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Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum, or just xanthan, is one of the easiest ingredients to work with. It is used extensively to thicken liquids; a great ingredient used to turn thin liquids into savory sauces. It quickly hydrates or disperses at any temperature, making it one of the few ingredients you can add slowly and instantly see the result. Also, xanthan gum does not lose its properties when microwaved.

Xanthan gum has a very neutral flavor so it mixes well with foods without masking their flavor. It provides an improved mouth feel to preparations, slightly thickening a liquid similar to how traditionally reducing a liquid does.

When used as a thickener in low dosages, xanthan gum produces a weak gel with high viscosity. This gel will also be thixotropic or shear thinning with a high pourability. This means that when the gel is at rest it maintains its shape but when stirred or mixed it begins to flow again as a liquid and then resets once the agitation stops.

Xanthan gum is gluten free and is often used as a substitute in baking and thickening. It also helps baked goods to retain more moisture than they would have otherwise. When mixed into batters or tempura xanthan gum adds good cling, allowing the batter to stick more easily to the food.

Xanthan gum is produced through the fermentation of glucose with a bacteria found in cabbage, known as Xanthomonas campesteris

You can discover more information about xanthan gum from my how to use xanthan gum guide or any of the xanthan gum articles and recipes below.

Xanthan Gum Recipes and Articles

Seared Tuna Squares Recipe

Seared-tuna-with-pickled-pear-relish-and-asian-accent-sauce-side
By using the basic modernist ingredient of xanthan gum this recipe turns tuna into an upscale party favorite for any gathering. I serve the tuna squares with a pickled pear relish and an Asian accent sauce for a pop of flavor.

Pulled Pork with Spicy Pineapple Chutney Recipe

Pulled-pork-pineapple-salsa
This pulled pork recipe takes a tropical turn with pineapples, chiles, cilantro, and lime juice. This versatile dish can be served as an appetizer or main dish and either hot or cold.

Watermelon Soup With Pickled Rind Recipe

Watermelon-soup-pickled-rind
When watermelon is in season it's hard to resist. For some parties you need nothing more than to slice it and hand it out with paper towels for people to scarf down. However, sometimes you want something a little more refined and that's where this recipe comes in.

Sparkling Grape Gazpacho Recipe

Sparkling-grape-gazpacho-front
Sweet green grapes are another favorite snack of mine and they're a great party food because most people really like them. For this more upscale dish I turn them into a sweet, fizzy soup. The xanthan gum helps hold the particles in suspension and the carbonation effect adds a pleasant tingle and tang to it.

Lemonade with Blueberry Froth

Blueberry-foam-lemonade
This modernist recipe is a refreshing take on blueberry lemonade that changes the ubiquitous summer drink into a modernist creation your friends will love. It is a light blueberry froth dispensed on top of a glass of lemonade. The blueberry foam slowly filters into the drink, changing the flavor of the lemonade the longer you drink it. It is a quick recipe to make and is a great way to elevate a common drink.

Aquarium Pump Bubbles Recipe

Aquarium-pump-bubbles-2
There are many different types of foams you can make using different modernist ingredients and foaming methods. This foam resembles bubbles and is made with xanthan gum and Versawhip that has been aerated with an aquarium pump. It's a pretty unique way to make bubbles and they are very interesting.

Salmon Bites with Tomatillo Agar Fluid Gel Sauce Recipe

Tomatillo-agar-fluid-gel-pudding
These Mexican inspired salmon bites pack a lot of flavor in a little package. The acidity from the tomatillos compliments the salmon perfectly and the crunch from the fried tortillas adds great texture.

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Recipe

Red-pepper-crustini-top
Not all dishes that use modernist ingredients have to be super fancy in-your-face dishes that look like they came from Alinea. This red pepper pesto crustini is a great example. It is a simple, hearty snack that is great when served as an appetizer or set out as hors d'oeuvres.

Xanthan Strengthened Maple Vinaigrette Recipe

Maple-vinaigrette
This is a simple modernist vinaigrette to make and utilizes both xanthan gum and lecithin to strengthen and thicken it. I really like the sweet maple syrup with the tangy balsamic vinegar. This goes well on salads, especially ones with berries. You can also add a little more xanthan gum and use the vinaigrette as a sauce on fish or chicken.

Xanthan Gum

Xanthan-syrup-strawberries2
Xanthan gum, or just xanthan, is one of the easiest ingredients to work with. It is used extensively to thicken liquids; a great ingredient used to turn thin liquids into savory sauces. It quickly hydrates or disperses at any temperature, making it one of the few ingredients you can add slowly and instantly see the result. Also, xanthan gum does not lose its properties when microwaved.

Xanthan Gum Banana Milkshake Recipe

Xanthan-gum-banana-milkshake
Xanthan gum is a great thickener and can be used with a variety of foods. Making low fat milk shakes is a great way to use it. Here we make a low fat banana milk shake.

Xanthan Gum Balsamic Vinegar Syrup Recipe

Strawberries-xanthum-balsamic-syrup
One of the nice things about modernist cuisine is being able to thicken liquids without significantly diluting the flavor of them. There are several ingredients that can do this and here I use xanthan gum to make a balsamic vinegar syrup.

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