Coconut and Strawberry Wobbly Cream with Agar

cocostrpI am fond of both coconut and strawberries, yet their presence in the same dessert has never crossed my mind. Either I have been inattentive in past years or coconut and strawberry flavoured sweets are in fashion particularly this season. Inspired by so many tempting recipes I saw on favourite blogs, I couldn’t resist testing this combination and now consider coconut as one of the strawberry’s best friends.

As a basis I have used here one of my favourite light sweet treats: coconut and cow milk wobbly dessert set with agar (see my other experiments with it below), called “cream” because it’s closer to a cream than to a jelly. I have cut up some strawberries, covered them with the coconut mixture, chilled and served with a layer of strawberry coulis. The result was fantastic. The strawberry and coconut milk (diluted with cow milk) compliment each other, without being too overwhelming (the thing I feared most). The fruits’ tanginess is a pleasant change from the mellow, sweet wobbly creamy basis, while the coulis adds an additional texture and makes the dessert more appealing. In short, this is what I call a perfect summer dessert: quick, easy, light, refreshing and featuring one of my favourite seasonal fruits.

If you are familiar with jellies set with agar, you might think what you see above is a jelly. I am not very fond of thick jellies (the kind that can hold alone when placed on a plate), this is why all of my agar desserts contain a tiny amount of this gelling product. This way the obtained result is a delicate wobbly custard, falling off the spoon (see the TIPS below).

Agar-agar (“kanten” in Japanese), apparently meaning “jelly” in Malay, is a gelatinous substance obtained from certain seaweed varieties, usually sold in a form of powder or in long sticks (I always use the powdered form which seems easier to handle). It has been used by food industry all around the world and has been gaining popularity in Western households probably thanks to its vegetable origins and to its health benefits. In fact agar-agar contains water soluble agents, which help digestion and are considered excellent in slimming diets. Even though some people say agar-agar is a gelatin equivalent, I cannot agree with it. It sets food in a different way.

In case you are interested in coconut desserts set with agar, here are some of my previous experiments (none of them is a thick jelly though; they are all light wobbly custardy creams):

Coffee and Coconut
Coffee and Coconut
Matcha and Coconut
Matcha and Coconut
Chocolate and Coconut
Chocolate and Coconut

Talking about refreshing seasonal desserts… you might also like this Strawberry and Yogurt Mousse (it’s funny how two different strawberry varieties produce different coulis colours! I have realised it only now comparing the two photos):


TIPS: Look closely at your agar package instructions. On mine 1/2 teaspoon is supposed to set 500 ml/2 cups liquid to a jelly. I use only 1/3 teaspoon and obtain a wobbly, “falling off the spoon” consistency. If you prefer a well-set jelly, use the amount advised on the package.

Do not wait until the cream becomes cold before pouring it into the bowls because agar sets at room temperature and once disturbed, it will not reset properly! On the other hand do not pour the very hot cream because it will “boil” the strawberries. Leave the mixture until it is warmer than room temperature, but not very hot.

Preparation: 15 minutes + 2-3 hours in the fridge

Ingredients (serves 5):

250 ml/about 1 cup coconut milk

250 ml/about 1 cup cow milk 

4 flat tablespoons sugar (I have put only 2 but I like moderately sweet desserts)

1/3 flat teaspoon agar agar in powder 

10 medium strawberries

dessicated coconut


10 medium strawberries

5 teaspoons confectioner’s sugar (not necessary; I don’t add any sugar if the strawberries are sweet)

Dissolve the sugar and agar-agar in the mixture of the two milks. Bring to boil and, constantly stirring, let it simmer for about a minute.

Put aside.

Prepare four individual bowls or low glasses.

(Do not wait until the cream becomes cold because agar sets at room temperature and once disturbed, it will not reset properly!).

Cut up the 10 strawberries into cubes and distribute evenly among the bowls.

Pour the warm (not hot but not room temperature yet) creamy mixture over the fruit pieces and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Just before serving prepare the coulis: mix the strawberries and the confectioner’s sugar (or no sugar if the strawberries are ripe and sweet).

