Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Healthy Vegan Leek Soup Modern Recipe- Game of Thrones Food Recipes


Modern Leek Soup Recipe

Leek soup is a soup based on potatoes, leeks, broth (usually chicken), and heavy cream (optional). Other ingredients used may be salt and pepper, and various spices.

Generally the potatoes are diced and cooked in broth, while the leeks are chopped and sautéed. After this all ingredients are combined and stirred. Chives may be used for garnish.

The addition of potatoes to this relatively modern recipe results in a creamy, rich texture that shows off the leeks to their best advantage. Thick and hearty, this soup is an ideal cold-weather comfort food.

Leek soup is strongly associated with Wales, and is an important item of Welsh cuisine. In Romania, this soup is popular and known as Ciorbă de praz.

The wedding feast began with a thin leek soup, followed by a salad of green beans, onions, and beets.… 


Serves 4
Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: 45 minutes

Pairs well with Crusty White Bread, Almond Crusted Trout, Traditional-style Oatcakes


4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
2 leeks (white and light green parts only), well washed and chopped into thin rings
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 cups chicken broth
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish


1) Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. 

2) Add the chopped leeks and onion and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft but not brown.

3) Add the potatoes and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, then add the chicken broth. 

4) Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and allow to simmer for 35 minutes.

5) Using either a potato masher or an immersion blender, puree the soup until all the chunks of potato break down. 

6) Add the remaining butter. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with parsley.

7) To round out your meal, serve with a piece of hearty, whole-grain bread.

Next time try this medieval version of leek soup from the critically acclaimed HBO telly hit series Game of Thrones... Healthy Leek Soup Recipe- Game of Thrones Food Recipes

Quick Cooking Tips:

Watch and observe Test kitchen director Ruth Cousineau demonstrates a foolproof method for trimming, chopping, and washing leeks; you should try it when you make this creamy leek soup.

Watch this video: Leek and potato soup recipe version of Chef Marco Pierre White as he stirs up a treat with his creamy soup. One of the youngest chef ever to have been awarded three Michelin stars.

This simple soup is an old favorite, and only uses a handful of ingredients to make, including chicken stock made from chicken stock, onions, leeks, potatoes and chives, and strained through a fine sieve to make it silky smooth. Best served with warm crusty bread for a real rustic experience. 


Have you tried Tyrion Lannister's favorite lamprey pie, or Daenerys Targaryen mouth-watering honeyfingers? Then you are missing a lot! 

Taste the food at the King's Landing. Buy the A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook at Amazon.com using this link and you get a 10% discount and FREE shipping if you order the hardcover version.

Brewster, James L. 2008. Onions and other vegetable alliums (2nd ed.). Wallingford, UK: CABI International. ISBN 978-1-84593-399-9.

Grigson, Jane. 1978. Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book. Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-046859-5.

Are you interested in Culinary Physics? Watch gratis video tutorials at Culinary Physics Lecture Series and try this tasty and healthy recipe Agar Agar Spaghetti Recipe- Molecular Gastronomy Recipes.

Excerpted from A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer. Copyright © 2012 by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer. Excerpted by permission of Bantam, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

Watch Video: Molecular Gastronomy Recipes- Cryo-Fried Steak and Perfect French Fries


The chefs at Modernist Cuisine show us how to cook the perfect steak and french fries using unconventional methods. Learn why freezing and then deep frying a steak makes it taste incredible. If you need an excuse to get hungry, just watch this video.

Learn more about Maillard Reaction, please read related posts:

Maillard Reaction Mechanism and Its Applications to Your Cooking

The Physics of Cooking Meat: Your Quick Guide to Cooking your Favorite Meat

Example of Foods with Maillard Reactions

The Maillard reaction is responsible for many colors and flavors in foods:

1) The browning of various meats like steak, when seared and grilled.
2) The golden-brown color of French Fries.
3) Roasted coffee
4) The darkened crust of baked goods like pretzels and bread.    
5) Lightly roasted peanuts
6) Malted barley as in malt whiskey or beer
7) Toast
8) Maple syrup
9) Dulce de leche
10) Dried or condensed milk
11) Chocolate 
12) Caramel made from milk and sugar, especially in candies. Milk is high in protein (amino acids), and browning of food involving this complex ingredient would most likely include Maillard reactions. 

How Maillard Reaction Happen

1) The carbonyl group of the sugar reacts with the amino group of the amino acid, producing N-substituted glycosylamine and water.

2) The unstable glycosylamine undergoes Amadori rearrangement, forming ketosamines

3) There are several ways for the ketosamines to react further:
   a) Produce 2 water and reductones
   b) Diacetyl, aspirin, pyruvaldehyde and other short-chain hydrolytic fission products can be formed
   c) Produce brown nitrogenous polymers and melanoidins

Monday, August 25, 2014

Artificial Ikura- Artificial Salmon Eggs (Roe)- Molecular Gastronomy Recipes


Japanese do not eat salmon eggs (ikura) on a daily basis; they are considered a delicacy. Ikura is a popular ingredient for sushi, and use of artificial ikura reduces the cost of the sushi.

Roe (/roʊ/) or hard roe is the fully ripe internal egg masses in the ovaries, or the released external egg masses of fish and certain marine animals, such as shrimp, scallop and sea urchins. As a seafood, roe is used both as a cooked ingredient in many dishes and as a raw ingredient. The roe of marine animals, such as the roe of lumpsucker, hake and salmon, is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Roe from a sturgeon or sometimes other fishes is the raw base product from which caviar is made.

