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Hard-to-Find Ingredients

I may have used some of these ingredients with you during our cooking lessons, or to make something for your dinner party. These can be bought at international markets for less... but instead of driving all around town, these can also be delivered to your door.

Calcium Lactate

Used to set Sodium Alginate in the Spherification process. Flavorless and can be used in Reverse Spherification. Can also be used to replace Calcium Chloride. Perfect for Molecular Gastronomy and Modernist Cooking applications.
Sodium Alginate

Food grade instant thickening agent, great for creating ideal viscosity for both direct and reverse spherification.
Calcium Lactate Gluconate

Calcium Lactate Gluconate food grade is a mixture of two calcium salts (calcium gluconate and calcium lactate) is perfect for reverse spherification for food. I personally think it tastes better than just Calcium Lactate.
Agar-Agar Powder

Make vegan gelatin desserts, thicken custards, or make your own vinegar pearls.
You probably want to purchase a tiny digital scale to ensure accurate measurements.
Xanthan Gum

Thicken purees, sauces and salad dressings without using cornstarch or flour. Can also be used in Gluten Free baking. Use very tiny amounts!
You may want to purchase a tiny digital scale.
Gelatin Powder

This is the classic gelling agent! You can also find it in the grocery store. NOTE: You might think you're saving money by buying large/bulk containers, but the individually sealed packets stay fresh & dry a long, long time. (Get the BIG box.)
Miracle Noodles/Rice

These are great. Neutral-tasting "noodles" & "rice" that allow you to enjoy foods that you used to eat with gluten or carbs, and SO FILLING. Seriously, you will want to eat too much. Small portion size is very important.
Thom Yum Paste

An excellent base for any home-made curry. Use it straight from the jar, and add chilies and garlic to make it spicier. This is the exact brand I use. Again, shop locally for a better price, but if you can't find it, here you go.
Black Garlic

Smash a clove in olive oil, and then toss in some fresh spinach for a mellow, incredible flavor. Blend a piece with cream cheese, and spread on a toasted baguette. This brand is grown in the USA. Many are not. Take heed...
Dried Shrimp Powder

This is easy to purchase in a local international store (Asian Market or Tienda Latina) for a couple bucks, but if you can't get to a market or just can't find it, I offer this link.
Thom Yum Paste

An excellent base for any home-made curry. Use it straight from the jar, and add chilies and garlic to make it spicier. This is the exact brand I use. Again, shop locally for a better price, but if you can't find it, here you go.
Pomegranate Molasses

The sweet-tart fruit syrup that I use in salad dressings, plate sauces, Fesenjan, and even to add some color and zing to sparkling wines. This is expensive (you might find it cheaper locally) but it does last quite a long time.
Kecap Manis

This Indonesian condiment is used as a glaze for chicken/beef/pork/tofu, and also passed at your table (as you would ketchup) as a condiment. Adds a nice sweet-salty boost to fried rice, too.
Tamarind Pulp

Makes the lemony-tasting brown dipping sauce used in Indian cuisine. Mix with water, crushed ice & sweetener to taste for a refreshing drink. NOTE: I chose this because it has no seeds, fibers or pulp, like some cheaper products.
Chili Garlic Sauce

I mix this chili sauce with peanut butter, coconut milk and fish sauce to make chicken sate, and it's really versatile in Asian cuisine. I like it better than sriracha, as the flavor of Huy Fong seems to hold up better during cooking.
Black Sesame Seeds

Depending on where you live, you may be able to buy this at your grocery store in the "international aisle" or in a Asian market. For the Black Pudding Dessert, it needs to be finely ground; if you don't have a way to do that, this is pre-ground seeds. Always store sesame seed products in the freezer after opening.
Arrowroot

Gluten-free thickener, especially for fruit pie fillings and fruit sauces. Replace 1-to-1 with cornstarch. It stands up to freezing, and acids (but avoid milk-based sauces). Great as a frying coating too!
Cheese Melt Dust

This is called "Sodium Hexametaphosphate" doesn't that sound awful? This will make cheeses that don't melt flow as smooth as cheez-wiz.
Brewing Yeast

Many root beer recipes call for brewer's yeast, and this was the brand suggested by many trusted sources.
"Champagne" Yeast

Red Star Premier Blanc (formerly known as "Pasteur Champagne") Wine Yeast is a strong fermenter with high alcohol tolerance.
Premier Cuvée Yeast

Another versatile sparkling drink yeast.
Glycerine

This is food grade, you might also find it locally around the same price, in the cake decorating aisle of your favorite big-box store.
Tara Gum Powder

Gluten-free thickener, especially for fruit pie fillings and fruit sauces. Replace 1-to-1 with cornstarch. It stands up to freezing, and acids (but avoid milk-based sauces). Great as a frying coating too!
Butterfly Pea Flower

This natural food coloring creates vibrant drinks and foods, perfect for smoothies, superfood bowls, cookies and snacks. It's an essential ingredient for our Molecular Gastronomy class, to make Magical Kiddie Cocktails.
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