Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mango Pudding 芒果布丁

I bought 2 fresh mangoes yesterday and used 1 to make a mango pudding this afternoon. I have 2 recipes on hand, one using gelatine and the other using agar-agar powder. In the end I decided to try out the recipe using the "Red Man" agar-agar powder which my sis brought along to Belgium recently. 

Reason? Well, agar-agar is healthier and sets faster. Gelatine or Gelatin, apparently, is made from the collagen found inside animal bones and skins, mainly pig skins or cattle bones, sometimes also from fish by-products. I know some of you may squirm or shudder, but yes that is true, I knew it was made from animals but I wasn't sure until I googled it. Agar-agar (which in Malay means jelly), on the other hand, is a gelatinous substance obtained from seaweed and is completely vegetarian and halal.

According to this article in dutch, besides being a vegetarian substitute for binding, agar-agar also has the advantage of being able to set at room temperature as compared to gelatine. Agar-agar coagulates at 37 degrees celsius whereas gelatine only starts coagulating at a temperature of below 20 degrees celsius. Furthermore, you need less agar-agar than gelatine to bind. For every one liter of fluid, you need approximately 10 sheets of gelatine whereas for agar-agar, you need only 4 grams of agar-agar in concentrated powder or 8 grams of agar-agar in strip or flake form.

But agar-agar is not without its disadvantages. It looses its binding force in liquids with high acidity. For certain products with high acidity, the stiffening process is more inhibited and you need to add more agar-agar to the recipe. In fact, there are some products such as chocolate, kiwi and spinach, which are known to prevent the stiffening process of agar-agar.Another disadvantage is that the binding force is of relatively short duration. It loses its binding power after 2 to 3 hours, allowing the moisture to loosen again.

So much about agar-agar versus gelatine, let's enjoy some mango pudding or mango agar-agar now.

Recipe adapted from Rose Kitchenette

1 x 13g packet agar agar powder
150g sugar (reduced from 200g)
250ml fresh mango juice
250ml fresh milk
500ml water
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Note : The total amount of liquid for a packet of 13g agar-agar powder, is 1 litre. If your freshly-blended mango juice exceeds 250ml, then just adjust the milk and water accordingly to make it 1 litre in total. Note that my mango was 500g with skin intact, 400g after removing the skin, and 300g after removing the seed. So there was about 300ml of fresh mango juice after extraction. Also adjust the amount of sugar according to the sweetness of the mango and your own preference. I would say min 150g, max 200g of sugar is required for 1 litre of liquid.

1.  Remove the skin and seed of the mango and blend it in a food processor.

2.  In a small pot, boil sugar with agar agar powder in 500ml water over a low-medium heat till the agar agar dissolves.

3.  Add in 250ml fresh mango juice, 250ml fresh milk and 1/2 tsp vanilla essence and stir well.

4.  Pour into a pudding mould or pour into wine glasses to set.  Chill it in the fridge to allow it to set, before serving. 

Note : The estimated time for the mango pudding to set in wine glass is about 30 - 40 min, and the estimated time for the mango pudding to set in pudding mould is less than 2 hours. This recipe allows you to make servings of mango pudding in 3 wine glasses and an additional small 6 inch pudding mould.

If you do not know how agar-agar looks like, here are some pictures to show you.
Red Man Agar-Agar Powder (12g) bought in Singapore.
Agar-Agar Powder (20g) bought in Antwerp Chinatown.
Agar-Agar is also available in strips as shown here. Bought in Antwerp.

I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #20: Asian Dessert Buffet (June 2012), hosted by Moon of Food Playground.


  1. This will be very nice and refreshing for SG hot hot hot weather! ... not too sure what is it like at Belgium now?

    After reading your comment and question at my blog, I do have a guilty look and answer when you asked me this question... I will ask my 3 yr old to watch TV...Ops! And when he is bored with TV, I will ask him to stand next to me and chat with me in the kitchen. If I'm stressful with oven and cooking heat and I will asked him to stay again for a while. He is always very understanding and good with my instructions :D

  2. It is still cold and wet in Belgium, I wonder when the real summer will arrive?

    My 3 year old can hardly sit and stand still. He used to like watching Xiao Ding Dang (Doraemon) on dvd but not anymore. And I would avoid him messing around in my kitchen as once he knows where something is kept, he will be up to no good the next time I am not watching.

  3. Lovely post! I knew basically agar-agar was vegetarian and derived from seaweed and gelatine was animal based. The setting points was interesting and that agar-agar loses its firmness after a while - does it completely relax back to water?
    I have been wanting to make mango pudding and never got round to it - with your post here I know where to go when I buy some delicious fragrant mango!

  4. I haven't tried letting the agar-agar warm up to really high temperature, since it is still pretty cold here, maximum 20 degrees this week and it is just one day. But I think the agar-agar will turn wobbly when it loses its firmness.

  5. Is it possible to omit the milk? :)

  6. Hi Cherry
    Yes, it is possible to omit the milk but the flavour won't be as creamy. You would have to top up the water and mango puree accordingly to arrive at the same volume for the same amount of agar-agar powder used. Alternatively, you can substitute the milk with coconut milk, if you wish.

  7. Agar (agar-agar) can be used as a laxative, an appetite suppressant, vegetarian gelatin substitute, a thickener for soups, in fruit preserves, ice cream, and other desserts, as a clarifying agent in brewing, and for sizing paper and fabrics. Agar-agar Powder is high in fiber and has a zero sugar and cholesterol content.

  8. Hi, I am a little confused. After blending, I have mango puree, which is not the same as mango juice.

    How should I use the mango puree in this recipe?

    1. Hi Hanushi,
      For the freshly blended mango puree, pls strain it using a sieve to filter the mango pulp, then you will get smooth (not lumpy) mango juice, which you can use further on.

    2. I see I see. Thanks for your advice! :)

  9. This looks delicious, I will try it out. Thanks for the recipe.


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