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Can china grass (agar-agar) be substituted in place of gelatin when making pudding? Or is there any other ingredient i could use as a substitute that could give me better results?

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Better results than what? –  Anna Lear Aug 11 '11 at 5:10
    
than using china grass.. –  Rabab Aug 11 '11 at 5:57
    
There are several gelling agents, and I'm sure we have discussed them all somewhere around. But putting China grass in food? If you mean the same plant as Wikipedia (ramie), then this is a plant used for weaving canvas sold in eco-conscious cloth shops. Which part would you use, and why? –  rumtscho Aug 11 '11 at 6:03
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"China Grass or Agar Agar is nothing but a Vegetable ‘gelatine’ derived from a number of seaweeds (Gelidium amansii) which are processed by boiling and drying. Agar-agar is used as a quick-setting base for many sweets and desserts in Asia." basically china grass is like veg gelatin. yes there have been discussions of other gelling agents but those are not available where i live. and thus a search on Google for gelatin substitution stated china grass as an option. –  Rabab Aug 11 '11 at 6:13
    
If it is agar you are referring to then see these questions: Is there a vegetarian gelatin substitute that is as strong as gelatin? and What are alternative gelling agents to gelatine? And what are their properties? Agar-agar (or just agar) produces firm, stable gels much unlike gelatin, and would probably make a fairly horrible pudding. –  Aaronut Aug 11 '11 at 11:25

2 Answers 2

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Agar is not a good choice for pudding because it makes a brittle gel and it won't melt in your mouth at body temperature. What you want for pudding is a starch based thickener. What we call pudding in the US at least is typically thickened with cornstarch. Modified starches like Ultra-Tex 3 can also work well. Are you thinking of something more along the lines of panna cotta, which does normally have gelatin in it? If so, you might try carageenan instead of agar. Here's a recipe that looks promising: http://irishherault.wordpress.com/2009/12/24/vegetarian-panna-cotta/

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I've made carrageenan panna cottas, they're great because of the synergy of carrageenan and milk. The only thing is, they tend to develop a "crust" at the top, and they don't immediately melt in your mouth - rather, they "melt" as they move around in your mouth due to the shear-thinning property. –  Aaronut Aug 11 '11 at 23:16
    
i do use cornstarch to make pudding lol but i wanted to try this particular Chocolate pudding pie recipe-- foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/… Well i guess can't use china grass.. lol thanks for the help =) –  Rabab Aug 12 '11 at 10:11

As a replacement for gelatine I would use Arrowroot or Tapioca, it is similarily clear, but it has a lower viscosity in my experience.

What do you mean by pudding? Custard? Then I would use cornflour or wheatstarch.

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Arrowroot... tapioca.. not available here lol this is the pudding recipe foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/… –  Rabab Aug 12 '11 at 10:12
    
@Rabab, I've read the recipe and think, that Agar would be a good option. I have to agree with Michael, that you have a different mouth-melting-sensation, but I think, as there is a lot of cornstarch in there as well, which thickens, but leaves the pudding viscous, it does not make too much of a different for the final product. Just don't use too much Agar. –  Sebastian Langer Aug 12 '11 at 11:56

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