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Ideas for Kaolin / Agalita (edible clay)


Tuber magnatum
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Recently I had the unforgettable experience of dining at Andoni Luis Adurizis’s restaurant, Mugaritz and had to buy one of his cookbooks, "Mugaritz".  One of his many innovative recipes is “Edible Stones”.  This makes use of kaolin, an edible clay sometimes sold as “Agalita”.  A slurry is made using Agalita and Lactose to which is added food colouring.  Boiled baby potatoes are skewered, dipped, and allowed to dry in the oven.  They are served with real rocks to maximize what has been described as the culinary equivalent of  trompe-l'œil. Guests of course are not to see the process or the skewered potatoes drying so as not to ruin the surprise. I have attached some pictures showing my results which, although visually not exactly like the real stones, were texturally and by weight,  reasonably convincing. 

 

Now that I have served them at a dinner party, I am left with a large amount of Agalita!  I am hoping there are some modernist chefs out there with more ideas for my remaining Kaolin.

 

 

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Edited by Tuber magnatum (log)
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  • 6 months later...

Tricky stuff because even though its cool and interesting, ultimately it still tastes like flavored dirt. Over the years I've used it to coat, paint or cake a number of items. As I matured as a chef I found that the novelty didn't hold up to reality - meaning, regardless of the technique it just wasn't that good (v. cool). Okay, but that said, the best use I found was making a kaolin batter that I mixed with local grasses to create my own version of adobe, which I then baked a fish that I had caught, caking the fish in the adobe and tossing it on the coals. That way you got an earthy essence infused into the meat without the grit and mouthful of dirt.

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On 7/16/2018 at 6:18 PM, ninagluck said:

I coated asparagus in kaolin last year, very thin , it added crunch to the dish

 

Asparagus!  That's an interesting idea.  Would you be able to elaborate a bit?  In the photo you show some sliced asparagus.  Was it coated before slicing? I would have thought the kaolin would crumble off.  Or did you slice before it hardened? Or maybe the slices were from an uncoated stalk and only the whole stalk was coated?

Did you add any additional elements / sugar to the kaolin mixture to add some flavour in addition to the crunch element.

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30 minutes ago, ninagluck said:

@Tuber magnatum, only the single stalk was coated, the shaved ones are raw. 

the recipe for the coating: 90g water, 60 g kaolin, 40g lactose, salt. mix everything together, rest for 12h in the fridge. 

I guess not much different from yours?

Very similar, but I think I may have used more lactose.  An updated recipe which came with the kaolin I bought required more than what was listed in his original recipe in the Mugaritz cookbook.  Would you repeat this, or was it a one off novelty?  Curious about the raw white asparagus; it wasn't too bitter?

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9 minutes ago, ninagluck said:

yes, I also tried it with baby carotts and baby beets. The raw asparagus was slightly marinated in water, verjus, miso, salt, sugar and was not bitter at all, if well peeled

Thank you for the ideas! I am assuming the vegetables were cooked, otherwise no reason to add additional crunch. You have given me some inspiration for my next go at it. I am thinking of adding some additional flavours to the kaolin mixture to complement the inside.  Not sure exactly what at this point .... If you have suggestions I would welcome them.

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33 minutes ago, ninagluck said:

yes, I pre cooked the veggies. I would go for spices that complement the veggies. dried and ground orange peel for carrots e.g. do you have the flavor bible?

 

Yes, I do have the flavour bible,  an superb resource.  I don't make use of it enough; excellent suggestion.

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