activity

Spherification (“SFEER-i-fi-CAY-shun”) is a supercool technique that transforms liquids into solid, edible spheres. (Get it? SPHERE-ification?) Chefs use this technique to add color, texture, and flavor to their dishes—and now you can, too! Use the spheres as a topping or garnish or drop them into drinks (like bubbly soda water). No matter how you serve them, they will impress and surprise your friends and family. Plus, they’re fun to make!

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safety
  • Uses the microwave
difficulty
  • Advanced
time
  • 45 minutes (plus 4 hours chilling time before you begin)

Prepare Ingredients

2 cups
vegetable oil
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons
flavorful liquid, measured separately
1 tablespoon
unflavored gelatin
6 cups
ice cubes
¼ cup
kosher salt
1 cup
cold water

Gather Cooking Equipment

Tall container, at least 24 ounces, with lid
5
bowls (2 large, 2 medium, 1 small)
Rubber spatula
Liquid measuring cup
Whisk
Funnel (optional)
Squeeze bottle
Toothpicks (optional)
Fine-mesh strainer
Airtight storage container
1
 
2 cups
vegetable oil

At least 4 hours before you want to make your spheres, pour oil into container, close lid, and place container in refrigerator.

 
2
 
2 tablespoons
flavorful liquid
1 tablespoon
unflavored gelatin

Pour 2 tablespoons flavorful liquid into small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over surface of liquid. Use rubber spatula to stir until no large lumps remain. Set aside.

 
3
 
¼ cup
flavorful liquid

Pour ¼ cup flavorful liquid into liquid measuring cup. Microwave on high power until steaming but not boiling, 30 to 45 seconds.

 
4
 

Pour hot liquid over gelatin mixture (ask an adult for help). Whisk mixture until fully combined and no lumps remain.

 
5
 

Carefully pour flavorful liquid mixture into squeeze bottle (ask an adult for help). Secure top on squeeze bottle. Refrigerate until liquid feels just slightly cool to touch when you hold squeeze bottle, about 10 minutes.

If you have a funnel, use it to help you pour the flavorful liquid mixture from the bowl into the squeeze bottle.

 
6
 
6 cups
ice cubes
¼ cup
kosher salt
1 cup
cold water

Remove container of oil from refrigerator and place in center of large bowl. In second large bowl, use rubber spatula to stir together ice and salt. Carefully arrange salted ice around oil container in first large bowl. Pour water into large bowl with ice.

 
7
 

Time to make spheres! Carefully remove lid from container of oil. Hold squeeze bottle of flavorful liquid mixture over container of oil at an angle. Gently squeeze bottle until droplets of liquid fall into oil. Each droplet should form a spherical shape and fall to bottom of oil.

 
8
 

Keep forming spheres until you’ve used all the flavorful liquid mixture.

 
9
 

In sink, set fine-mesh strainer over medium bowl. Carefully pour oil-sphere mixture into strainer, using rubber spatula to gently scrape any remaining spheres into strainer.

 
10
 

Time to enjoy your spheres!

To use spheres right away: Fill second medium bowl about halfway with water. Transfer spheres from fine-mesh strainer to bowl of water. Use rubber spatula to gently stir spheres in water to remove excess oil. Working over sink, pour water-sphere mixture back into strainer, letting water go down drain. Serve your spheres!

To store spheres for later: Transfer spheres from fine-mesh strainer to airtight container. Use rubber spatula to gently scrape any stuck spheres out of strainer. Add strained vegetable or canola oil until spheres are just covered with oil. Place lid on container and refrigerate spheres for up to 1 week.