Dear New York, we see that you’ve finally caught up with our favourite traditional childhood snack, agar-agar. For the rest of you, you’d notice that all the internet has been talking about the past few days is the wobbly half-spherical jelly that made its debut at the New York’s outdoor food market Smorgasburg. Called the raindrop cake, it’s made with water and agar (gelatin) and looks like a drop of water. So really, it’s just agar-agar, even though it’s in a different shape.
And since we’ve had decades on you in terms of this ‘new’ food, we thought we’ll share some tricks on how to take your raindrop cake to the next level, aka how to pimp your agar-agar.
1. Flavour it: We grew up with our agar-agar in a myriad of flavours, and we particularly enjoy Milo, Ribena, Sarsi, sirap bandung and even pandan. If you still want to stick to the low calorie claim, we think pandan is the way to go. Just drop a couple of knotted pandan leaves into your water to infuse it with a delicate, herbal aroma and you’re good to go. You’re welcome.
2. Create food art: Every year during Ramadhan bazaars, you’ll find stalls dedicating themselves to the art of making intricately designed agar-agar. There are agar-agar with fruit pieces in them (we love the ones with dragon fruit – perhaps you can brand it ‘The Game of Thrones of the raindrop cakes’?) and even flower-shaped agar-agar in agar-agar (seriously, it’s like the ‘Inception’ of agar-agar). Again, you’re welcome.