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 Post subject: Agar Powder vs Agar Flakes vs Agar Strands
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:46 pm 
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Tofu Pup

Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:19 pm
Posts: 3
Hi everyone, I am new to PPK as you can tell, and I hope my questions have not been asked 10^9 times.

I recently purchased Agar Strands from my local asian market. I have never seen agar strands used in recipes or really any references to it before. If you are unfamiliar with these strands, they basically look like sparkly translucent pasta with a slightly wavy pattern.

Anyway, for my question: are there a benefits to using agar flakes vs agar powder vs agar strands? I would be happy to just grind up the whole package (less the plastic packaging it came in :))

I suspect that the powder is the most useful form of agar, so (not to sound like a jerk) why would anyone ever want it in flakes or strands? My main use for agar will probably be to make various cheezes. I was never a jello fan, so I don't see myself using it for that type of thing, but I definitely could go for some cheeze cake.

Thanks for helping me out.


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 Post subject: Re: Agar Powder vs Agar Flakes vs Agar Strands
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:48 am 
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Huffs Nutritional Yeast

Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:31 am
Posts: 114
Location: The Middle Yeast
I've bought agar blocks because it's all I could find locally, and I ground it in my coffee grinder. It only achieved 'flake' consistency, never 'powder' consistency. It's so lightweight it just kinda flies around the grinder and doesn't chop much.

I've never used the strands, but from what I've gathered there are some traditional recipes where you soak them and add to salads, or make a gelatin-y dessert with the strand texture in (vs. smooth texture with powder). The blocks can also simmered be in liquid and then removed.

I think powdered is the most useful, especially for cheese.

And welcome!! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Agar Powder vs Agar Flakes vs Agar Strands
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:18 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:46 pm
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Location: Brasil
i only used to buy the strands/blocks because they were significantly cheaper than the flakes. a pack of those blocks makes a hell of a lot of flakes when you blend it up.

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Buddha says 'Meh'.--matwinser
I'm just a drunk who likes fruit. -- Desdemona


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 Post subject: Re: Agar Powder vs Agar Flakes vs Agar Strands
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:02 pm 
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Tofu Pup

Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:19 pm
Posts: 3
Thanks Torque. I agree with you there. I only paid $2 (USD) for a 2 oz pack of agar strands. It would cost me about at least 4-5 times more for that wt in powder. Last night I ground up about half of the strands using my coffee grinder and I was really surprised how much the volume decreased in doing so. The strands take up at least 20 times the volume of my powdery-flaky creation.


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 Post subject: Re: Agar Powder vs Agar Flakes vs Agar Strands
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:52 pm 
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Because Bob Barker Told Me To
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Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:08 pm
Posts: 936
Location: PDX
I've used all three. The only downside to the strands are grinding it (NomiMalone is right) and figuring out equivalent amounts. I think normally 3 parts flakes for 1 part powder, but this is a case where being able to measure by weight would be helpful.

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Formerly Kaleicious. I still love kale, but no more than lots of other garden greens too! Orach is currently my favorite.


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 Post subject: Re: Agar Powder vs Agar Flakes vs Agar Strands
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:57 pm 
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Tofu Pup

Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:19 pm
Posts: 3
Hey NomiMalone, thanks for the reply. I wasn't sure if there was such a thing as blocks, because the strands come in a package which (I thought) could be counted as a block. Now, I will have to keep my eyes open for the elusive Agar Block while hiking through my local markets.

The coffee grinder I used last night to grind the strands gave me that flaky-powdery consistency about which you also talked. But my other coffee grinder (a mail-order freebie), which unfortunately is currently residing at work, will pulverize anything to a finer-than-a-frogs-hair consistency. So, you may want to look at some reviews and buy a better coffee grinder; I have been able to use mine for all sorts of grinding including flax seeds, nuts, and even Turbinado sugar crystals.

If you do get another coffee grinder, save your original for exclusive coffee grinding. Thanks again so very much for your response.

not-so-very-interesting side note: currently (present time) vs. presently (immediate future) - grammarwench. c o m


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