In the United States, several kinds of roe are produced: salmon from the Pacific coast, shad and herring species like the American shad and alewife, mullet, paddlefish, American bowfin, and some species of sturgeon. Shad, pike and other roe are sometimes pan-fried with bacon. Spot Prawn roe (hard to find) is also a delicacy from the North Pacific. Flounder roe, pan-fried and served with grits is popular on the Southeastern coast.


Makes ~20 artificial salmon eggs


1 g sodium-alginate powder

1 g gum arabic powder
1 g κ-carrageenan powder
22 g calcium chloride
1 g guar gum powder
16 g (20 mL) vegetable oil
Red or yellow food coloring‡
Straw (7 mm diameter)
Syringe (1.0–2.5 mL) with needle




1) Make 100 g 1 wt% sodium-alginate solution (Hint 1), 100 g 1 wt% gum arabic solution (Hint 1), 100 g 1 wt% κ-carrageenan solution (Hint 1), 100 g 2 wt% calcium-chloride solution, and 100 g 20 wt% calcium-chloride solution (Hint 2).

2) Add red or yellow food coloring to the 2 wt% calcium-chloride solution to obtain a light-orange color, then dissolve guar gum in it.

3) Dissolve β-carotene (about 0.5 g) in the vegetable oil for a deep-orange color.

4) Pour 30 g 1 wt% sodium-alginate solution, 20 g 1 wt% gum arabic solution, 20 g 1 wt% κ-carrageenan solution (1), and 20 mL water into a cup. Combine the solutions by mixing well with a stirring rod.

5) Pour 100–150 g water into another cup.

6) Pour 50 g 20 wt% calcium-chloride solution into a third cup.

7) Poke syringe needle into a straw at about 2 mm from one end.

8) Draw colored vegetable oil (3) into the syringe, and suck the guar gum–calcium-chloride solution (2) into the straw, with the syringe needle attached at the bottom.

9) Attach the syringe to the needle in the straw (8).

10) Drop the mixture in the straw (9) into the mixed solution of sodium alginate, gum arabic, κ-carrageenan and water (4), injecting the colored vegetable oil in the syringe into the center of drop (9).

11) Move the drop (10) to the cup with water (5) using a spoon, and then move it into the cup with the calcium-chloride solution (6). Soak for 30 mintes then remove.

pH of 1 wt% sodium-alginate solution = 8.00

pH of 1 wt% gum arabic solution = 6.16
pH of 1 wt% κ-carrageenan solution = 8.96
pH of 2 wt% calcium-chloride solution = 5.93
pH of 20 wt% calcium-chloride solution = 6.69
pH of the calcium chloride–guar gum mixture = 5.06

Cooking Tips:

1) The solute dissolves easily in hot water.

2) One g solute plus 99 g water becomes 1 wt% solution, and 2 g solute plus 98 g water and 20 g solute plus 80 g water become 100 g 2 wt% and 20 wt% solution, respectively.

Watch related videos on this recipe:

How to make salmon roe ikura

How to Make Traditional Ikura (Roe)

Do you want more recipe? Next time try this one... Agar Agar Spaghetti Recipe- Molecular Gastronomy Recipes

Learn about the different uses of agar and xanthan gums at... Uses of Hydrocolloids in Cooking and Food Products

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Uses of Hydrocolloids in Cooking and Food Products



What are the Food Use of Hydrocolloids? 

Gums are employed for an extensive array of applications. A few examples are: 

as adhesives in bakery glazes;
binding agents in sausage; 
bulking agents in dietetic foods; 
crystallization inhibitors in ice creams and sugar syrups; 
clarifying agents in beer and wine; 
clouding agents in fruit juices; 
coating agents in confectionery; 
emulsifiers in salad dressings; 
encapsulating agents in powdered fixed flavors; 
film formers in sausage casings and other protective coatings; 
flocculating agents in wine; 
foam stabilizers in whipped toppings and beer; 
gelling agents in puddings, desserts, aspics, and mousses;
 mold-release agents in gum drops and jelly candies; 
protective colloids in flavor emulsions; 
stabilizers in beer and mayonnaise; 
suspending agents in chocolate milk; 
swelling agents in processed meats; 
syneresis inhibitors in cheeses and frozen foods; 
thickening agents in jams, pie fillings, sauces, and gravies; 
and, whipping agents in toppings and icings.

It is important to note that the broad applications of gums are confined to their two main properties—to serve as thickening and gelling agents. The thickening ability, that is, viscosity production, is the key feature in the use of hydrocolloids as bodying, stabilizing, and emulsifying agents in foods. A few gums that have gelling abilities are helpful in foods where shape retention is needed before any application of pressure. The most widespread, gelled food item for consumption is gelatin dessert gel; additional recognized food gels are starch-based milk puddings, gelatin aspics, and pectin-gelled cranberry sauce.

Textures, Thickening, and Gelling

Hydrocolloids are classified as either thickening or gelling agents. Some common gel texture descriptors are:

Hard/Soft: How much force does it take to rupture the gel?

Brittle/Elastic or Springy: Does the gel break suddenly or deform? After the first bite, does the gel return to its original height?

Cohesive: Is the gel difficult to break up in the mouth? Does it stay together?

Gummy: Is the gel hard and cohesive?

