Aiyu jelly is an Asian summer dessert that you probably have seen before but may not have known its name. This Taiwanese snack is a popular option to have during hot summer days because it is so refreshing! It can be eaten on its own or added on as a topping to boba or shaved ice.
Whether you’re a big fan of jello or are just looking to create a simple and refreshing dessert, this article is for you. Read on to learn all about Aiyu jelly and how you can make some at home.
What is Aiyu jelly made of?
Aiyu jelly is plant-based, made from the seeds of a type of fig plant. This plant, known specifically as the awkeotsang creeping fig, is commonly found in Taiwan and several other East Asian countries.
When combined with water and rubbed, the seeds from the fig will produce a yellowish gel. This gel will then be set after being placed in a refrigerator.
When it comes to Aiyu jelly nutritional facts, there are plenty of positives. For one, it is rich in pectin, promoting good digestion and better absorption of plant foods. The Taiwanese dessert also contains vitamins and dietary fibre which can help decrease blood cholesterol levels and regulate metabolism.
An added plus of this tasty treat is that it is low in calories, with 90% of it being made of water. However, be sure not to go overboard with sweetening it as that can cancel out its low-calorie benefits.
Consuming the cooling snack can also be great for your skin as it improves blood circulation and can help in reducing swelling or inflammation.
Aiyu jelly by itself is tasteless as it mostly consists of water. This is why the dessert is usually paired with honey and lime to give it a sweet and citrusy flavour. The texture is really what makes this Asian snack fun to eat, which is chewy and gel-like. The texture is similar to agar-based crystal boba or grass jelly, which makes it a great substitute when preparing plant-based meals.
How to Enjoy
Aiyu jelly is usually served with honey or any other sweetener and lime juice to give this refreshing dessert a sweet and citrusy flavour. The traditional Taiwanese version calls for serving the dish cold with ice cubes and sliced or whole limes.
The sweet treat is also commonly used as a topping for bubble tea or shaved ice. It is sweetened with honey or sugar syrup and added to the Aiyu jelly bubble tea or shaved ice dessert. Since the boba topping does not have a strong taste, it goes well with all sorts of boba or shaved ice flavours like matcha, milk tea and red bean.
Aiyu jelly can be prepared using either the dried seeds from the fruit or Aiyu powder, which may contain some preservatives. The fruit is available seasonally between October and April. It is shaped like a mango and looks like a hedgehog.
If you’re able to get your hands on the seeds, this would be the preferred option to use rather than the powder for its taste and health benefits. We recommend using the following brand of Aiyu seeds.
Aiyu seeds - Make your own refreshing jelly dessert
This Taiwanese dessert uses similar ingredients to Bingfen ice jelly, namely lime juice and a sweetener like sugar syrup. These flavours give the snack a sweet, citrusy taste which is a nice balance against the cool jello. Honey is another good and healthy substitute for sugar syrup.
Aiyu jelly is plant-based, meaning that it does not contain gelatine which is commonly found in most store-bought jellies.
How to make Aiyu jelly
All you need are seeds from a dried fig fruit and water. Once you’ve placed the seeds in a mesh bag or cheesecloth, squeeze and massage them while submerging in water. This technique is known as “washing Aiyu” and will cause the seeds to produce a yellowish gel. Place this mixture in the fridge to let it set and you’re all done!
The Aiyu jelly recipe is surprisingly simple. There are minimal ingredients required and the actual preparation does not take much time. However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when attempting this recipe:
- Make sure to use cold water. The cool temperature of the water along with the rubbing motion will allow the seeds to release a gel known as pectin.
- Do not use tap water (reverse osmosis water) as it will prevent the mixture from setting. You can use spring or mineral water instead.
How long does it last?
Aiyu jelly doesn’t last very long so it would be a good idea to consume it within a day. This is because the dessert is natural and does not contain any preservatives to make it last longer.
How to store
Aiyu jelly should be stored in the fridge to maintain its firmness. However, after a day or two, it will lose its gel-like consistency and turn watery. That is why is it best to consume this dessert while it is still fresh.
Aiyu Jelly Recipe | Taiwanese Summer Dessert
- 20 g dried fig fruit (Aiyu seeds)
- 5 cups cold spring water
- ½ cup fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoon honey
- Fill a bowl with 5 cups of cold spring water. Place the seeds inside the mesh bag/cheesecloth.
- Submerge the seeds in the bowl of water while rubbing and squeezing. The water should turn yellow and feel slimy from the gel coming from the seeds.
- Place the bowl in the fridge for 30 minutes to let it set.
- Cut the jelly in the bowl into cubes. Then, scoop them into servings bowls.
- Pour a few spoons of lime juice and honey mix to give it some taste. Serve cold.
Calories have been calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes and is only a rough estimate.
Wondering how the whole process will be like? Cheers Cuisine on Youtube has made a delightful video recipe for making the refreshing Taiwanese dessert. We recommend watching it for first-timers!
After reading this article, 'Aiyu' ready (pun intended) to try this recipe? Make sure to tag us on Instagram @honestfoodtalks!
In love with cooling desserts? Check out our other vegetarian and vegan-friendly dessert recipes such as coffee jelly!