A gelatinous setting agent used widely in Asian desserts
Agar agar is a jelly like substance that is extracted from red algae. Agar agar is used as a base for many Asian sweets and desserts. Agar agar is sold in powder form or in long strips or bricks. It dissolves in boiling water and can absorb up to 20 times its own weight. It is used in Asia instead of gelatin and is superior because dishes made with it do not need refrigeration to remain firm and set.
Agar agar is a good source of iron, phosphorus, calcium and vitamins A, B1, B6, B12, biotin, C, D and contains fewer calories than animal gelatin.