Chewy: Is the gel both gummy and springy?

Adhesive: Does the gel adhere to the teeth or palate?

What are the Characteristics of Gels?

Important characteristics of gels are:

Thermo-reversible/Irreversible: Thermo-reversible gels melt when heated to a high enough temperature (with the exception of methylcellulose, which forms thermo-reversible gels that set when heated and melt when cooled). Thermo-irreversible gels will not melt when heated. Some gels are thermally reversible, but the melting temperature is so high that they don’t melt in practice (high-acyl gellan).

Tendency for Syneresis: Syneresis occurs when liquid weeps out of a gel over time, as happens in custards. Agar is prone to syneresis; water can be expelled merely by pressing on it. Some gels only experience syneresis after long periods of time. Many gels that are ruined by freezing (see freeze-thaw stability, below) tend to weep when thawed. Within a given hydrocolloid system, harder gels tend to weep more than softer ones.

Freeze-thaw stability: Gels that may be frozen and thawed repeatedly are called freeze-thaw stable. Many gels begin to degrade after freezing; only one freeze-thaw cycle is advised. When an unstable gel is frozen and later thawed, its texture and structural may be compromised by the physical changes. To offset this effect and promote freeze-thaw stability, a second thickening hydrocolloid may be added to the gel system.

Clarity: The addition of some hydrocolloids yield gels that are more transparent than others.

Flavor release: Flavor release describes how well a gel expresses the flavorings with which it has been made. Flavor release is determined by many gel texture properties. Gelatin, for example, is considered to have excellent flavor release mainly because it melts in the mouth, whereas alginate is said to have poor flavor release because it tends to lock up flavors.

Shear reversibility: Shear is a force in which parallel objects move in opposite directions in a “sliding” motion, such as in the action of scissors cutting or a razor shaving. Stirring produces a shear, as does blending. Very fast blenders are called high-shear blenders. A shear-reversible gel will reform after it has been broken by a shear force. Most gels are not shear reversible.

What is a Hydrocolloids?

A hydrocolloid is defined as a colloid system wherein the colloid particles are hydrophilic polymers dispersed in water. A hydrocolloid has colloid particles spread throughout water, and depending on the quantity of water available that can take place in different states, e.g., gel or sol (liquid). Hydrocolloids can be either irreversible (single-state) or reversible. For example, agar, a reversible hydrocolloid of seaweed extract, can exist in a gel and solid state, and alternate between states with the addition or elimination of heat.

Related Post: Agar Agar Spaghetti Recipe- Molecular Gastronomy Recipes

Other hydrocolloids are xanthan gum, gum arabic, guar gum, locust bean gum, cellulose derivatives as carboxymethyl cellulose, alginate and starch.

Other more specialist applications include adhesion, suspension, flocculation, foam stabilization and film formation. Foodstuffs are very complex materials and this together with the multifactorial functionality of the hydrocolloids has resulted in several different hydrocolloids being required; the most important of which are listed below. 

 Guar gum
 Gum arabic
 Locust bean gum
 Xanthan gum

What are the Sources of Hydrocolloids?

Many hydrocolloids are derived from natural sources, such as seaweed, seeds, roots, tree sap, fruit peels, etc. Many cultures have employed some of these naturally-derived hydrocolloids for thousands of years. Agar, for example, comes from seaweed, and is a traditional ingredient in Asia. Gelatin is produced by hydrolysis of proteins of bovine and fish origins, and pectin is extracted from citrus peel and apple pomace. Carrageenan, known as Irish moss, has been used in traditional Irish cooking for centuries. Gum arabic (tree sap), locust bean gum (seeds of the carob tree), and gelatin have also been used for thousands of years. Pectin, naturally occurring in fruits, has always been used to make jellies and jams.

Gelatin desserts like jelly or Jell-O are made from gelatin powder, another effective hydrocolloid. Hydrocolloids are employed in food mainly to influence texture or viscosity (e.g., a sauce). Hydrocolloid-based medical dressings are used for skin and wound treatment.

Some modern but still all-natural hydrocolloids, such as xanthan and gellan, are produced by bacteria. Other hydrocolloids are produced by modifying natural ingredients to create new compounds not found in nature. The most important of these are the cellulose-derived hydrocolloids: methylcellulose, hydroxypropylmethylcellulose, etc. These modified products, while not “all natural,” are still safe.

Since hydrocolloids are derived from natural sources, they are not uniform. Two samples of the same product might have different average molecular weights, and will therefore perform differently. Even the molecules within a given batch of hydrocolloids will vary in size. As a result, commercial manufacturers usually specify a range of weights. By carefully selecting hydrocolloids of different molecular weight, gum manufacturers can also develop products with specialized properties. Some hydrocolloids, such as carrageenan, are made of a mixture of similar but slightly different molecules. The ratios of the different types of molecule vary from batch to batch. Manufacturers blend these hydrocolloids to provide a consistent product, but often the blends will produce consistent results only for a specific application—the mixtures are standardized to do one particular thing very consistently. Many carrageenans, for instance, are standardized to gel milk at a certain strength. The variability in hydrocolloids is one reason that it is not only important to know the name of a hydrocolloid—for example, Alginate—but also its manufacturer and exact specifications, such as alginate, ISP Manugel GHB. When writing recipes, try to list the exact hydrocolloid used.


