Molecular Gastronomy – I made caviars!

Have you ever heard about molecular gastronomy? Or gastronomy even? Well, I talked to quite a few people about what I’m blogging about and most of them don’t even know what gastronomy is. It’s funny that sometimes whenever I say gastronomy people will be picturing planets, space and astronauts..well, that’s what I thought too when I first heard about it hihihi..

In my perspective, gastronomy is about food, wine, history, experience and sustainability and how it connects to each other. On the other hand, molecular gastronomy is slightly different. Again, in my perspective, molecular gastronomy is a study or practice about art, science, cooking and how you can use science into cooking methods. Through science, new and modern cooking methods were born. If you love cookery, you’ll love this stuff. I’m totally not a science or chemistry person but I love cooking and found that this is really interesting. My favorite gastronomy/molecular gastronomy figure is Heston Blumenthal. He is such an inspiring person and he used a lot of molecular gastronomy methods in his show.

I’ve always wondered how he does it because everything that he does is like magic. You should check out his show called “Heston feasts” if you haven’t or never. So, few days ago, I found these techniques on the Internet and I was really happy and excited to try. The next day I bought a bunch of chemicals that I would need to do these magic tricks LOL.

There are many techniques that I wanted to try but I chose to do the simplest one, which is making caviar. If you go to Japanese restaurant, caviar is known as “tobiko” which is flying fish roe. Caviar that I made was not made of fish roe but orange juice instead. The technique that I used is Spherification. Spherification means culinary process of shaping a liquid into spherical shapes. It actually is easy to do but I found it’s challenging to get them in the same shape and size. On that day, I made it three times to get the right mixture. Later on I found out that the scale couldn’t detect a small amount such as one gram so I always get the mixture either too thick or too thin. But, I finally figure out myself how to make it right by adding extra orange juice into it. You can find the recipe below. I had a lot of fun making this.

The superb chemicals (sounds scary huh) we are going to use are:
  1. Calcium chloride
  2.  Sodium alginate


But you don’t have to worry because these chemicals are safe. In fact, these chemicals used a lot in food industry and many food items.

Tools you are going to need are::
  1. Spherification Spoon
  • Disposable Syringe
  • Large bowls
  • Hand blender

The recipe:
  • 3g Calcium Chloride
  • 1g Sodium Alignate
  • 255g orange juice (pulp free)
  • 510g cold water 
1.    Fill the first bowl with cold water and set aside. This water bath will be used to rinse the caviar.
2.    Fill the second bowl with 255g orange juice and 1g Sodium Alignate and mix until the powder dissolved. Let it sit for a minute to remove any air bubbles. If you have a lot of bubbles on the surface, strain and rest the mixture.
3.    In the third bowl, mix 510 cold water with 3g Calcium Chloride and mix until powder dissolved. Set aside.
4.    Fill up the disposable syringe with the mixture of orange juice.
5.    Drop the mixture into calcium bath drop by drop
6.    Leave it for a minute until set and strain using spherification spoon.
7.    Tap off the excess of the spoon using paper towel and drop it into the water bath. Caviars are ready to use

Here is the final result of the caviar. I served it together with my dessert. It also goes beautifully with cocktails and you can definitely use any other juices. I will keep posted any other recipe and ideas on this topic so stay tuned! ;)

Let me know what you think and how you go (if you try it) in the comment below or if you want to know where to find these chemicals in Sydney. Cheers!



04/13/2014 10:44pm

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