Check out our guide to agar agar, including where to buy it and plenty of recipe inspiration, then read about nutritional yeast, tempeh and aquafaba.

What is agar agar?

Agar agar is a gelling agent extracted from red algae and is used as a vegan alternative to gelatine. It is usually found as flakes or as a powder and is made from seaweed, although it has no flavour or scent. It is used in a similar way to gelatine, so is suitable for use in jellies, gels and set custards.

Where to buy agar agar

These three agar agar products are all in powdered form for super-easy dissolving:

Just Ingredients Agar Agar, £11.25/100g, olive shop

Cooks' Ingredients Agar Agar, £4.10/30g, Waitrose

Special Ingredients Agar Agar, £5.41/100g, Amazon

Agar agar recipes

Chinese pan-fried soup dumpling bao

Set aside a weekend to make chef Jeremy Pang's sheng jian bao complete with a fluffy dough and juicy pork filling.

A black pan filled with nine crimped dumplings

Gin-cured trout

This beautifully delicate starter from The Surprise in London’s Chelsea features soft trout, a tangy yogurt purée and fresh cucumber salsa.

slices of pink trout on a white plate topped with dollops of yogurt and green cucumber salsa

Christmas pavlova

These individual pavlovas are filled with caramelised pineapple, topped with vanilla-infused cream and finished with a passionfruit coulis – a truly showstopping dessert by Covent Garden restaurant, Ave Mario.

Ave Mario's christmas pavlovawith passion fruit coulis being pouts over the top

Vegan lemon meringue pie

A few swaps turns classic lemon meringue pie into an impressive vegan dessert everyone can enjoy.

A lemon meringue pie on a white plate with a large slice cut out of it


Adam Bush Chef Portrait
Adam BushDeputy food editor