Gulaman also known as agar-agar is the Filipino version of gelatin. In the Philipppines, gulaman comes in different colors and it is used in refreshments called salamig like sago gulaman or desserts like buko pandan, flan, halo-halo and many more. It is also widely used in many Asian desserts as well.
Making gulaman requires only a few steps. So someone who doesn’t cook can easily make this.
The most popular form of gulaman in the Philippines is the gulaman bars that comes in colors of red, yellow, orange, green, white and translucent. They also come in powder form. But in this post, I will show you how to make gulaman using the gulaman bar or stick. One of the few easy desserts I’ve learned as a teenager is how to make gulaman. My fascination with colors had me wondering how to make gulaman.
You’ll be amazed with how much gulaman you can make with one stick of gulaman bar. The good thing about it, is you can make it ahead of time. It’s hassle free especially if you are serving it during a gathering. When I make sago gulaman I usually make a combination of yellow, red and green for a colorful refreshment.
We were in the Philippines for a month long vacation and our cousin made buko pandan with green gulaman and it was rich and delicious. In fact, I am craving for it right now. One of these days, I will be making it to satisfy my cravings and of course posting it.
Tips in Making Gulaman
- First, cut the gulaman stick into small pieces about 3 inches long.
- Soak it in water for half an hour before boiling it.
- Do not add too much water or you will end up with a very soft gelatin.
- Depending on what you are making, you may add sugar while cooking it. I usually don’t add sugar to the gulaman when making refreshments like sago gulaman. Instead, I add the sugar syrup to the refreshment itself.
- Once poured in mold and refrigerated refrain from moving it around until it is solidly formed.
- When cut into cubes don’t combine colored gulaman unless you are using it right away. Colors can bleed.
How to Make Gulaman
- 1 stick Gulaman Bar Agar-Agar of any color
- 2 cups water
- ¾ cup sugar optional
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla optional
Take one gulaman bar and break it into smaller pieces about 3 inches long.
In a pot, soak it in water for half an hour.
Then boil mixture until gulaman melts. Stir once in a while.
Add sugar if you like (I don’t).
When gulaman is melted, this is the time to add vanilla if you want flavor (I don’t).
Remove from heat.
Transfer to a pyrex until it hardens. Leave it in room temperature or put it in the fridge.
Once fully harden, you may use it for whatever dessert you desire. To check if it is hard through and through use a toothpick.
1. Too much water will make a very soft gelatin or gulaman.