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Agar Agar Spaghetti

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Agar Agar Spaghetti, also called molecular spaghetti or flavored spaghetti, is another creation of molecular gastronomy Chef Ferran Adria and El Bulli team. It consists of a spaghetto or noddle usually about 3 mm to 5 mm thick and 2 m long made of a flavored liquid jellified with agar agar (agar agar gelification). The agar agar spaghetti can be served cold or hot.

Equipment Required (Agar Spaghetti Kit)

PVC or Silicone Tubes
The spaghetti are created by injecting the hot flavored liquid with agar agar into a PVC or silicone tube using a syringe.

Parmesan spaghetto 720

For each serving you’ll need a tube of about 2 m (6 ft) in length and with an inside diameter of 3 mm to 5 mm. Make sure you find a
syringe with a nozzle that fits tightly in the tube and with a capacity of 40 ml or more. You can get the silicone tubes and syringe from our store. You can purchase the Molecular Tool Set or any of the molecular gastronomy kits with tools.

I recommend you get one tube for each serving and not plan to reuse the tube for each serving since you’ll have to do it very fast to prepare all the spaghetti before the agar agar preparation sets in the pot. It is not worth the trouble trying to use the same tube for all servings. Silicone tubes are more expensive than PVC tubes but they will provide you with a tighter seal when you connect them to the syringe.

Agar Spaghetti KitSyringe and ISI Whip Adaptor
You will also need a syringe to inject the flavored liquid into the PVC tubes and to inject air once the solution is jellified to remove the spaghetto from the tubes. Using the syringe to inject air could sometimes be a little challenging as air may escape from the syringe-tube connection and the resulting pressure may not be sufficient to push the spaghetto out of the tube. It works, but you'll have to be a little patient and fill the syringe with air multiple times until you get the spaghetto out of the tube.




Agar Spaghetto ISI adaptorI've also read that Ferran Adria and el Bulli team use an adaptor for the ISI Whip to connect it to the PVC tube and remove the spaghetto using the nitrous oxide in the ISI Whip. I've never seen such adaptor but after trying different solutions, I figured out a way of constructing an adaptor very easily and at the same time inexpensive. All you need to do is buy a PCV tube of 9.5 mm (3/8") of external diameter and a coupling device from 9.5 mm (3/8") to 6.3 mm (1/4"). The 9.5 mm (3/8") tube will fit perfectly inside the ISI Whip straight decorator nozzle and the coupling device will allow you to connect this thicker tube with the thiner tubes you are using for the spaghetti. Try to buy a coupling device that is easy to connect and disconnect from the thiner tube since you'll have to do this for each spaghetto tube. You should be able to get these items from a hardware store since they are used for dishwashers, ice makers, beverage dispensers, etc.

I purchased both items from Home Depot. The thicker tube is Watts Clear Vinyl Tubing SVGE10 3/8” x 1/4” x 10ft and the coupling device is a Watts Quick Connect 3/8 x 1/4 OD (1/4 x 1/8 CTS). This Quick Connect device is great because the tubes can be connected and disconnected very easily by just pushing to connect and pulling and holding a ring to disconnect. If you cannot find this brand in your country, just go to a hardware store that sells PVC tubes and ask them for a coupling device for the two tubes that are closest in diameter to the ones I used. Just make sure the thicker tube fits tightly inside the ISI nozzle. You can see my adaptor and the ISI Gourmet Whip in the picture. If you are using a silicone tube and you are not making many spaghetti you should be fine using a syringe.

Agar Agar Preparation

The agar preparation usually has a concentration of agar agar of about 1.6% to obtain a very firm jelly that is flexible but at the same time strong enough to hold its spaghetti shape without breaking when handled carefully. Agar agar needs to be heated to boil for jelling and sets at a temperature of about 35-45 ˚C (95-113 ˚F). Agar agar is very versatile and can be used with flavored liquids with high concentrations of salt, sugar, alcohol, acid and proteases.

Filling the PVC / Silicone tubes

Coil each tube and hold with adhesive tape for easy handling. Fill the syringe with enough agar preparation to fill the tube. To give you an idea of volume, you need 30 ml to fill a 0.17” 2 m tube.

Holding the coiled tube horizontally, start injecting the hot liquid with the syringe until it is full. Then place the tube in an ice cold water bath while you remove the syringe. Fill the syringe again and repeat the process for each tube you have. It will only take a minute or two for the agar solution to set in the ice cold water.

