Working with Agar

Agar is the choice for gelatinization in Asian desserts. Although this ingredient has plenty of attractive factors including a quicker firming up time, there are still some things to look out for when you are working with it.


  1. Make sure to FULLY melt agar over stove and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Agar will not set if it is not heated and fully melted.
  2. When adding to another mixture to set it, make sure the mixture is slightly warm so that agar does not set as it makes contact. (If mixture is cold, agar will get clumpy, at which point, you will want to re-dissolve the agar along with the mixture over a stove.)
  3. Agar has a tendency to accumulate at the bottom making the set product harder. Make sure to melt well and to give a final stir in the actual container the agar will be in.
  4. If not enough agar is used to set the liquid/mixture, the final product will "break" and liquid will separate from the set product. Make sure to read the recipe and use the proper amount.