I’ve been on an agar-agar (tha.ch) obsession for the last few months and I’ve made more than ten batches and getting better each time. There are recipes everywhere on the net for the agar powder for easier measurement. But I prefer the translucent sticks that you have to soak in water before boiling. The cooking instruction is in Chinese so it’s no use to me. I’ve narrowed it down to four cups of water and a can of coconut water for half a bag of 1.5 oz. agar. Just like some people prefer firm Jello and some don’t, there is a lot of leeway for the liquid and your can mix less water for a firmer texture and more water for a slushier texture. I always pour in the can of coconut water after the agar and water has melted to rapidly cool the mixture before pouring it into the mold.
Agar-agar comes from sea weed and frequently used as a dessert in Asia and mostly as a thickener in the US. You might see it as carrageenan in the ingredient list. It has no taste, hence very bland if eaten plain. It’s also vegetarian and has never been inside a pig like gelatin.
After it is blended with flavors such as coffee, coconut milk, or pandan, and a lot of sugar, it is a real treat and easy to make. The best thing about agar-agar is that it condenses quickly and you can on pile layers of flavors to make a pretty dessert under no time at all.
Coffee, coconut milk and panda-flavored agar-agar. Flower mold from Milton (Amazon link)