Basic Ingredients and Preparation for Agar-Agar

Agar agar in different forms
Agar Agar (sticks, strings, flakes or powder)
  1. Agar-agar is made from seaweed. It is sold in the form of thin, dry strands.
  2. Agar-agar is boiled till it dissolves. For faster cooking, agar-agar is usually soaked beforehand till it is transparent and soft. It may be cooked just as well without soaking but it takes a little longer to dissolve.
  3. After the agar-agar has dissolved, it is sweetened with sugar. The addition of egg shell or egg white to the boiling agar-agar helps to keep it clear. This is advisable if the agar-agar is to be served without the addition of colouring.
  4. The boiled agar-agar is strained through a muslin cloth as soon as it is removed from the stove. This removes all the fine dust and dirt from the agar-agar mixture.
  5. Agar-agar should be cooled before being chilled in the refrigerator.
  6. To make Agar-agar Santan, coconut milk is stirred into the strained agar-agar. In this recipe, some gula melaka is added to the boiling, sweetened agar-agar to give better flavour. Coarse brown sugar, dissolved and strained, may be used instead. When agar-agar is left to set, the coconut milk in it rises and forms a creamy brown layer, leaving the lower half a clear brown in colour.
  7. To make Agar-agar Telur, a little thick coconut milk is added to a beaten eggs. This mixture is poured slowly into the strained agar-agar, in zig-zags or circles. The mixture should not be stirred. When set, cut as desired and served. The added mixture not only gives the jelly a richer flavour but also makes an attractive pattern when cut.
  8. To make Agar-agar Buah, diced fruit is stirred in just before it sets completely. Correct timing in adding the fruit ensures even distribution. Chill after adding fruit.

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