Mitoku Agar Agar Flakes are a traditional odorless, tasteless sea vegetable gelatin created by a long, slow process that combines a mixture of red algae sea vegetables of the Gelidium and Gracilaria species. Mitoku Agar Agar is highly prized as a natural, pure vegetable quality gelatin and a much healthier alternative to commercial animal, chemical gelatins.
The several varieties of wild sea vegetables used in Mitoku Agar Agar Flakes are hand harvested from pristine temperate waters in the autumn then spread out on beaches to naturally sun dry. In the winter the dried plants are transported to the mountains where they are cooked several hours in water to soften them. This thick mixture is poured into trays and allowed to gel before cutting into bars. The bars are placed outside in snow covered rice fields, on bamboo mats suspended from short bamboo frames. During the cold of the night the gelled bars freeze solid and ice forms on the surface. In the morning when the temperature rises, the ice melts and runs off. The bars are left to repeatedly freeze and thaw for 10 days. After 10 days all of the moisture disappears resulting in lightweight, off-white bars of agar. The bars are then crushed to produce Mitoku Agar Agar Flakes. The flakes are easy to use, do not require long soaking and quickly dissolve in hot water or juice.
Unlike commercially produced agar agar flakes, Mitoku Agar Agar Flakes are naturally made without the use of sulfuric acid as a softening agent or inorganic bleaches and dyes used to whiten the sea vegetables and rid them of their odor. Simple boiling and air drying Mitoku Agar Agar Flakes makes it a superior quality, pure vegetable gelatin, containing no animal products or chemicals. MitokuAgar Agar Flakes are very low sodium, low calorie, fat and cholesterol free.
Mitoku Agar Agar Flakes are the perfect all purpose gelatin. Use in making desserts such as puddings, custards, mousse, jello, preserves, jams and pie fillings. Also use to make a variety of vegetable, bean, noodle and fruit aspics. Fruit aspics are referred to as ‘kanten’ in Japanese and macrobiotic cookbooks.
When using Mitoku Agar Agar Flakes to make a firm gelatin for fruit salads or childrens finger gelatin, use 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of agar agar flakes per cup of water, tea or juice. If a softer jello like texture is desired, use 1 tablespoon of flakes per cup of water, tea or juice. If the juice is quite acidic such as grape, orange or lemon, slightly more flakes will be needed to achieve a jello like texture.
When using the flakes to thicken pie fillings like pumpkin pie or those that contain soymilk, first soak the flakes in a 1/4 cup of water for 20 minutes, then simmer until the flakes are about half dissolved. Then add pie filling ingredients or milk alternative and continue cooking at least another 20 minutes. Soymilk, dairy milk, and other thick or fatty ingredients make it difficult for agar agar flakes to dissolve quickly. We have found that blending the ingredients in a blender after cooking further breaks down the flakes when using in thick pie fillings like pumpkin pie. Another alternative is to grind the measured amount of agar flakes in a coffee bean grinder or a small blender until it becomes powder. This makes it easier for the agar to dissolve.