Cold Oil Spherification – Sriracha Pearls
The Sriracha pearls are a simple and fantastic way to add a touch of molecular gastronomy to your dishes. The sriracha sauce is transformed into small jelly balls using agar agar with the cold oil spherification method. You can use this simple and fun technique to make caviar-like spheres with practically any liquid. Don't get confused with the juice caviar made with Basic Spherification which is liquid inside; these small spheres are all solid and can also be made with acidic ingredients such as the Balsamic Vinegar Pearls. Watch the video below to learn the technique.
The cold oil spherification method consists of cooling droplets of a hot agar solution below 35 ˚C (95 ˚F) by releasing them in cold oil using a syringe or pipette. Agar agar needs to be heated to boil for jelling and sets at a temperature of about 35-45 ˚C (95-113 ˚F). The droplets need to cool down and set before they reach the bottom of the cold oil container to keep a nice spherical shape.
Sriracha Vinegar Pearls Ingredients
- 50 g (3.5 oz) Sriracha sauce
- 50 g (3.5 oz) chicken stock or water
or replace the above with 100 g of the desired liquid
- 1.5 g (1.5%) Agar Agar
- 1 cup of oil or enough to fill tall glass, cold from being in the freezer for at least 1 hour
1- Start by placing the oil in a tall glass in the freezer for at least 1 hour. It is better if you use a tall glass so there is more time for the Sriracha droplets to get cold and gel before reaching the bottom.
2- Once the oil has been in the freezer for at least 1 hour, put the Sriracha sauce and water in a saucepan, dissolve the agar agar and bring it to the boil, stirring constantly with a beater. Take off the heat and skim to eliminate any impurities.
3- Wait a few minutes until the temperature drops to 50-55 ˚C (~120-130 ˚F). If the liquid is too hot, the droplets may not cool down enough and therefore not gel completely before reaching the bottom of the glass resulting in deformed spheres.
4- Fill a syringe with the hot Sriracha agar solution and expel it drop by drop into the cold oil. The syringe needs to be high enough for the drops to sink when they get in contact with the oil but not too high or the drops may break into smaller drops creating “baby” spheres. Do not use a Caviar Maker or it will be very difficult to clean with the agar solidifies inside.
5- Wait a few minutes and then remove them from the oil using a slotted spoon or passing them through a sieve and rinse them in water. You can keep them in a covered container in the fridge for later use.