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Xanthan Gum

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For a detailed look at xanthan gum please check out my full guide on how to use 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

Sous Vide Brisket Recipe with Cranberry BBQ Sauce

Sous vide brisket cranberry bbq sauce Even though cranberries are a staple for Thanksgiving sauces they are often overlooked for more traditional sauces. Their combination of tartness and mild fruitiness is a great complement to many BBQ sauces. I like to serve this BBQ on a smoked and sous vided brisket.

How to Keep Sauces from Separating - Ask Jason

Watermelon soup pickled rind

Hi Jason,
I made some Tabasco hot sauce but what I find is that the chilies and vinegar separates in the bottle when standing on the rack for a long time. To try to prevent this my thought was to use xanthan gum, is this the right approach?

Thanks, Johan

I was recently asked this question about what the best method of stabilizing a sauce is. Sauces, emulsions, and other mixtures are basically two or more types of ingredients that don't fully mix but are held in suspension. So an emulsion is typically a mixture of oil and vinegar and a hot sauce is a mixture of chile particles and vinegar. The problem with these mixtures is that when they sit, the two ingredients separate from each other. This is why salad dressing often needs to be shaken up before using it.

Spinach-Garlic Dip Recipe

Spinach garlic dip This recipe turns a popular spinach-garlic dip into a foam for dipping. It can be served with roasted pita squares or even just vegetables and chips. This dip also works great as a sauce to perk up the flavors of steak or chicken.

Flank Steak with Chimichurri Recipe

Flank steak chimichurri overhead Flank steak is full of beefy flavor and has a great bite to it. Serving it with chimichurri, a spicy garlic and parsley based sauce, is very popular in Argentina and other South American countries. This recipe makes an excellent choice for a party!

Sous Vide Turkey Breast with Cranberry Chutney

Turkey breast cranberry chutney This is a great meal anytime and pairs the sous vided moist and tender turkey with a sweet and sour cranberry chutney. Always a family favorite!

Easy Aioli Dip Recipe

Aioli Aioli is simply a mayonnaise made with garlic and olive oil. This recipe uses an immersion blender to make the process super-easy and results in a light dip for vegetables or a spread on breads and toast. It's a popular addition to any party fare!

Cranberry Chutney Crostini Recipe

Cranberry crustini Cranberries are a great treat any time of the year. This recipe combines the tang from the cranberries with the smokiness from the ancho pepper. For a burst of flavor place on a crispy crostini and topped with with spices and mint. A great party treat!

Pork and Roasted Strawberry Salad Recipe

Roasted strawberry salad For this recipe I roast the strawberries then puree them to form a sweet and tangy salad dressing. For a different flavor combination I serve it over a savory pulled pork and arugula salad.

Shredded Beef with Spicy Tangerine Froth Recipe

Shredded beef This recipe uses the pressure cooker to turn an inexpensive chuck roast into a moist,flavor-packed beef entree and the whipping siphon to prepare a spicy tangerine froth topping. It's a fun and simple meal that will impress your family and dinner guests alike.

Sous Vide Honey-Chipotle Glazed Country Style Ribs

Honey chipotle spare ribs corn This sous vide country style ribs recipe uses a honey-chipotle glazed to perk up the flavor of the dish. For a thicker, clingier sauce on your ribs, adding a tad of xanthan gum will make that happen!

Mango Foam

Mango agar fluid gel foam 2 Versawhip and xanthan gum combine to make light foams that are a great way to add texture to dishes. It's a great topping for desserts and ice creams or can even be eaten as an amuse bouche between dishes.

Sous Vide Bourbon-Maple Chutney

Apple bourbon chutney This apple chutney is a very flavorful topping that provides a savory punch to pork, fish or even on a dessert! This recipe sous vides the apples in a bourbon, maple syrup, chipotle and thyme mixture.

Roasted Parsnips with Carrot Froth Recipe

Roasted parsnips with chipotle froth Roasting parsnips gives it an almost nutty taste, which holds up well to a topping of chipotle-carrot froth. The modernist ingredient of xanthan gum is used in the froth to help it retain the bubbles generated in the whipping siphon. This is a fun dish to serve as an appetizer or starter plate.