Removing the Agar Spaghetto from the tube

You are now ready to remove the spaghetto from the tube. If you are using a syringe, fill it with air and connect it again with the tube. Press the syringe so the formed spaghetti can come out easily. This sounds easier than it is. You’ll need to create quite some pressure with the syringe and it is common to have air escaping from the syringe-tube connection. If this happens, apply pressure with your fingers around the connection to make it as tight as possible.

You’ll probably need to fill the syringe with air multiple times until you get the entire spaghetto out of the tube. Try not to apply too much pressure or the spaghetto may come out too fast and break. Inject a little bit of air in the tube and wait a few seconds before going further. Once you see the spaghetto moving slowly maintain the same pressure with your finger on the syringe. If the spaghetto gets really stuck in the tube some people recommend putting the tubes in hot water for a few seconds to liquefy a little bit the outside of the spaghetti. I never had to do this.

If you are using the ISI Whip adaptor, just charge the ISI Whip with the straight decorator nozzle, connect the adaptor and connect the coupling device with the spaghetto tube. Then, very gently press the ISI Whip handle to release some nitrous oxide and wait a few seconds. If you see the spaghetto moving, do not inject more gas. You want the spaghetto to come out slowly so it doesn't break. If the spaghetto stops moving, inject a little more gas and repeat the process until it comes out completely.

You can keep the spaghetti covered in the fridge for up to 24 hours before serving. Agar Spaghetti can be served cold or hot (under 80 ˚C / 176 ˚F or it will melt).

Quick Agar Spaghetti Instructions

1. Place some ice and cold water in a bowl.

2. In a pan place the liquid that you want to jellify.

3. Add the Agar Agar with a concentration of 1.6%.

4. Bring it to the boil, stirring constantly with a beater.

5. Take off the heat and skim to eliminate any impurities.

6. Fill the syringe with the preparation and connect the rolled tube to it.

7. Disconnect the tube from the syringe and place the tube in the iced water. Let it rest for 1 or 2 minutes.

8. Fill the syringe with air and connect it again with the tube. Press on the syringe pump and expel the spaghetti out of the tube. When possible expel directly onto the serving dish. Repeat as many times as tubes you have or required spaghetti.

Agar Agar Spaghetti Ideas

- Parmesan Spaghetti (recipe from Ferran Adria and El Bulli team)

Arugula Spaghetti

Tomato Spaghetti

- White chocolate coconut Spaghetti

  • Pingback: Parmesan Spaghetto Recipe | Molecular Recipes

  • Pingback: Tomato Agar Spaghetti | Molecular Recipes

  • Pingback: Arugula Agar Spaghetti Recipe | Molecular Recipes

  • Maccadaddy

    How do you heat the spaghetti because when i try it turns back to a liquid

    • Anonymous

      These are usually served cold but you can heat them to a temperature under 185 °F. Above that temperature the agar melts. Try heating them in a water bath below that temperature.

      • Lionel

         would adding xanthan (or LBG) to agar make for a stronger gum? and what can be added to lengthen the shelf life?

        • QuantumChef

          Not sure, haven’t tried that. Sorry!

  • Jo

    Hi, Ive been trying to follow the instructions but for some reason my spaghetti is quite brittle and breaks when i try to pick it up. Any ideas of what i may be doing wrong?

    • Anonymous

      They are somewhat fragile so grab them with both hands making sure they don’t bend too much or they will break. Make sure you are not injecting any air bubbles inside the tube; this will make them even more fragile. To reduce the handling and risk of braking them, you can expel them out of the tube directly on the serving plate. Hope this helps!

  • Erin Goss

    Can you make these ahead of time and store them in the tubes until needed?  Say for a day or two?

    • Anonymous

      Yes, no problem.

      —– Reply message —–

    • Raul Alberto

      ive incresed the amount of agar agar that I used 3.4g of agar : 150g of liquid this gave me a stronger noodle that wont break on a fork.

      • ;)

        um what would that be in us customary?!!!

  • Bob

    After several attempts I thought I was doing something wrong,
     after reading all comments, it is really breakable.
    Is there another way to make it unbreakable? This is fun to look at but NOT FUN to eat because you cant use a fork as it will break and you slurp it as it will break.

  • Joe

    Is this PVC tubing food safe?  Since the liquid is almost boiling when it goes into the tube, it could potentially melt or leach chemicals.  Amazon has some Tygon beverage tubing that meets NSF 51 and FDA standards, but it only as a max temp of 165.  There’s also some silicone tubing that is NSF 51 and is safe up to 500, but I don’t know if it will impart a plastic taste.  Do these noodles have any plastic taste?

    • Anonymous

      No, they don’t.

