As a chef, you’ll surely agree with us that some cooking ingredients are very hard to come by in many places. Many people hardly use these ingredients because they have substitutes, which are readily and plentifully available. For instance, Agar Agar is one of the hard-to-find ingredients that chefs need. Many cooks often use Agar substitutes, such as gelatin, because the ingredient is hard to find.

In the rest of this post, you’ll discover where to shop for many hard-to-find ingredients, such as Agar Agar and locust bean gum.

Top 4 emulsifiers and unusual ingredients you should try out

1.   Agar Agar

Agar Agar is a tasteless vegetarian substitute for gelatine. This gelatinous ingredient is often extracted from seaweed and processed into different forms. For instance, this cooking ingredient is available in powdered form. That aside, you’ll also find it available in flakes, threads, and bars.

As a chef, you can always take advantage of agar-agar in your kitchen. First, you can use the gelatinous ingredient as a setting agent when making desserts, jelly candies, and custard. You can also use agar-agar for making edible cocktails. If you need a substitute for egg whites, you can also consider using Agar Agar powder.

2.   Konjac flour

The second unusual cooking ingredient on this list is Konjac flour. If you’re looking for a high-fiber, low-carb substitute, you’ll certainly find this ingredient useful. No doubt, this flour has been around for many centuries in a few Asian countries. However, it’s just becoming popular in the western parts of the world.

Konjac is pretty high in soluble fiber. So, it helps to achieve slow digestion, making you fuller for a longer period. Another good thing about this unusual ingredient is that it can always help to manage diabetes. You can use Konjac by dicing it into bite-size or flour and mixing it with different ingredients, such as green onions, soy sauce, spicy red pepper powder, sugar, and sesame oil.

3.   Locust bean gum

Locust bean gum is a naturally extracted, vegan food thickener. It’s plant-based and mostly extracted from fiber. This food ingredient offers a lot of health benefits to people, especially infants. It helps to reduce reflux in babies when mixed with formula. Besides, you can also take advantage of this ingredient to improve blood sugar levels.

As a chef, there are many ways you can use this food thickener in your kitchen. First, you can use it for thickening your soups. Besides, you can also purchase it as a thickening agent for sauces and desserts.

4.   Calcium lactate

The calcium lactate is a rare food additive that you can use in your kitchen. You can always use it to stabilize or thicken your foods. Besides, you can also take advantage of this ingredient as a flavor or leavening agent for your foods. You’ll find this food additive in foods such as canned fruits, nectars, jams, margarine, jellies, and butter.

Where to get these hard-to-find cooking ingredients?

Agreed, the ingredients in the list above are pretty hard to find. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t find these products and use them for your cooking needs. Cape Crystal Brands is one of the few reliable stores you can check to buy different unusual ingredients, such as Agar Agar. Interestingly, these products are readily available at affordable prices.