Strawberry and Raspberry jam with agar-agar in 10 minutes

April 28, 2010  •  Category:

Agar-agar is the latest darling of French chefs; chef  Stéphane Bour was doing a demo on a tarte and he said this about agar-agar: it allows you to make a very speedy jam that will retain the flavor of the fruit, so you won’t get that cookedtaste.

That’s all I needed to know.

What is agar-agar? It is analgae ( Japan), with a powerful (8 times more than gelatin) jellying property; you can find it at organic food stores (high-end) or Asian markets (low-cost). It is  also nutritious and gets rid of toxins, which makes it a diet tool.

Get the agar-agar in powder, not flakes!

How does one use it?   boil  in a liquid for one minute, then cool. Don’t add acidic things like lemon to the mixture.

To buy agar-agar online, try this Thai products site, or Amazon. I bought mine at the Thai grocer for about a buck.

What are the advantages of using agar-agar versus the traditional method of making jam?

  1. You can use a lot less sugar!
  2. It cooks a lot faster!


  • 1 basket of strawberries
  • 1 basket of raspberries
  • rind of half a lemon (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of agar-agar (in powder)
  • 8 ounces of sugar


Time required: 10 minutes of actual cooking time plus overnight for macerating the fruit in sugar.

  1. Step one: Clean and hull the strawberries and raspberries. Weigh both; use half that weight in sugar. I had one pound of fruit, so I used 8 ounces of sugar total;  cut the fruit up.
  2. Place the fruit and sugar in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; place in the fridge till the next day.
  3. Step two: The next day, you will have a lot of juice in that bowl; dump the fruit in a strainer and collect the juice. Boil the juice for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the fruits to the juice; stir, add the lemon zest if you wish and boil the mixture for 4 minutes.
  5. Add the agar-agar and mix well; boil for one additional minute.
  6. Pour into sterilized jars and cool. The jam will keep for 2 months.

NOTE: To sterilize the jars, wash in hot soapy water, rinse, then place in a 300F oven for 20 minutes. Sterilize the lids in simmering water for a few minutes.

Method for the jam comes from: C’est moi qui l’ai fait


60 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Faith says:

    10 minutes to jam perfection?! I’m bookmarking this fabulous recipe for when strawberries are in season here! 🙂

  2. A Canadian Foodie says:

    I have some in my cupboard and really have been a bit too timid to try it. I know everything you have told us – and really appreciate the recipe you offered up as this gives me the courage I need to use this and learn how to use it in other food items.
    BIG HUG!

  3. katherine says:

    love it! I have packets of this in my pantry I always have gotten it from the asian market!
    beautiful pictures

  4. Erica says:

    10 minutes and looks like that!!!!!! Wow! Looks amazing!

  5. Astra Libris says:

    Your jam is SO gorgeous! I used to love playing with agar-agar in biology lab – playing with it in the kitchen and coming up with jam sounds like even more fun! 🙂

  6. Koko says:

    That’s amazing! I learned about agar agar in cooking school, but I never would have thought to use it for jam. I can’t wait to pick some local berries now to make jam this summer!

  7. 5 Star Foodie says:

    This is very cool! I have used agar agar for my molecular gastronomy experiments and have a bunch of it, will definitely try making jam with it, thanks!

  8. SYLVIA says:

    This is a delicious, and a healthy berry jam recipe, makes a great hostess gift, especially among vegan friends, since it is a vegetarian replacement for gelatin, because true gelatin is made from calf’s feet, agar agar is made from seaweed, and contains lots of fiber, and gives you the feeling of fullness so you don’t eat as much. Keep up the great nutritious recipes Joumana, you are making me look great.

  9. Mary says:

    What a wonderful berry jam! Thanks so much for the tips regarding agar agar. They are really helpful. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  10. Mimi says:

    What a great quick way to make jam.

  11. Angie's Recipes says:

    Love the homemade jam….Chinese kitchens use lots of agar agar.

  12. noobcook says:

    agar agar is common here but I’ve never thought of using it with ham. love 10-minutes recipe haha

  13. Bonnie353@sbcglobal. says:

    This comes just in time for our fresh berry season. Thanks! I must admit that until I read your blog today, I had only encountered agar on crossword puzzles!!!!! I’m going to see if I can get it at our Arabic market.

    Thanks for your visit today.


  14. Sushma Mallya says:

    Delicious jam, always thought it was very difficult to make one at home but after seeing this i feel like trying it very soon….very beautiful too

  15. Michelle says:

    Hmmmm….AgarAgar must work like Liquid Pectin. I do know that “cooked” taste in Jams and I don’t like it at all. And that’s why I make fruit butters instead. But this jam sounds like it would be delicious and fun.

    BTW, I made your Cookie Bracelets but I used my own recipe. They turned out so cool!

  16. Rosa says:

    A lovely jam! Agar-agar is magical!



  17. lisa says:

    I have heard of using agar agar powder for jam but I have not tried it yet! Thank you for reminding me about this amazing ingredient. I will have to give this one a try — you can’t beat 10 minutes! It looks delicious, must have been so fragrant with all those wonderful berries.

  18. tobias cooks! says:

    I used flakes the other day. It took a long time until they would dissolve. So I also can only recommend the powder. I had found the product very expensive though. I paid 8 euros for 30 gram.

  19. recettes gourmandes says:

    très bonne recette avec une idée originale,je vous dis bravo et merci

  20. Jamie says:

    I’ve always been nervous about making jam but this looks so good and sounds so simple you’ve got me hooked! And I just happen to have bought myself 2 packets of agar-agar! Perfect!

