One of the things I love doing in the kitchen is experiment and have tons of fun. Being somewhat a typical resourceful (a nicer term for stingy) Asian, I’m always making use of whatever gadgets, equipments or kitchen ware I have instead of buying additional stuff that I might only use once or twice. Friends could not believe that I have been baking with mama’s 30-year-old portable oven (have konked out recently) and mixer. If any of you dare not start cooking because you don’t have a proper kitchen, the good news is you don’t need them to start. Anyone that can cook with the bare essentials.
To make agar agar dessert, the liquid is usually poured into pretty moulds or containers and cut into rectangular shapes. Not having any agar agar moulds. I rummaged through my kitchen ware and poured them small bowl-like container and the holder of popsicles. At that moment, what ran through my mind was the shapes looks pretty enough. It was only when I unmould them that I realised they would make a pretty flower design. The magenta agar agar makes it just in time for Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day. Have I convinced you to be resourceful yet?
If you have never tried red dragon fruit, get hold of one immediately. They are sweet and more flavourful than the white variety, which are pretty tasteless to me. I’ve recently come to know there’s yellow variety too, but I haven’t seen them here in KL.
Agar agar is one of the go-to Malaysian desserts, just boil and chill. What could be easier than that? Everybody loves them, especially on a hot sunny day. Agar agar (a plant based like gelatine) basically has no taste. Flavour it with favourite fruits, coconut milk like Pandan Agar Agar, chocolate, green tea, red bean. Oh the combination possibilities are endless. Imagine lycee with rasperberries… rosewater with pomegranates… Go on, give agar agar a try.
Update on 25th February 2014:
Catch my demonstration of the recipe on Bella program at NTV7
- 1.3liter (5 cups) Water
- 20g Agar Agar Strips
- 150g Raw Honey (or sweetener of choice)
- 1 cup Dragon Fruit puree (1 medium size Dragon Fruit mashed with fork)
- 3 Pandan Leaves - tied into a knot (Optional)
- Bring water to boil in a medium pot and add in agar agar strips with pandan leaves. Lower the fire to simmer, stir occasionally until agar agar strips has fully dissolved in about 2 minutes. Switch of the fire and remove pandan leaves.
- Let the solution cool down for 1-2 minutes before adding in dragon fruit and honey (high heat will destroy the enzymes of the fruit and honey). Stir well.
- Pour into mould or (20cm x 20cm) tray. Once it has cool down, chill in the fridge for 30mins.
- To release from mould, use a butter knife to run around the edges and gently squeeze the mould to release the agar agar. For the agar in the containers, use a butter knife to cut them into square or rectangular shapes.