Forming Gels

It is extremely important to understand when and why a hydrocolloid gels since this behavior typically determines which hydrocolloid is appropriate to use.

Heating and Cooling

Many hydrocolloids gel when cooled. Sometimes these gels can be melted again, such as gelatin, and sometimes they cannot, such as the pectin in a jam. Methylcellulose forms a gel when heated that melts on cooling. Some thermally reversible gels show temperature hysteresis, that is, the setting temperature of the gel is lower than the temperature needed to melt the gel. This property can be very important to a chef. For example, agar sets around 35°C but melts at around 90°C. The low set temperature makes agar easy to work with, and the high melt temperature allows agar preparations to be served hot. Thermally formed gels can also be slow set or snap set. Snap setting hydrocolloids, like gellan, gel instantly below their gelation temperature.

Calcium and Potassium

Some hydrocolloids form gels in the presence of positively charged ions, mainly calcium and potassium. In these instances, the positive ion fits into negatively charged areas in the hydrocolloid, allowing two hydrocolloid molecules to stick together in a structure similar to an egg-crate. In some cases, like alginates, these gels are not reversible; in others, like kappa carrageenan, thermo-reversible gels are formed. It is extremely important to control the amount of calcium in solution when dealing with calcium-dependent hydrocolloids. If too much calcium is present, the hydrocolloid will gel immediately, a process that is called pre-gelation.

Sometimes, the hydrocolloid simply will not hydrate in a recipe. In these cases, chemicals called sequestrants are added to these solutions to prevent pre-gelation and allow proper hydration. Sequestrants have the ability to bind with ions like calcium more effectively than hydrocolloids can. In many cases, the amount of calcium in tap water alone can cause pre-gelation of a hydrocolloid if not treated with sequestrants. Acidic solutions (low pH) also need more sequestrants than neutral solutions because many calcium impurities are more soluble and affect hydrocolloids more at low pH.

Synergy, 1+1=3

Hydrocolloids do not act like most ingredients. In general, do not expect to be able to mix two hydrocolloids without changing their properties. When two liquids of the same viscosity made with different hydrocolloids are mixed, the viscosity often does not stay the same, but increases. The hydrocolloids have a synergistic increase in viscosity. This effect is used by manufacturers to save money, because they can use a smaller quantity of hydrocolloid in a synergistic system. Another example of synergy is when xanthan gum and locust bean gum, normally non-gelling thickeners, are mixed. Surprisingly, they form a gel. This is called synergistic gelation. Sometimes, hydrocolloids will show synergism with a particular non-hydrocolloid ingredient. For instance, carrageenan plus milk gels at half the concentration of carrageenan plus water.

As a rule of thumb, gelling hydrocolloids and thickening hydrocolloids can often be mixed to get the benefits of both (locust bean gum can be added to kappa carrageenan to give it a better texture, for example) without synergistic effects that will damage a recipe. Charged and uncharged hydrocolloids can also often be mixed without incident, like methylcellulose and alginate.


For a hydrocolloid to work properly, it must be hydrated and dissolved in solution. When a recipe fails, the problem is frequently improper hydration. Hydration procedures vary from hydrocolloid to hydrocolloid, but there are some important general rules. Hydrocolloids added to water tend to swell as they unfold into solution. The swelling causes particles to clump together forming lumps that are very difficult to dissolve. This phenomenon is familiar to chefs who use starch as a thickener (lumps in the gravy). Many hydrocolloids are even more lump-forming than starch. The trick to hydrating hydrocolloids is to get good dispersion –keep the hydrocolloid particles separated before they start to swell, hydrate, and cause lumps. Industrially, hydrocolloids are often mixed with a non-solvent, like alcohol or corn syrup, or an easily dissolved powder like sugar. This pre-mix helps the hydrocolloid particles get away from each other while they hydrate.

In general, hydrocolloids like to be hydrated in pure water. Large concentrations of sugar, salt, starch, alcohol, or anything that competes with the hydrocolloid for water can hinder hydration. Sometimes a hydrocolloid will not hydrate in a recipe. Alginates, for instance, will not hydrate in acidic liquids. In these cases, the hydrocolloid can be pre-hydrated in pure water, and the resulting solution can usually be added to the recipe without a problem. It is a good practice to add hydrocolloid as early in a recipe as possible.

Correct Recipe Formulations and Measuring

Hydrocolloids are usually specified in percent by weight. One kilogram of 2% alginate solution contains 980 g of water and 20 g of alginate. However, to make a 2% alginate solution, most chefs will add 20 g of alginate to 1000 g of water. Although this mix is technically incorrect (this is a 1.96% solution), the effect of the small additional hydrocolloid is negligible, and this method is easier to calculate. To get consistent results, it is important to use the same method every time. Most hydrocolloid work requires accurate measurement. A scale accurate to 0.1 g is essential; in some cases, it is helpful to have a scale accurate to .01 g.

Quick Hydration Tips

A chef’s best friend in hydration is the blender, and it’s worth it to get a good one. Blenders use high shear to beat particles away from each other and achieve good dispersion throughout a mixture.

Here’s a good technique: Add liquid to the blender, then select a speed that forms a vortex in the liquid without a lot of splashing. Slowly sprinkle the hydrocolloid in the center of the vortex until it is thoroughly dispersed. Continue blending on high until the mixture is hydrated.