Serve very cold covered with a layer of strawberry coulis and sprinkled with dessicated coconut.


35 Replies to “Coconut and Strawberry Wobbly Cream with Agar”

  1. I should buy some agar agar when I finish using my gelatine and try one of those interesting flavours like the coffee and coconut. The strawberry and coconut also looks so tasty 🙂

    1. Thank you, A_Boleyn. I suppose you could use gelatin too, but I had no idea what amount to obtain such a wobbly but not hard texture…

  2. So, I saw agar at my market the other day on super sale and I thought to myself, ah, I’ll get it later. I should know better! I could be eating this right now! =) love this recipe, Sissi!

  3. Strawberry and coconut – this flavour combination seems familiar to me for some reason… but now I think about it I can’t think of a dish with the two in I’ve had (at least not recently!). I think perhaps they have the two in a chocolate I buy sometimes – I agree though, it’s a great combination.

    I’m still yet to use agar agar, (incidentally, is it “agar agar” or just “agar”? Seeing your post made me unsure now!), though I have some sachets here at home. Making such a light, summery cream seems like a perfect usage for it – I’ll have to finally try it now, especially since your site is such a trove of recipes using agar!

    1. Thank you so much, Charles. It was my first experiment with coconut and strawberries in the same dish, but I liked it a lot. It’s called both agar agar and agar. If you do use it one day, beware! You add 1/3 teaspoon more and you will end up with very hard jelly!

  4. Shoot! I have agar-agar but not coconuts milk. I guess I have to get some from store. Fantastic photos and styling! This is MUST try dessert!

    1. Thank you so much, Nipponnin. You are too kind, as usually 🙂 I hope you will enjoy it.

  5. I think I prefer wobbly over gelled, too! And as a fan of both strawberries and coconut, this looks like one amazing dessert!!!

  6. Sissi, I am totally with you in regards to wobbly belly…I too prefer the wobbly/creamy ones as compared to the firm ones. I have to try the combination of coconut and strawberry. Looks fabulous.
    Thanks for the recipe and have a lovely week ahead my dear 😀

    1. Thank you so much, Juliana. I’m happy you understand what I mean by wobbly, but not set… It’s a very particular texture and I love it.

  7. Congratulations, you have created the worlds first dessert called wobbly cream. It did not exist until now. You will go in the history books, Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin created tarte tatin, Sissi created wobbly cream.
    Back to reality, I think I have never tried strawberry/coconut together. In my mind (and this is incorrect) they are not combined because they come from different climates. Coconut+banana, coconut+lime, coconut+tuna etc are common. Coconut+apple, coconut+moose/elk, coconut+salmon etc are less common but I realise my logic is not entirely correct. I eat coconut+raisins/sultans for breakfast most mornings.

    1. Mr. Three-Cookies, I know it sounds weird… but I had no idea how to describe it. It’s not really a cream and definitely not a jelly… If I say just “wobbly” people will think “ok, it’s a jelly then” and I don’t want it to happen. I had to invent a wobbly cream 😉
      You are totally right: combining mango or pineapple with coconut is not new to me, but strawberries… It sounded strange. The result is however very good and it’s a nice change from yogurt, fresh cheese or co milk custard combined with strawberries.

  8. Yet another perfect dessert to end off another sweltering hot day. Coconut is such a refreshing tropical flavour and pairing it with the bright and beautiful strawberries was brilliant. I have yet to try agar and will look out for it again.

    1. Thank you so much, Eva. It is extremely refreshing, you are right and strawberries are great with coconut. I was glad to discover this new combination. If you use agar, pay attention to the amount, otherwise you might end up with very hard jelly (it sets much stronger than gelatin if used in standard amounts).

