Anyone ever used agar-agar for jello?

I had the inspired idea to make that green jello salad with the things in it for Thanksgiving this year. The catch is, my sister is a vegetarian and can’t eat regular gelatin. She told me that you can make gelatin salad from agar-agar, but she’s never tried it.
I found some recipes, but I’m wondering how “real” it’ll taste (and feel). I teased my sister about it being the stuff in a petri dish, but really, I don’t mind eating weird stuff. I’d just like some idea of what I’m getting into.

I have no idea how its made, but when I have sweetened agar in some asian deserts, it’s got a chewy mouth feel. Not quite like a gummy bear, because you bite through it easily. Very similar to a Chuckles, I’d say. It wouldn’t be confused for Jello but it might be pretty good anyway. I’m imagining like, coconut or mango or lychee flavors. Something asian/tropical.

Nice combo of OP and username.

I have, but not in a salad, just molded. It’s hard to get out of a mold, and it’s really brittle. You can’t dip the mold in hot water to liquify the edges like you can with gelatin.
I’d suggest setting it up in a pretty clear glass serving bowl.

Hmm, so did you scoop it out in chunks, then?

Back when I was little Mr. Science, I did the reverse.

We’ve bought “Chinese jello” at the Vietnamese store. (That’s what we call it, not it’s actual name.) It’s flavored, sweetened agar-agar. Just like Jello except made from seaweed.

Well, and with flavors like jasmine and hibiscus and almond and coffee.

It’s way yummy. Ours comes out softer than regular Jello, but that may be the SO. She sometimes makes soft Jello and sometimes makes firm Jello, depending on what she wants it for. So she may be doing the same thing with the agar-agar.

At any rate, I believe we’ve suspended fruit in it before, but I could be wrong.

We may have some at home, if so I’ll try to remember and post the brand-name when I get there.

I wonder if this might be something that a silicone mold is made for. Do you think it would survive unmolding from one of those?

OK, this is exciting! I’ll have to get some and try it. And a silicone mold too, I guess.


When I lived in Japan I used to make my own jello by getting some juice to a boil and disolving some agar agar in it. It was great! You could add more to get it as firm as you like.