Watch this... Molecular Gastronomy Video: Alex Stupak - Molecular Gastronomy Demonstration


Davidson, R. L. 1980. Handbook of water-soluble gums and resins. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Dickinson, E. and P. Walstra. 1993. Food colloids and polymers, stability and mechanical properties. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry.

Glicksman, M. 1969. Gum technology in the food industry. New York and London: Academic Press.

Glicksman, M. 1983. Food hydrocolloids, vols. 1, 2, 3. Boca Raton: CRC Press Inc. Harris, P. 1990. Food gels. New York: Elsevier Science Publishing Co.

Hoefler, A. C. 2004. Hydrocolloids: Practical guides for the food industry. St. Paul, MN: American Association of Cereal Chemists.

Hollingworth, C. S. 2010. Food hydrocolloids: Characteristics, properties and structures. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

Imeson, A. 1992. Thickeners and gelling agents for food. London: Blackie Academic and Professional.

Laaman, T. R. 2010. Hydrocolloids in food processing. Oxford: Willey-Blackwell (IFT Press).

Mantel, C. L. 1947. The water soluble gums. New York: Reinhold Publishing Corp.

Are you a avid fan of Game of Thrones, the critically acclaimed HBO TV series, then try this recipe Honeyed Chicken Medieval Recipe- Game of Thrones Food Recipes

Are you interested in Culinary Physics? Watch the FREE video tutorials at Culinary Physics Lecture Series. Get the recommended cookbooks by the expert chefs at Molecular Gastronomy Books.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Watch Molecular Gastronomy Video- Molecular Cooking is Cooking: Molecular Gastronomy is a Scientific Activity


If you have ever been surprised and impressed by an unusual serving of emulsion, a helping of frothy foam, or a plate of frozen gases as your meal, the chances are that Herve This and his gastronomic research will be behind them.

Related Post: Watch Molecular Gastronomy Video: Alex Stupak - Molecular Gastronomy Demonstration

What are the Types of Agar Products?



More than a few types of manufactured agar exist. 

Kaku-kanten, agar in bar form, comes in rectangular pieces weighing an average 7.5 g each. It is sold for home use in bags of one or two pieces. 


Agar is also sold in string form, termed hoso-kanten or ito-kanten. These strings are 28 to 36 cm in length, with a commercial unit having a net weight of 15 to 30 kg. Smaller quantities are sold to the public, and compactly packed strings are used for overseas delivery. 


The major seller, however, is powdered (fine) agar, although agar flakes are also in demand. Agar flakes are produced from Gelidium species via freezing process, whereas the powder is produced from alkali-treated Gracilaria using a pressing-dehydration (nonfreezing) method.

Now you know the different types of agar products, you should try this tasty recipe... Agar Agar Spaghetti Recipe- Molecular Gastronomy Recipes

Related Post: Watch Molecular Gastronomy Video: Alex Stupak - Molecular Gastronomy Demonstration

Friday, August 22, 2014

Agar Agar Spaghetti Recipe- Molecular Gastronomy Recipes


Agar spaghetti is a modern gastronomical creation. Agar Agar is a vegetarian gelatin substitute produced from a variety of seaweed vegetation. Agar, or agar agar, is a gelling agent extracted from red algae. It is commonly used to stabilize foams and to thicken or gel liquids. It is relatively easy to work with and a good starting point for modernist cooking. Extruding the agar jelly from the tube is fun and an activity that can be shared by the whole family.

This recipe consists of a spaghetto or noodle usually about 3 mm to 5 mm thick and 2 m long made of a flavored liquid jellified with agar agar (agar agar jellification). The agar agar spaghetti can be served cold or hot.


Serves: 5

INGREDIENTS:  (Agar Spaghetti Kit)

3 g agar–agar powder
250 g (1 cup) fruit juice
40 g white sugar
Silicone tube

For each serving you’ll need a tube of about 2 m (6 ft) in length and with an inside diameter of 3 mm to 5 mm. Make sure you find a syringe with a nozzle that fits tightly in the tube and with a capacity of 40 ml or more. You can get the silicone tubes and syringe from Amazon.com or any store.



The agar preparation usually has a concentration of agar agar of about 1.6% to obtain a very firm jelly that is flexible but at the same time strong enough to hold its spaghetti shape without breaking when handled carefully. Agar agar needs to be heated to boil for jelling and sets at a temperature of about 35-45 ˚C (95-113 ˚F). 

Agar agar is very versatile and can be used with flavored liquids with high concentrations of salt, sugar, alcohol, acid and proteases.

1) Mix fruit juice and agar–agar well in a pan, and heat at 90–100ºC until completely dissolved.

2) Add white sugar to the mixture in the pan and heat. When the sugar is dissolved, remove pan from heat.

3) Attach silicone tube to a syringe, and fill it with the agar solution.

4) Remove the silicone tube from the syringe, and put it in a bowl of cold water for 15 minutes.

5) Fill the syringe with air, attach the cold tube with the set agar jelly and extrude the jelly. When possible expel directly onto the serving dish. Repeat as many times as tubes you have or required spaghetti. 

6) Once you have made all your noodles, it's plate them up, share with family or friends and eat them.

pH of grape juice agar spaghetti = 3.04
pH of orange juice agar spaghetti = 3.80

Serving Suggestion: 

Coat with maple syrup, and sprinkle with salt.

If you love meat, you can prepare a regular spaghetti sauce. Your limit is your imagination.

