Monday, August 24, 2009

Agar jelly "spaghetti"

I ordered a "spaghetto" (not "spaghetti") kit a couple of years ago from Spain. It was created for one of the items at el bulli, the parmesan spaghetto. Basically, it is an agar gelled Parmesan serum.

The method is brilliant, and it is one of those things that I wish I could have come up with myself. But I didn't. I used it once in 2007, succeeded, was in awe of it, then put it away until recently.

You make the agar jelly, then pour it into a squeeze bottle, then squeeze the liquid into a 3 ft long plastic tube, then dunk the tube into an ice bath so it sets quickly. They make a special attachment for the iSi heavy cream whippers, which is a plastic nozzle that screws into the whipper where you would typically screw in a tip where the contents of the whipper would come out of. This special nozzle fits snugly inside the tube with the gelled agar. Once you charge the whipper with nitrogen, you push the nozzle into the tube with the agar gel and gently squeeze. If it doesn't come out, you can put the tube inside a bowl with warm water to loosen it up without melting it (agar is not thermoreversible). Just a little pressure from the whipper will push the whole thing out. It looks disturbing but amazing at the same time, how this perfect tube of jelly slowly comes out of the plastic tube, coiling onto itself (I used 250 g cherry poaching liquid and 4 g of agar, combined, boiled them for 5 seconds, then forced it into the tube while it was still hot).

This dessert is a house made pistachio marzipan wrapped around a cherry genoise, with a quenelle of pistachio chantilly coated in pistachio velvet. The blackness is black sesame gelee.


  1. Yeah, they're fun. That's a very cool looking dessert. I don't have the isi attachment, I have a little hand held pump I use, but the results are the same. I usually use a combo of agar (.25%), xanthan (.4%) and LBG (.1%) when I do them. I hadn't done it in a while but recently used it for this dish...

  2. Chef, could you post a link as to where you got your "kit" from. I've been looking for the same thing for quite sometime and have been unsuccessful. Beautiful dessert!

  3. Hey Russel.
    Find it here:
    How's the job going?

  4. Hey Chef,
    I was wondering if I could ask a quick question. I want to do some popsicles and was debating tossing in some sorbet stabilizer or maybe a guar/LBG combo mainly to help with keeping everything in suspension. Then I read about the Popsicle brand "slow melt" popsicles that contain gelatin as the only stabilizer and thought about giving that route a try as well. What do you think would be a good range to start in with the gelatin percentage for something like this?

  5. I would go a different route and use xanthan gum (.35% to .45%); more or less depending on what you are suspending. Both the luqid and the component to be supsended need to be the same density in order to have an even distribution.

  6. Chef Migoya, I looked all over the ISI website, sent emails, talked to ISI reps, left messages with no results. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Great site, great ideas.

  7. Hello Chef, how many charges do you put in the iSi whipper? i have all the tools ready, just need to know how many charges so I don't mess it up. THANK YOU so much for sharing all these cool techniques!