Just ordinary gelatin cannot be raised to more than 35oC and will only harden at low temperatures when going to the refrigerator. In addition, Agar will bring a firmer preparation (sometimes too much) than regular gelatines.
-The gelling power of the Agar is about 3: 1, that is, it is three times stronger than ordinary gelatin. In a recipe that you would use 10 grams of powdered gelatin of animal origin, you will only need 3.4 grams of Agar. Another example, half a liter of some liquid to be gelled requires only 2 grams of Agar-Agar. Or, thinking of a jelly made with 1kg of fruit, 500g of sugar uses 2 grams of agar.
-Agar-Agar generally manages to be more stable when mixed with acidic fruits (lemon, pineapple, etc.) than ordinary gelatins.
-If your preparation was very firm, don’t worry! You can return it to the stove, add more water and correct. Even if it is boiled again, the Agar will not lose its properties!