Quick Cooking Tips

I recommend you get one tube for each serving and not plan to reuse the tube for each serving since you’ll have to do it very fast to prepare all the spaghetti before the agar agar preparation sets in the pot. It is not worth the trouble trying to use the same tube for all servings. Silicone tubes are more expensive than PVC tubes but they will provide you with a tighter seal when you connect them to the syringe.

If you have time, next time you should try this... Quick and Easy Carbonated Fruit Recipe

What Related Video: Fruit Spaghetti

What is Agar?

Agar (pronounced "ah-gər") or agar-agar is a gelatinous substance, obtained from algae and discovered in the late 1650s or early 1660s by Minoya Tarozaemon in Japan, where it is called Kanten.

Agar is derived from the polysaccharide agarose, which forms the supporting structure in the cell walls of certain species of algae, and which is released on boiling. These algae are known as agarophytes and belong to the Rhodophyta (red algae) phylum. Agar is actually the resulting mixture of two components: the linear polysaccharide agarose, and a heterogeneous mixture of smaller molecules called agaropectin.

What are the Differences Between Agar Agar and Gelatin

Agar agar has several advantages over the traditional gelatin, namely:

1) It has no taste, no odor and no color.

2) Agar agar gives a sensation of feeling full, which can aid dieting.

3) It is derived from a plant source rather than an animal source, meaning that it is suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets, and also for diets with restrictions for moral, ethical, and religious reasons.

4) It is used as a digestive aid by some people, to ease stomach upsets.

5) It sets more firmly than gelatin.

6) Agar agar is able to set at room temperature; it also stays in jelly form even as the temperature rises.

What are the Other Culinary Uses of Agar?

Agar-agar is a natural vegetable gelatin counterpart. White and semi-translucent, it is sold in packages as washed and dried strips or in powdered form. It can be used to make jellies, puddings, and custards. For making jelly, it is boiled in water until the solids dissolve. Sweetener, flavoring, coloring, fruit or vegetables are then added and the liquid is poured into molds to be served as desserts and vegetable aspics, or incorporated with other desserts, such as a jelly layer in a cake.

Agar-agar is approximately 80% fiber, so it can serve as an intestinal regulator. Its bulk quality is behind one of the latest fad diets in Asia, the kanten (the Japanese word for agar-agar diet. Once ingested, kanten triples in size and absorbs water. This results in the consumers feeling more full. This diet has recently received some press coverage in the United States as well. The diet has shown promise in obesity studies.

One use of agar in Japanese cuisine (Wagashi) is anmitsu, a dessert made of small cubes of agar jelly and served in a bowl with various fruits or other ingredients. It is also the main ingredient in mizu yōkan, another popular Japanese food.

In Philippine cuisine, it is used to make the jelly bars in the various gulaman refreshments or desserts such as sago gulaman, buko pandan, agar flan, halo-halo, and the black and red gulaman used in various fruit salads.

In Vietnamese cuisine, jellies made of flavored layers of agar agar, called thạch, are a popular dessert, and are often made in ornate molds for special occasions. 

In Indian cuisine, agar agar is known as "China grass" and is used for making desserts. 

In Burmese cuisine, a sweet jelly known as kyauk kyaw is made from agar.

In Russia, it is used in addition or as a replacement to pectin in jams and marmalades, as a substitute to gelatin for its superior gelling properties, and as a strengthening ingredient in soufflés and custards. Another use of agar-agar is in ptich'ye moloko (bird's milk), a rich jellified custard (or soft meringue) used as a cake filling or chocolate-glazed as individual sweets. Agar-agar may also be used as the gelling agent in gel clarification, a culinary technique used to clarify stocks, sauces, and other liquids.

Are you interested in Culinary Physics? Watch the FREE video tutorials at Culinary Physics Lecture Series. Get the recommended cookbooks by the expert chefs at Molecular Gastronomy Books.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Watch Molecular Gastronomy Video: Alex Stupak - Molecular Gastronomy Demonstration


Alex Stupak - Molecular Gastronomy Demonstration

Iron chef winner Alex Stupak conducts a science-themed demonstration of his cooking skills at the Busch Dining Hall.

Do you want more? Try this Quick and Easy Carbonated Fruit Recipe

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Quick and Easy Carbonated Fruit Recipe


There are many ways to eat and enjoy your favorite fruit. Fruits are handy to eat on the go or fit into your bag to be eaten later as a snack. It is not unusual to see a fruit bowl that includes many fruits, cut and served with a platter of cheese and crackers. But, have you ever tried grapes that taste like sparkling wine or oranges that taste like orange Fanta? You can easily make this at home by making grapes and oranges fizzy. You can also try other fruits and vegetables. Some will taste better than others when fizzy. Grapes, oranges, apples, bananas taste great when they are fizzy.

You can use dry ice to carbonate fruits. The fruit will be filled with tingly carbon dioxide bubbles, like a soda. The fizzy fruit is great to eat on its own or it can be used in recipes. It’s refreshing, bubbly, and totally unique.


Before you start, you should learn some safety tips for your protection.

Fizzy Carbonated Fruit Safety Tips

a) Freshly frozen fizzy fruit is the same temperature as dry ice (around -109°F) so allow it to warm a bit before consuming it.

b) Dry ice is very cold, so don't handle it or eat it. Dry ice must never come in contact with the skin or any other living tissue.

c) There are videos that show people carbonating fruit by sealing dry ice and fruit in a plastic bottle. This is not a particularly safe method, since over-pressuring the bottle will cause it to explode. If you decide to try this method, make sure your bottle is plastic (less shrapnel in the event of an explosion) and use a minimal amount of dry ice. Experts do not recommend this procedure. You can get fizzy fruit without risking a trip to the hospital.

d) This goes along with the first point: don't seal dry ice into a closed container.


