How to Use Agar Agar Bars

Written by kat black
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How to Use Agar Agar Bars
By substituting agar for gelatin, vegans can enjoy fruity gelatin desserts. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Agar agar is a carbohydrate that comes from the cell walls of seaweed. The seaweed is freeze-dried and dehydrated, then processed into powder, flakes, threads or bars. An effective gelatin substitute, this protein-rich product allows vegans to enjoy gelatin dishes. One bar is equivalent to 2 tsp of gelatin. Getting the correct consistency for agar recipes can be tricky at first. However, it is very easy to correct any mistakes. If your product turns out too thick, simply reheat the mixture and add a bit more water. If it's too thin, add a bit more agar.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Coffee grinder, blender or food processor
  • Pot
  • Water

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  1. 1

    Grind a bar of agar in your coffee grinder, blender or food processor.

  2. 2

    Put 2 cups of water in a pot on the stove, over high heat. Add the agar and bring the mixture to a boil.

  3. 3

    Reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer. Stir constantly until the agar is fully dissolved.

  4. 4

    Add your other ingredients, following the recipe you have chosen.

  5. 5

    Leave the mixture to sit for an hour at room temperature. Agar agar does not require refrigeration to set.

Tips and warnings

  • For recipes that contain chocolate, rhubarb, spinach or vinegar, you cannot use agar. The agar will not set when combined with these ingredients.
  • Some fruits such as kiwi, peaches, pineapple and mango contain enzymes that break down the agar. Cooking these fruits before adding them to the agar will destroy these enzymes.
  • Acid ingredients will require more agar. If your recipe contains citrus fruits or strawberries, you will need to add more agar or to reduce the amount of water.

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