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Agar, or agar agar, is a gelatinous substance derived from seaweed. In cooking, it is chiefly used as an ingredient in desserts throughout Japan. Commercially it is derived primarily from Gelidium amansii.

Powdered agar

Composition Edit

The gelling agent in agar is an unbranched polysaccharide obtained from the cell walls of some species of red algae, primarily from the genera Gelidium and Gracilaria, or seaweed (Sphaerococcus euchema). Chemically, agar is a polymer made up of galactose subunits.

Varieties Edit

Strands of agar, known as China grass

Agar can come in multiple forms for culinary use. It is most commonly available in powdered or strand form. When in strands, it is often referred to as "China grass".

Uses Edit

Agar can be used as a laxative, a gelatin substitute, a thickener for soups, in jellies, ice cream, and Japanese desserts such as anmitsu. It can also be used as a clarifying agent in brewing.