  21. SathyaSrihdar says:

    Wooow!!!Gorgeous ,,how are you ter?… jam looks soo colourful n simple to make in short time ,,,superb sure will make this jam for us..

  22. Sridevi says:

    Well presented about agar agar. And the Jam looks yummy.

  23. Priya says:

    I started using agar agar too, thanks for sharing this jam..

  24. Jessica says:

    I’ve never heard of agar agar, but I gotta get me some! Sounds too easy to use!

  25. grace says:

    given my need for instant gratification, my terrible tendency to be impatient, and my love of jam, i guess i need to get me some agar-agar!

  26. Sophie says:

    Waw!! This is one fantastic & easy georgous jam!!

    I have just been experimenting with agar agar myself and this is just the recipe to make!!

    A stunning jam!


  27. Liss says:

    How interesting! Is Agar agar a good vegan substitute for gelatin you think? Your jam looks fabulous – I love jam 🙂

  28. Ana Powell says:

    Awesome jam, loved the idea of adding agar-agar.
    Well delicious, great photos x

  29. Bethany (Dirty Kitchen Secrets) says:

    Thanks for the info Joumana! I’ve yet to use agar agar and keep meaning to. This has def encouraged me to buy some and give it a go.

  30. Barbara Bakes says:

    This is the first I’m hearing about agar agar. I’m going to have to look for it. Your jam sounds scrumptious.

  31. Doc says:

    Macerating in a little brandy before gellin’ ain’t bad either; and it works for the fruit, too.

  32. Duchess says:

    Oh my this looks wonderful! Your site is so lovely!

  33. Barbara says:

    I’ve never used agar-agar but if I can have that jam after 10 minutes of cooking I’m all for it!
    I’m so used to making my mother’s freezer jam that I never try anything else.

  34. My Carolina Kitchen says:

    Wow….I’ve learned so much today. Thank you. My mother took forever to make jam. This sounds incredible.

  35. Doria says:

    L’agar agar est un très bon produit que j’utilise souvent et notamment dans les confitures.
    Cette confiture doit être bien délicieuse !
    Je te souhaite une belle soirée de jeudi,
    Bisous, Doria

  36. TastyTrix says:

    I haven’t used it, but if anything calls for gelatin I plan to. And also now I have this great recipe of yours to try. (Unlike frog legs, gelatin does gross me out!)

  37. pommes cannelles says:

    En France aussi, l’agar agar est de plus en plus utilisé.
    Moi, je l’utilise pour faire de la pannacotta, un dessert italien

  38. Tim Vidra says:

    Beautiful photographs!

  39. Soma says:

    I have got these long sticks of agar agar which I am yet to use. jam with agar is a good idea indeed.

  40. Sonia says:

    Thanks for sharing such a beautiful info! I didn’t know that agar-agar is so useful that way. Many thanks for introducing this recipe. Will keep in mind and bookmarked!. 🙂

  41. tigerfish says:

    You are bringing back memories of childhood – we used to get those layered-colored agar-agar…where the colors entice more than the anything else. I have not had agar-agar for a long time now.

  42. Susan says:

    With this simple and easy-to-follow method of making jam perhaps I will finally get over my fear of canning! Thank you! I am putting agar-agar on my shopping list and hope to find some.


  43. Valerie says:

    I’m getting more familiar with agar-agar as i have to befriend with a gluten-free diet (for medical reqonq) 2 years ago i didn’t even know about it ! the recipe is very interesting… i think i’m going to play catch-up & read your whole blog !!

  44. Nicola says:

    I will look out for agar-agar next time I go shopping. What does 1 ‘basket’ of fruit equate to?

    • Joumana says:

      I specify in the recipe that whatever the fruits end up weighing, you just use half that weight in sugar; in this recipe, both baskets with the fruits hulled, totalled 1 pound in weight.

  45. cmiranda says:

    I’ve never used agar-agar but like the fact that the jam uses less sugar and is ready in such a short time.

  46. Tony says:

    Maybe I missed it, but where does the lemon rind fit into the recipe? I’m assuming it’s zested and added to the strawberries, but I wanted to be sure. Thanks! (PS, nice site!)

  47. Nooshin says:

    What is the difference between flakes and powder? Why the recipe insists on using powder instead of flakes? Thank you!

  48. Rob Handel says:

    Just an FYI- you can in fact add acid such as lemon juice to the agar without affecting the gelling properties. Last week I made a grapefruit terrine using agar and it came out fine. The small amount of lemon juice that you might normally add to jam won’t hurt the recipe.

  49. A kay says:

    I searched on google on how to make a jam with less sugar and agar2 and came across this page.
    I made strawberry jam twice using this recipe. Both occasions were a success.
    Since I’m making an extremely low sugar version jam, I only used a quarter of recommended sugar, the outcome still great and palatable.
    Thanks very much.

  50. Gosia says:

    How many kilograms of fruit is the basket?

  51. Martina says:

    I searched on Google for making a less sugar jam for my sister.
    I came across your recipe. It looks lovely and Yum. Can you please tell
    me how many grams are in your strawberry & raspberry baskets.
    Because here it is 250grams. I don’t want to get it wrong! Thank you for the
    nice recipe.

    • Shekhar says:

      Don’t you love it when the measurements are given in “baskets” and “packets”? I wish these so called “chefs” gave some thought to simple people like us and wrote their recipients using “grams” (volumes are often misleading). While kitchen scales are cheap and accurate, the time of your life -wasted in interpretation and experimentation is very expensive.

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