Kitchen Secrets: How To Make Easy Jellies for Sweet and Savory Dishes

July 21, 2014

Do you love jellies but lack the time it takes to make them? In just a few minutes and with just two simple ingredients you can make a delicious jelly that will wow your friends (and you won’t even break a sweat!). Kerry Roach, Chef de Cuisine at BOKA Restaurant in Seattle, shows us how to create a simple yet flavorful balsamic jelly using agar agar, a gelatin-like seaweed-based thickener that is naturally vegan and gluten free.

What would you use balsamic jelly for, you ask? Instead of the traditional balsamic vinaigrette in a caprese salad, Roach simply swipes this flavorful (and beautiful) jelly on a plate, then tops it with her caprese ingredients for a more upscale presentation of the salad. Best of all, you don’t have to tell your friends it took just minutes to make this artful dish! Use any liquid to make flavorful jellies to showcase your favorite sweet and savory dishes. We think a cherry jelly (use cherry juice) with a succulent pork tenderloin, or a strawberry jelly (using strawberry puree as shown) would be fabulous! Look for agar agar in Asian markets, health food stores, or buy on

Watch the short video below to learn how easy is to make this jelly. Also, be sure to subscribe to Foodista’s Kitchen Secrets video series for more how-to cooking tips and tricks!

Video Transcription

Hi I’m Kerry, Chef de Cuisine at BOKA in downtown Seattle. Now I’ll be showing you how to make a balsamic jelly using agar agar. Regular balsamic, just bring that up to a little simmer. I’m using agar agar, which is a seaweed based thickener as opposed to gelatin which is animal based. I’m doing balsamic jelly here, its great served on bread. You can for sure use this agar agar to create a fruit compote or fruit jelly. Essentially all you are looking to do is to dissolve the agar. After it is dissolved, it’s good. This will not thicken until it cools down.

Image Sources: