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agar

Pronunciation: [AH-gahr; AY-gahr]

Also called kanten and Japanese gelatin, this tasteless dried seaweed acts as a setting agent and is widely used in Asia. It is marketed in the form of blocks, powder or brittle strands and is available at Asian markets and natural food stores. Agar can be substituted for gelatin but has stronger setting properties (about 5 times greater) so less of it is required. Unlike gelatin, agar will set at room temperature.