Materials to make carbonated fruit you only need to gather a few things:

Bottle or container—You will need a plastic bottle or a container to put the fruit into. A wide mouth Nalgene works best. You can use an empty 2-liter soda bottle however, just be careful not to add in too much dry ice, more on that later. DO NOT use a glass jar. The bottle will be under pressure and broken plastic is safer than broken glass. If you have a vessel that is designed to take pressure, like a beer keg or pressure cooker for example, then by all means, try using that.

Fruit—When making carbonated fruit it’s best to use firm fruits, like oranges, apples, and pears. If you try doing it with softer fruits like kiwis, strawberries, and bananas and it just doesn’t work as well. Apples in particular seem to work the best.

Dry ice—The final thing you will need is a block of dry ice. You will only need a tiny, tiny amount of dry ice to make the carbonated fruit, but it’s hard to buy less than a large block of the stuff. Now, chances are that you have never seen dry ice for sale. You can’t make it on your own and you might not be able to find it easily.

You can use the Dry Ice Directory (www.dryicedirectory. com) to find out where it was being sold locally— they have listings for all over the world.

Note: Before you obtain dry ice, you should review the Dry Ice Safety Info website at www. dryiceinfo.com/safe.htm, which includes detailed information about the safe handling, transportation, storage, and disposal of dry ice. This informational site is maintained by a group of manufacturers and sellers of dry ice.


1) Cut the fruit and put it into the bottles. The first step is to cut up the fruit and put it into the bottle(s). Cut the fruit as if you were making fruit salad—no seeds or orange peels are wanted here. Cut smaller pieces to fit through the narrow neck of the soda bottle and bigger ones for the wide mouth of the Nalgene. I highly recommend using a Nalgene to make carbonated fruit.

2) Add the dry ice. The next step is to cut off a small chunk of dry ice from the block. You only need about two grams, or a piece about half the size of your thumb. There is no harm to putting in too little dry ice—you will simply end up with only slightly fizzy fruit. However, putting in too much dry ice is dangerous and could make a really big mess.

Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide at a temperature around -78 ˚C (-108 ˚F). Dry ice does not melt but sublimates from a solid to a gas when the temperature rises. Unlike regular ice made from water, it goes directly from its solid phase to its gaseous phase with no liquid phase in between. Dry ice constantly sublimate from its solid form of CO2 to CO2 gas.

This gas is pure CO2, exactly what we need to carbonate the fruit. Follow the next steps to make the fruit absorb the CO2.

As a result, the dry ice block will produce gaseous CO2 until there is nothing left of the solid block. The bottles are going to be sealed tightly with their caps, so if too much CO2 gas is built up inside the bottle, they might explode (the soda bottle bursts at around 115 psi). We are looking for only 30 psi, so you must not use a big hunk of dry ice.

3.) Wait a day or two. As soon as you put the dry ice into the bottles and you seal the top, you can see it turning into its gaseous phase. Most of the dry ice will sublimate in an hour, so that’s all the time it will take for the bottles to fully pressurize. Waiting overnight is a good idea to let the CO2 gas work its way into the fruit. You can put the bottles into an empty drawer and closed it for the first hour. After an hour you will see that the bottles are under pressure, but not in any danger of exploding, so transfer it to the refrigerator for the night.

Remember that you can only carbonate things that have water in them.

4) Open, eat, and burp. Once the bottles have sat overnight you are ready to open, eat, and burp.

Bleed the pressure from the bottle by opening the cap like you would open a shaken soda bottle. Cut the top of the plastic soda bottle off with a sharp knife and poured it out into a bowl. You can simply pour the fruit out of the Nalgene bottle through the wide mouth of the bottle. Now that the fruit is out of the bottles it’s ready to eat. It loses its fizzyness pretty quickly, so make sure you chow down in the first 15 minutes after opening the bottles.

Carbonated fruit tastes like regular fruit, but it tingles on your tongue. It’s a totally unique eating experience, and makes you burp a whole lot if you have done it right.

If you have time, you should try more exciting recipes at Molecular Gastronomy Recipes

Serving Suggestions

- Try fizzy grapes with champagne or with cheese.

- Try carbonated melon with Prosciutto.

- Slice a banana. Make it fizzy then coat it with chocolate. Allow the banana to warm slightly before eating it.

- Try sangria with fizzy fruit.

Interesting Science Behind Carbonation

A) The colder the liquid the more CO2 that can dissolve in it. So if you want to keep your beverage carbonated for a longer period, just keep it cold.

B) Most beers have CO2 bubbles but Guinness beer bubbles contain nitrogen instead so it doesn’t taste fizzy. The nitrogen is also less soluble than CO2 which allows the beer to be put under high pressure without making it fizzy which enables small bubbles to be formed. Both effects give draught Guinness its perceived smoothness.

C) The fizzy sensation comes from the bubbles of concentrated carbon dioxide (CO2) which, as they burst in the mouth, they trigger a pain response from the nerves in the tongue and the mouth. This nerve response also intensifies the aromas and taste. This is why beverages taste blander after they lose its carbonation.

