How to Make Fruit Juice Caviar

 

Any Chopped lovers in the house? To say that I am a fan is an understatement!

A young whipper snapper of a chef was on a couple seasons back and showed off his molecular gastronomy skills. Not many competitors on the show hit the pantry in search of agar-agar. So when he did you can bet I was on the edge of my seat anticipating his next move.

Agar-agar is the seaweed-based gelatin I use to thicken my nondairy yogurt. You can use it to make kanten as well. But what this guy did was pure brilliance! He made Fruit Juice Caviar.

I wouldn't sit down and eat a bowl of the stuff (the texture takes some getting used to), but it makes a pretty garnish for desserts and is a sure-fire conversation starter. I garnished these Passion Fruit Cheesecake Parfaits with it and my kids loved it.

How would you use fruit juice caviar?

Fruit Juice Caviar

Ingredients:

1/2 cup VEGETABLE OIL (flavorless and one that remains liquid when chilled)
1/3 cup pure FRUIT JUICE (I used passion fruit puree)
1/4 teaspoon AGAR AGAR POWDER (not bar or flakes)

Directions:

  1. Pour oil into a tall-ish glass and chill (the oil must be cold).
  2. In a very small saucepan bring juice and agar agar to a boil. Reduce to gentle simmer and cook 1-2 minutes, or until agar agar is dissolved.
  3. Let cool 3-5 minutes.
  4. Fill an oral syringe or a straw with the juice. Drop, one drop at a time, into the cold oil. Little caviar orbs will form on contact with the cold oil and fall to the bottom.
  5. Strain caviar using a fine mesh strainer. Rinse well with water.
  6. Store caviar in water until ready to use.
  7. Lay on a paper towel-lined plate and pat dry. 

Notes:

I purchase agar-agar powder locally at our Asian grocer or online at Amazon.

Need a Visual?

Here's a video that will give you the gist of making fruit juice caviar.