Agar-agar, Glossary and Terms, Meat, Fish, Fruit, Grocery Food Stores

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Processed seaweed, grayish white in color and comes in sticks, flakes, granules or powder. It is a vegetarian gelatin. After it is soaked in cold water, it becomes bouncy, resilient, and crisp. It is used mostly for cold oriental dishes that contain chicken, meat, and vegetables. In the old days, before the introduction of gelatin, agar-agar was also used as a thickening agent in making cold jellied dishes. Once soaked in boiling water, it melts into a gelatinous substance. The Chinese use this paste to make their famous delicacy called "bird's nest soup." Agar-agar is commonly referred to as Chinese gelatin.
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