Coconut jelly is a sweet, tropical, flavoured dessert eaten with dim sum or topped with other sweets or drinks. This article teaches you how best to utilize this extremely versatile element to its fullest potential.
This dessert is relatively overlooked by those unfamiliar with Asian cooking, but its refreshing, delightful texture is sure to improve anything.
Without further ado, let’s begin by learning about this woefully unknown sweet component.
What is it made of?
Coconut jelly is made of coconut cream, milk and agar agar powder. Cooks may sometimes use a different setting agent or add sugar for sweetness.
Agar-agar powder can set the liquids, which gives the dessert light and crumbly mouthfeel. It breaks apart before melting in the mouth. However, since this dessert is utilized in different places, the ingredients’ quantities also vary.
When coconut jelly is a drink topping (such as on boba), coconut water is present in the most considerable amount to not interfere with any other flavours. On the other hand, when eaten on its own as coconut cubes, pudding or a dim sum dessert, it has more presence and body. This is thanks to the larger quantity of the fruit’s milk and cream.
In the end, the ratios for both of these depend on what recipe you are making. For example, we have included two different proportions in our Chinese coconut jelly fruit recipe. One ratio requires using more water and more cream. Another uses equal parts of all three components of the fruit.
How to Enjoy
The possibilities for this dessert are genuinely endless. You can add it to drinks, enjoy it on its own as a refreshing dessert or snack, or add it to any number of things. In addition, many cultures utilize similar preparations in their desserts.
For example, a similar Filipino creation uses it as a topping in halo-halo. In Vietnam, this cubed dessert is cut into bite-size pieces. Then you eat it on its own as a summertime sweet. You can also choose to directly eat it from a bowl without cutting it for a nice pudding treat!
Don’t limit yourself to this recipe’s more traditional and popular uses! Instead, you can add it to anything. From ice cream sundaes to a cake topping to fruit salad to granola and smoothies. The sky is the limit.
You can even use it to make your very own boba pearls for a light, refreshing take on the popular drink addition. We have included the recipe for making these pearls.
Chinese Vegan Dessert
Chinese coconut jelly is vegan and is one of the most ordered dishes at the end of a dim sum course. This vegan jelly uses agar agar powder derived from seaweed instead of gelatin which comes from animal bones. Therefore, like aiyu or herbal jelly, another traditional Chinese dessert, this creamy dessert is vegan.
On its own, coconut cream is also an excellent way to add richness to desserts without adding dairy. Unfortunately, at dim sum restaurants, vegan options are often limited. So, this provides a perfect example of one vegan dish without sacrificing anything in terms of taste and texture!
Coconut Jelly Calories
This dish is excellent as a dessert since it is exceptionally low calorie. A single large slab of this coconut jelly nets only 150 calories. It also contains a good quantity of protein, thanks to the coconut-derived additions in the recipe.
Please note, however, that it does contain carbohydrates due to the added sugar in the recipe. You can omit the sugar, but it will change the flavour. Hence, we recommend adding sugar when making this Chinese coconut jelly recipe.
The ingredients we use in this coconut jelly recipe are pretty simple. Coconut water and its cream, sugar, and agar powder are the bare-bones foundation. Instead of agar powder, you can also use gelatin to set the liquid. However, this will make the dish not vegan friendly.
However, you can add whatever you please to the recipe as a flavouring. For example, Almond, orange, ginger, and rose water are great flavours.
Any fruit would go well. Herbs like mint, basil, and tarragon could also work. Once you master the technique of preparing this coconut jelly, you can add anything to enhance its taste profile.
- Please note that you will need a freezer-safe mould or pan to make this recipe, as well as a saucepan.
- Feel free to add any more fruits and toppings you would like.
- This recipe requires 3 hours of idle rest time.
Coconut Jelly Cubes | Chinese Vegan Dessert Recipe
- 1 tablespoon agar agar powder
- 3 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 2 cups coconut milk
- Add the coconut milk and agar to a saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Once boiled, remove from the heat.
- Add coconut cream once it has cooled to room temperature and stir until incorporated. Pour the jelly into a freezer-safe mould, tin, or tray.
- Cool for around 3 hours. Cut your coconut jelly into the desired size and enjoy!
- You can use granulated, powdered, or icing sugar in this recipe. Try to steer clear of brown sugar as it will ruin the milky white appearance of the final product.
- Use 1.5 cups coconut cream and 1.5 cups of coconut milk if you are eating it on its own.
- Use 2.5 cups of coconut milk and 0.5 cups of coconut cream if preparing as a boba drink topping.
- You can add any mix-ins or extra flavours you wish.
Calories have been calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes and are only rough estimations.
How to Make Coconut Jelly Boba
The cubed jelly can be added to the drink independently but would be challenging to eat with a boba straw. Instead, try breaking it into smaller pieces using a spoon. It should break quickly and cleanly, thanks to agar powder.
It works well with light teas and fruity drinks. You could even use it as a topping on cocktails. Try adding it wherever light and sweet tropical flavours would be welcome.
We hope this article taught you something about one of the most versatile and delicious sweet treats you can make with coconuts! This recipe is so simple that beginners can try it, and it is an excellent building block for many vegan dishes.
If you liked the coconut jelly slabs on their own, try making them into boba pearls or as a topping on other desserts. Test your creativity with these tasty snacks! Enjoy!
Please share your creamy white dessert with us by snapping a photo and tagging us @honestfoodtalks on your Instagram post!
Maybe you’re looking for a dessert that is a bit more bittersweet? Then, we’ve got the perfect thing for you. Check out our Japanese coffee jelly dessert recipe!