  9. Yummy, I hadn’t thought of strawberry and coocnut together in a dessert, lovely idea and summer dessert. Here you get those green marked vegan jellies. They kind of smell different and I think it must be agar agar. The packets are badly described a la india style but this is a vegan country so I guess it’s that. It smell funny and I really dislike using them in dessert. One of my sister in law agrees with me, she doesn’t like the smell too. How did your agar agar packet smell? (weird question I know, but I d love to know if it’s a quality story)

    1. Thank you, Helene. My agar smells actually better than gelatin in powder 😉 I use powdered agar, but pure agar. You might maybe have agar with some additives? I consider agar absolutely without any smell. Gelatin, when diluted in water, does have a certain smell in comparison… Or maybe, as you say, it’s a question of quality. Agar comes from seaweed, so maybe if it’s not processed carefully it can have a fishy smell. I buy mine in a normal Swiss supermarket but of course it’s imported. You should buy it in Europe next time to test. (It’s sold also in organic shops). On the other hand agar is used in such tiny amounts, the smell will disappear I’m sure.

  10. Another delightful strawberry dessert – love it Sissi! So fresh and sunny; perfect for summertime. It’s so true, you can really set the amount of gel by playing around with the agar – I’ve had some funny results (literally rubber) using too much of it initially but I’m getting the hang of what works and it’s a really nice option particularly for vegans who don’t want to use gelatin. And coconut milk, what can I say? You know I’m a huge fan. This dessert looks lovely and I can well imagine how good it must taste — in fact, please place an extra setting at your table for me :).

    1. Hi, Kelly. I also had thick hard rubber the first time I used agar and it has put me off it for a long time… Thank you so much for all the compliments. Of course you are always invited!

  11. Oh Sissi! I love this wobbly cream! I have a salad in which I use fresh strawberries and toasted coconut. It’s out favorite salad; therefore, I know that both of us would absolutely love this dessert. Oh goody, goody – I just checked the ingredients list and I have everything! This is going to make a great treat for Friday. It’s a crazy week, so something sweet, refreshing and delicious to help relax will be wonderful. Thanks for another wonderful wobbly sweet!

    1. Thank you so much, MJ. See, it was my first discovery of coconut+strawberry. I thought I would destroy the delicate taste of the strawberry but not at all! Now I think I will experiment more with these, but I have to do it quickly. Strawberries don’t last forever.

  12. Your kanten dessert looks very appetizing!
    I’ve been familiar with kanten since childhood as an ingredient of mitsumame, anmitsu, and gyunyu kan
    (My gyunyu kan recipe is here:, but I’ve never been so creative and imaginative about uses for kanten as you are.
    Did you know that kanten is made by freeze-drying tokoroten? Shinshu, my father’s hometown, is a major producer of kanten in Japan because of its cold climate in winter.

    1. Thank you so much, Hiroyuki. I have just seen your gyunyu kan. (I didn’t know you at the time, alas). It looks very good! You know I mentioned it only the first time I posted kanten-based dessert, but I learnt it from a Japanese friend. She had found the recipe on a Japanese website and prepared it for me. It was however only slightly set, like mine and almost creamy (it wouldn’t keep alone on a plate). The good idea is to add coconut milk instead of only cow milk (half is enough… if I added more I think it would be too fatty…) and any fruit you have. All the fruits seem to go well with coconut+cow milk!
      I knew that kanten was made by drying some seaweed but it was all I knew 😉 Thank you for teaching me new things, as always.

  13. This is a very airy and light dessert Sissi! You never know where experimentation will take you do you? And most of the times we discover little miracles like this one!

    1. Thank you very much, Katerina. You are very kind. I must think of something else until strawberries are there…

  14. How could I have passed up this incredible, pretty, and festive dessert. Love the agar instead of the corn starch, or gelatin method to thicken the fruit. Wobbly sounds so ‘cute’ and right to the ‘point’ to describe the texture instead of the thicker gelatin type. Beautiful presentation, as well, Sissi!

    1. Thank you so much, Elisabeth. I’m glad you find “wobbly” appetising and not scary like someone once told me 😉

  15. Me too, I love both coconut and strawberry BUT I don’t think I tried both at the same time! Your dessert is always light and perfect for after-meal. I need to work on kanten (I forgot if I told you about my kanten failure, did I?) more!

    1. Thank you so much, Nami, for kind words. I’m sorry to hear about your failure. On the other hand I had had many accidents with kanten too, but once I did it right, I have never failed anything since then. Please let me know what was wrong. I hope that as a kanten dessert addict I could help.

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