Quick Tips on Fruit Carbonation

a) Alternatively, if you have an ISI whipper, load the fruit into the chamber and charge with a CO2 cartridge, and let stand in refrigerator.

b) Do not use a small mouthed soda bottle. It is too difficult to get the fruit in and out.

Watch Related Video: How to Make Carbonated Fruit Video

Are you a avid fan of Game of Thrones, the critically acclaimed HBO TV series, then try this recipe Honeyed Chicken Medieval Recipe- Game of Thrones Food Recipes

Are you interested in Culinary Physics? Watch the FREE video tutorials at Culinary Physics Lecture Series. Get the recommended cookbooks by the expert chefs at Molecular Gastronomy Books.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Honeyed Chicken Medieval Recipe- Game of Thrones Food Recipes


A tasty and healthy favorite food that you can easily make right at home – and the homemade version tastes a hundred  times better!


“Hungry again?” he asked. There was still half a honeyed chicken in the center of the table. Jon reached out to tear off a leg, then had a better idea. He knifed the bird whole and let the carcass slide to the floor between his legs. Ghost ripped into it in savage silence.

Serves 3 to 4   
Preparation: 15 minutes
Sauce: 30 minutes   
Cooking: 1 to 1½ hours

Pairs well with Crusty White Bread, Modern Turnips in Butter, mead

This dish has a Northern feel. The apples, vinegar, honey, and dried berries invoke the chill of frosty evenings spent in the warm feast hall of Winterfell. The sauce reduces down to a thick, syrupy consistency, which melts enticingly when drizzled over the hot chicken. The dried fruits soak up the sauce and are bursting with flavor by the time they grace your plate.


1 whole chicken for roasting, about 6 pounds
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup apple cider vinegar
¾ cup honey
1 to 2 teaspoons mint, dried or fresh, chopped
½ cup currants, raisins, dried cherries, dried cranberries, etc.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 450°F.


1) Pat the chicken dry, then rub it down with melted butter and sprinkle with salt. This will make the skin crispy and delicious. 

2) Cook for approximately 1 hour, or until the juices run clear when you pierce the thigh meat with a sharp knife and the breast meat is no longer pink.

3) While your chicken is roasting, combine all the remaining ingredients in a saucepan and allow the sauce to simmer until the dried fruit plumps and the sauce reduces to half its original volume, about 30 minutes. 

4) When the chicken is done, spread half the sauce and currants over the bird and reserve the other half to serve as gravy.

CALORIE COUNTER: Honeyed Chicken

Nutritional Facts
1 serving (1 each) equals 351 calories, 16 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 121 mg cholesterol, 385 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 34 g protein. 

Next time you should try Medieval Pigeon Pie Recipe from the Game of Thrones TV series.


Have you tried Tyrion Lannister's favorite lamprey pie, or Daenerys Targaryen mouth-watering honeyfingers? Then you are missing a lot! 

If you are a true fan of the critically-acclaimed Game of Thrones HBO TV series. You should taste some of the food if not all in the TV Series.

Taste the food at the King's Landing. Buy the A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook at Amazon.com using this link and you get a 10% discount and FREE shipping if you order the hardcover version. More than a hundred authentic recipes in the book for your enjoyment.

Watch cooking video: How to Make Honeyed Chicken

8 Surefire Tips for Buying Fresh Chicken

1) Check the "sell-by" date, if properly refrigerated, it should remain fresh 2-3 days after that date. A "use-by" date, indicates the meat should be cooked or frozen by that date.

2) When buying your chicken meat from the supermarket, make certain that you do all your other shopping first and that you select the chicken meat last, just before reaching the check-out, as this will reduce the amount of time the chicken meat is spent outside of the fridge or freezer. 

3) On choosing chicken from the meat department, look for packaging that does not contain any holes or tears and make sure that the chicken meat is cool to the touch, so that you are certain that it has been adequately stored.

4) Check the chicken meat color. Fresh chicken is pink. Veer away from any bird that has grayish meat or transparent looking skin, which is a sign that it's been sitting around in the supermarket freezer for a while. Be sure to peek in the crevices, like under the wings and thighs. It's also important to examine the chicken skin for any tears or signs of rough handling. Damaged  skin and chicken meat tend to deteriorates faster.

5) Choose plump-looking pieces, appearance is important. Look for skins that are not transparent or patchy in appearance

6) Press against the chicken. Fresh chicken meat has skin that springs back when you press against it. If the skin sinks, or feels hard, the meat has been sitting around for a long time. You also need to check if the chicken feels bloated, a sure sign that it's been injected with water to fool customers into thinking that it's heavier than it really is.

7) If you are buying a frozen bird from the supermarket, it should be extremely hard to touch and show no signs of freezer damage. If ice crystals are present on the surface of the packaging, it means that the poultry has been stored at temperatures that are much too cold.

8) Smell the chicken meat. Fresh chicken should have no smell. You'll know rotting chicken when you smell it, but since your nose can be desensitized from inhaling the odors of spices (or other things sold in the supermarket or farmer's market) buy your chicken first.

Have you tasted the Pulled Pork Parfait Original Recipe at Miller Park?

Are you interested in Culinary Physics? Watch the FREE video tutorials at Culinary Physics Lecture Series.

Excerpted from A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer. Copyright © 2012 by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer. Excerpted by permission of Bantam, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

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