  • Jc0529

    Is there a recipe for the whit chocolate coconut spaghetti. Thanx

    • QuantumChef

      Not yet, sorry!

  • DPBishop

    I have two questions about Agar in the recipe.
    1.  Have you ever tried using a spray gun to put this onto something as a coating?
    2.  If this was a flat sheet of spaghetti, could you run cold water over it without it dissolving?

    • QuantumChef

      1. No, I haven’t tried that.
      2. Yes, no problem.


  • Bianca

    Hello. I would like to make caipirinha spaghetti. How should I proceed when adding alcohol? I was thinking maybe I should first boil water, lemmon and agar-agar and then add the vodca. Or should I just mix all the ingredients and boil everything together? Thanks!

    • QuantumChef

      We explain it here But here it is:
      First, make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. Add 1/2 of your mixer liquids (i.e. anything non-alcoholic, such as juice, soda, water, etc.) to a small saucepan. Sprinkle with agar agar. Allow to soak for five minutes. Bring mixture just to a boil. Reduce to low heat, and simmer for 1 to 4 minutes. (When you can see that the agar agar is fully dissolved, it’s done.) Remove from heat. Working quickly, add the remaining amounts of your mixers to the agar agar mixture and stir well. Next, stir in the liquor(s).

  • chef christian

    my agar solution will not set, what am I doing wrong?

    • QuantumChef

      are you changing anything in the recipe? are you heating the agar to at least 35-45 ˚C (95-113 ˚F)?

      • chef christian

        yes im following the instructions to boil 3 – 5 minutes

        • chef christian

          I make sure to follow the recipe to a t. it seems that as soon as I introduce the agar to the solution is immediately starts to gel. by the time I get the pot on heat its firmed up but never sets like the sheets, noodles, caviars

          • chef christian

            ive tried a multitude of ratios according to different recipes and they all react the same, I think that maybe the powder I received from molecule-r is compromised

          • noname

            could it be they sent you xanthan instead of agar?

          • QuantumChef

            What do you mean by introducing the agar into the solution? You should be bringing to a boil the agar and the liquid together.

          • chef christian

            I mean, when I add the agar to the substance I want to gel it begins to either clump up, thickens on contact, and does not set once cooled. ive tried making sheets, noodles, caviar all were unsuccessful. I also make sure to add the agar completely to a cold liquid before putting on heat to boil.

          • QuantumChef

            It should be dissolving once the liquid is heated. Don’t boil it for too long, once it is dissolved remove it from the heat. Not sure what else to tell you, this is quite straightforward.

          • chef christian

            that’s what im getting at, it is straight forward. the reaction I get is not the same from what I see in the videos. once I put the agar into the liquid is starts to gel, is that supposed to happen.

          • QuantumChef

            It doesn’t start gelling but it will clump like you said as it hydrates. So this seems to be ok.

          • chef christian

            ok the agar once in the liquid clumps up like flour in water but as soon as I whisk in the agar the liquid begins to thicken and gel. it that normal?

          • QuantumChef

            No, it shouldn’t gel as you are heating it while whisking it.

          • chef christian

            could it be I got a bad batch, I got it from a reputable company.

          • chef christian

            do I heat it over low, medium, or high heat. does it make a difference.

  • chef christian

    ive tried several recipies and none seem to work out. As soon as I incorporate the agar to the liquid it either clumps, begins to gel and thicken. then when I boil it the solution become extremely thick and will not set in ice water bath. please help.

  • chef christian

    any advice would greatly be appreciated

  • David

    What is the texture of the spaghetti ment to be like? I’ve made it serveral times and it sets just fine with no problems but the texture of it makes it inedable.. Thanks in advance

    • QuantumChef

      Like a semi-hard gel.

  • Trey Totman

    can I use scallops to make scallop pasta

  • H

    The only thin tubes I can find are made of LDP, will that work just as well?

    • QuantumChef

      Sorry, not familiar with LDP tubes. Most of our kits include silicone tubes.

  • Djina Linge

    May I used Super Agar instead of Agar Agar, what is the difference

    • QuantumChef

      There are many variations and quality of additives including agar agar. Our recipes are tested with the high quality products we sell in our store and we can’t guarantee that they will work with other products.

  • Juliana Phang

    This is not their invention. The Japanese have been making this noodles for hundreds of years already.

  • Azu

    I would like to add flavors to the agar spaghetti. Do you have a recipe? I’m thinking like tea or fruit flavors. Is this possible?

  • david

    I am cooking a duck breast and would like to gel a small rectangle mold of balsamic reduction and orange reduction. Then cut the into squares. How do I do this?