Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

how to make balsamic vinegar pearls

Recipe by
Andy Anderson !
Wichita, KS

Want to have fun… Want to feel like a real mad scientist in the kitchen? Then how about a little molecular gastronomy… you game? Molecular gastronomy is a part of food science that attempts to push the edges of the culinary arts. The three components of the discipline are social, artistic, and technical. Other terms are: multi-sensory cooking, modernist cuisine, culinary physics, and experimental cuisine. So you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

yield serving(s)
prep time 30 Min
cook time 10 Min
method Stove Top

Ingredients For how to make balsamic vinegar pearls

  • 7 oz
    balsamic vinegar
  • 0.5 oz
    powered agar agar, or about 1.5 tablespoons
  • 2 c
    canola oil, any good oil will do

How To Make how to make balsamic vinegar pearls

  • 1
    Gather your ingredients.
  • 2
    Add the oil to a container, and place into the freezer for 30 minutes.
  • 3
    Chef’s Note: The container should be tall… that will give the balsamic vinegar droplets time to form and cool before reaching the bottom.
  • 4
    Chef’s Tip: Wait until the oil has been in the freezer for about thirty minutes, before performing the remaining steps.
  • 5
    Put the balsamic into a saucepan, and bring to a lite simmer.
  • 6
    Add the agar agar and whisk to combine.
  • 7
    Chef’s Note: What is agar agar: It’s a gelatinous substance extracted from red seaweed and used in biological culture media and as a thickener in foods. It’s very popular in molecular gastronomy.
  • 8
    Chef’s Tip: You can find agar agar in most oriental food stores, or on the Internet.
  • 9
    Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.
  • 10
    Allow the sauce to lightly simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • 11
    Remove from heat, and allow to rest for five minutes.
  • 12
    Add the balsamic sauce to a vessel capable of producing small drops.
  • 13
    Allow the sauce to drop to 130f (55c), give or take a few degrees.
  • 14
    Chef’s Tip: If the liquid is too hot, the droplets may not cool down enough and therefore not gel completely before reaching the bottom of the glass, resulting in deformed spheres. I HATE it when that happens.
  • 15
    Remove the oil from the freezer, and add the sauce, drop-by-drop to the cold oil.
  • 16
    Continue until you have as many drops as you need.
  • 17
    Wait a bit, and then carefully drain the oil off, and remove the pearls from the oil.
  • 18
    Chef's Note: Use them in any way that you would use balsamic vinegar… but in a creative way. Enjoy.
  • 19
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.