recipe

Spherification is a cool technique that transforms liquids into solid, edible spheres. (Get it? SPHERE-ification?) Chefs use spherification to add color, texture, and flavor to their dishes—now you can, too!

safety
  • Uses the microwave
difficulty
  • Intermediate
time
  • 45 minutes, plus 4 hours chilling time before you begin
yield
  • Makes about ½ cup spheres

hey curious cook—

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Prepare Ingredients

2 cups
vegetable oil
2 tablespoons plus ¼ cup
flavorful liquid, measured separately
1 tablespoon
unflavored gelatin
6 cups
ice

Gather Cooking Equipment

Tall container (about 24 ounces) with lid
4
bowls (1 large, 2 medium, 1 small)
Rubber spatula
Liquid measuring cup
Oven mitts
Whisk
Funnel (optional)
Squeeze bottle
Fine-mesh strainer
Toothpick
1
 
2 cups
vegetable oil

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

 
2
 
2 tablespoons
flavorful liquid
1 tablespoon
unflavored gelatin

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

Blooming Gelatin for Spheres 2-Up

 
3
 
¼ cup
flavorful liquid

Add remaining ¼ cup flavorful liquid to liquid measuring cup. Microwave until steaming, 30 to 45 seconds.

 
4
 

Use oven mitts to remove liquid measuring cup from microwave (ask an adult for help). Pour hot liquid into bowl with gelatin mixture. Whisk mixture until fully combined and no lumps remain.

 
5
 

Place funnel, if using, over squeeze bottle. Carefully pour gelatin mixture into squeeze bottle (ask an adult for help). Secure top on bottle. Place bottle in refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to let gelatin mixture thicken slightly.

 
6
 
6 cups
ice

Remove container of oil from refrigerator and place in center of large bowl. Arrange ice around container of oil. Carefully remove lid from container of oil.

 
7
 

Remove squeeze bottle from refrigerator. Hold bottle at angle over container of oil. Gently squeeze bottle until droplets of liquid fall into oil. Each droplet should form a sphere and fall to bottom of oil. To make larger spheres, quickly drip several drops of liquid in same spot. Continue forming spheres until all liquid is used up.

If the gelatin mixture clogs the nozzle of your squeeze bottle, unscrew the cap, run it under warm water, and use a toothpick to push out any gelatin that’s stuck. If the gelatin mixture becomes too thick, microwave the squeeze bottle for 5 to 10 seconds.

 
8
 

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

 
9
 

Fill second medium bowl about halfway with cold water. Transfer spheres from fine-mesh strainer to bowl of cold water. Use rubber spatula to gently stir spheres in water. Working over sink, pour water-sphere mixture back into strainer, letting water go down drain. Serve.

Use Spheres Right Away

 
10
 

Leftover spheres can be stored in airtight container covered with layer of vegetable oil for up to 1 week. Follow steps 8 and 9 to rinse spheres before serving.

Storing Spheres for Later