11 Best Agar Agar Powder Substitute

Imagine you are in the kitchen, super excited to make a few fantastic vegan sweets. Then you realize you have no Agar Agar to use. That would just quickly ruin the mood, right? But luckily there are many substitutes for agar agar powder that might just be in your pantry.

Agar Agar is plant-based gelatin derived from red algae. It is commonly used as a vegetarian and vegan alternative to gelatin and to make various dishes, including jellies, puddings, and custards.

But unluckily, Agar Agar is not easy to find if you are living in the east. The good thing is, nowadays there are several Agar Agar substitutes that you can use instead. So if you also can’t afford to use Agar Agar right now for some reason, we have got you covered!

In this quick post, let’s discuss some of the best Agar Agar substitutes that you can also use!


11 Best Agar Agar Substitutes

1. Gelatin

This could very well be your best option if you don’t want to spend a lot of time looking for Agar Agar substitutes. Gelatin is in fact one of the most effective thickening agents in the world, but it doesn’t really add to the final taste of the dish. So keep that in mind and also that gelatin isn’t exactly the healthy alternative that you might be looking for.

If you’re looking to substitute gelatin for agar-agar, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, gelatin is made from animal products while agar-agar is a plant-based product.

Second, agar-agar is a much stronger setting agent than gelatin, so you’ll need to use less of it. Finally, because agar-agar is derived from red algae, it has a slightly different flavor than gelatin.

How to Substitute:- Anytime you want to utilize gelatin, you must also substitute it in a 3:1 ratio. This is done because you need more gelatin than Agar Agar to make the recipe perfect. 

2. Guar Gum

Guar gum is a great option if you’re looking for a plant-based alternative to Agar agar. Guar gum is made from the ground endosperm of the guar bean and has many similarities to Agar agar.

You’ll need to use a little more guar gum than you would Agar agar, so keep that in mind when making substitutions. Guar gum is a great alternative for those who are looking for a vegan-friendly or gluten-free option.

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Guar gum sometimes referred to as guaran, is far less expensive than Agar Agar and is also gluten-free. This also makes it the ideal alternative to Agar Agar.

How to Substitute:- To use it as a substitute, simply mix together equal parts guar gum and water until the mixture is smooth, then add it to your recipe in place of the agar-agar. Make sure you only use half a tablespoon per cup because using more than that is not advised.

3. Cornstarch

Cornstarch is another ingredient that is typically available in most homes. If you’re looking for a vegetarian or vegan-friendly substitute for Agar agar, cornstarch is a good option. Cornstarch is a type of starch that is derived from corn. It’s commonly used as a thickening agent in recipes.

For vegan foods like soups, you can also use cornstarch in place of Agar Agar. It’s a little bit simpler for you to add cornstarch to anything you want because it has no flavor.

When combined with water, it forms a gel-like substance that can be used in place of Agar agar.

How to Substitute:- Once more, we advise adding cornstarch to your recipes at a 1:2 ratio i.e 1 tablespoon of cornstarch for every 2 tablespoons of agar-agar. Pro-tip is to mix it with cold water rather than hot to avoid clumping of the flour.

4. Xanthan Gum

Xanthan Gum Powder is not a name that most people know about or know how to use this ingredient. Xanthan gum is prepared by fermenting a certain type of bacteria and is a relatively new ingredient. This might be a smart choice if you are looking for an ingredient that will hold everything together when you cook something. 

Yet it is one of the best Agar Agar substitutes as you can find it in local groceries and can last a long time. But you should keep in mind that Xanthan gum powder can be a bit expensive to purchase. So ensure that you use xanthan wisely and only buy when necessary. 

How to Substitute:- To achieve excellent results, use Xanthan gum powder in a 1:1 ratio.

5. Pectin Powder

Pectin powder is made from dried pectin, which is a natural soluble fiber found in fruits. It is one of your finest options if you’re looking for vegan alternatives to Agar Agar. This powder is an excellent substitute for individuals who want to use exclusively vegan products because it is made from berries and other citrus fruits.

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Due to its fiber content and inability to be utilized in savory foods, pectin powder is not a healthy substitute. Pectin powder, as opposed to Agar Agar, contains sugar if you want to make anything sweet. You can attempt to use it in savory dishes, but pectin might make things more difficult for you in that way. 

How to Substitute:- When choosing to replace pectin with pectin powder in recipes, keep in mind the 3:1 ratio.

6. Carrageenan (Irish Moss)

Carrageenan is a natural product derived from red algae. It is a polysaccharide that has been used for hundreds of years as a gelling agent in various deserts and recipes. 

When substituting Agar Agar with Carrageenan, it is important to keep the following in mind:

-Carrageenan is much more potent than Agar Agar, so you will need to use less of it.

-Carrageenan will also set at a lower temperature than agar agar.

With these tips in mind, substituting agar agar with Carrageenan is a simple process that anyone can do.

How to Substitute:- Use 3/4th tablespoon of Carrageenan as a substitute for one tablespoon of agar agar. 

7. Arrowroot Powder

Arrowroot powder is a white, starchy powder derived from the root of the arrowroot plant. It has a mild flavor and is often used as a thickening agent in sauces, gravies, and puddings.

Arrowroot powder can be easily used in place of Agar agar as it has a similar thickening power and can be used in many of the same ways.

A remarkable quality of arrowroot powder is that it is twice as thick as regular flour and is conveniently available in nearby supermarkets. Additionally, you can use this powder to coat anything before deep-frying them and completely enjoy it!

How to Substitute:- For optimal results, use the same quantity of arrowroot powder as you would Agar Agar.

8. Vegan Gel

If you’re looking for a vegan-friendly alternative to agar agar, look no further than vegan gel! Made from carrageenan, a type of seaweed, the vegan gel is a great choice for those looking for a plant-based option.

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Vegan gel can be used in many of the same ways as agar agar, so it’s a great substitution in recipes. Plus, it’s easier to find than agar agar and is typically less expensive.

9. Cassava Flour

Cassava flour is a type of flour made from the root of the cassava plant. It is commonly used in African and Caribbean cuisine and has a similar consistency to wheat flour.

For those of you who are looking for gluten-free agar agar substitutes, cassava flour is what you will like to enjoy.

Since cassava flour functions nearly identically to cornstarch, it has recently gained popularity as an alternative. Cassava flour is a fantastic thickening agent and can be used to preserve the original flavor.

How to Substitute:-Cassava flour can be used as a substitute for agar agar in many recipes. When substituting, use an equal amount of cassava flour for the agar agar.

10. Potato Starch

Potato starch is not something new in the culinary world. In fact, there are so many people who use potato starch regularly to make their meals more amazing. It’s vegan as well as gluten-free, and thus it’s the perfect agar agar substitute for a lot of people. 

Your sauces become slightly smoother thanks to the mildly starchy nature of potato starch. You may get it whenever you need to because it is affordable, and it is manufactured by just smashing potatoes.

How to Substitute:- Use the same quantity of potato starch as a replacement for agar agar powder.

11. Konjac

Also known as Konnyaku, Konjac is a Japanese ingredient that has started to become a famous agar agar replacement. Its better used as an excellent gelling agent in Asian cuisine. The jelly made from Konjac is often bouncier than the normal jellies.

Be very careful while using Konjac though, as it has a choking risk which makes it a bit dangerous. Thus we have kept it at end of the list, so make sure to pick other options if possible. 

How to Substitute:- Use it in the exact same amount as you were supposed to use agar agar powder. Supervision is needed in case you serve to younger kids.

We hope you found this article on substitutes for agar agar powder helpful, please share the post!

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