S. from the USA asks:
“In one of your responses, you said that agar agar does the same thing as unflavored gelatin. If you are substituting agar for unflavored gelatin in a recipe, how do you know how much agar is equivalent to the required amount of gelatin?”
A very good question. Agar – known also as agar-agar and kanten depending on the source – is a vegetarian gelatin. It’s a whitish color, and comes in either sticks, flakes, granules or powder, usually in a little packet. Most health food stores seem to carry it in with the Japanese foodstuffs, or along with the more familiar seaweeds like dulse, kelp, wakame, etc.
The exact equivalence of agar for gelatin is not at my fingertips right now. Maybe there is a formula of substitution, and one of our readers can fill in the gaps.
But anyway, to make a gelatinised dessert (like jello, or jelly as it is called in Australia) you use about two tablespoons of flaked agar to 3.5 cups of liquid. The granulated form is twice as strong as the flaked, so use about one tablespoon of that. The powdered is three times as strong, so use about three-quarters of a tablespoon.
These are American tablespoons I’m talking about, which are 15ml. Australian readers should note that their tablespoons are 20ml, so their tablespoons of agar should be quite a bit less less than level.
Play around with the concentrations to get the right ‘wiggliness’ for you. Hope this helps.
Posted by Kurma on 19/6/07; 11:08:10 AM