Chicken Recipe with Teriyaki Froth

Teriyaki froth2 This recipe takes a traditional teriyaki chicken dish and elevates it with a modernist twist. However, even pickier eaters enjoy this teriyaki froth entree!

Chocolate Covered Mint Marshmallows

Marshmallows   chocolate covered mint syrup This recipe takes classic homemade marshmallows and covers them in yummy chocolate. Mint and chocolate is a classic pairing and the soft marshmallows are a great way to hold them all together! A definite party favorite!

Honey-Chipotle BBQ Sauce Recipe

Chicken tenders When I'm having wings I almost always reach for the honey-chipotle BBQ sauce. It's a delicate balance between the heat from the chipotles and the sweetness from the honey. Just be sure to make plenty, your guests will love it!

Sous Vide Beer Brat Grinders with Guinness Mustard

Brats guiness mustard Beer braised brats are a great summertime BBQ dish. I really like it served with a strongly flavored Guinness mustard on a toasted bun with grilled peppers and onions. Since the grill is already hot from the veggies, finish the brats with a quick sear to caramelize the outside and enjoy!

Pea Pesto Recipe

Pea pesto dip This recipe makes a clean and fresh tasting pea pesto dip that works great with just about everything, especially grilled sourdough bread, carrot and celery sticks, as well as roasted vegetable chips. This party favorite is quick and easy to put together and can be made with defrosted frozen peas - however, if you have access to fresh spring peas it'll be even better!

Chicken with Teriyaki Froth Recipe

Teriyaki froth2 This recipe tops sous vided chicken with a modernist froth to make a favorite dish that even pickier eaters tend to gobble up! By using xanthan gum in the teriyaki sauce you can turn it into a flavorful froth in a whipping siphon. Even a "basic" food can be the talk of the party!

Sous Vide Shredded Duck Legs with Sesame Noodles

Shredded duck legs sesame noodles What to serve your guests something a little different but exceptional for dinner? In this dish I topped sesame noodles with shredded duck legs because they can hold up to the strong flavors of the pasta. You can serve this entree either hot or cold. It's sure to be a hit!

Sous Vide Tarragon, Lemon, and Shallot Vinaigrette

Tarragon lemon infused vinaigrette This recipe infuses the flavors of shallot, lemon, and tarragon into a vinegar and then makes it into a light, bright vinaigrette. This pairing adds several base layers of flavor to the fish. For a modernist twist, thicken it into a sauce with xanthan gum!

Blackberry-Peach Wrapped Pork Recipe

Blackberry wrapped pork The star of most of my parties is meat and this blackberry-peach wrapped sous vided pork offering is no exception! It makes a fun presentation besides the additional sweetness and flavor from roasting the fruit complements the pork perfectly.

White Bean Puree with Rosemary Oil Recipe

Rosemary oil2 This recipe is a great crostini topping for any party, especially if some attendees might be less adventurous eaters! It resembles a more traditional dish but it have a subtle modernist touch. Garnishing the white bean puree with lemon zest pulls in even more highlights to the food.

Sous Vide Salmon Recipe with Apple and Jalapenos

Sous vide salmon 122 apple jalapeno vinaigrette Sous vide salmon is a tender, soft meat that can be unlike anything cooked in a traditional manner. I pair it with spicy jalapenos and sous apples for a tart, rich dish.

Sous Vide Asparagus Recipe with Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette

Sous vide asparagus with turkey Sous vide asparagus is similar to blanched asparagus but ends up with a stronger flavor and slightly firmer texture. It only needs a short cooking time unless the asparagus is really thick.

Sous Vide Tri-Tip Recipe with Roasted Fennel and Orange Salad

Sous vide tri tip roasted fennel olive salad This sous vide tri-tip steak recipe takes full advantage of the rich, meaty cut and is tenderized through the sous vide process and pared with an exotic fennel, orange, and olive salad.

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 Recipe With Pickled Rind

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 Recipe 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 Grape 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.

Cherry Whipped Methocel Foam Recipe

Cherry whipped methocel foam 2 Modernist foams come in many varieties. They can be made by blending, in a whipping siphon, or even using an aquarium bubbler. This recipe focuses on a different type: whipped foams, specifically whipped Methocel foams.

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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