This grass jelly dessert is addictive! The herbal Chinese grass jelly dessert has a milk base that is lightly sweetened and a wide variety of toppings, which makes for an irresistible and easily customizable dish!
Grass jelly dessert is a delicious and quick and easy dish with lots of room for customization. My version is a grass jelly coconut milk dessert, which includes a coconut milk and condensed milk base with sweetened red bean and taro and sweet potato balls as toppings! This combination results in a rich, slightly herbal, and lightly sweetened dessert perfect for any time of the year.
What is Grass Jelly?
Grass jelly (烧仙草) is a popular dessert component in Asian cuisines. It comes from the Platostoma palustre plant (or Chinese mesona) and is cooked with water and starch to create a jelly-like texture. The jelly has a very light herbal and slightly bitter flavor. You can find it used in foods from China, Taiwan, the Philippines, and more.
Where to Find Grass Jelly
You can find grass jelly in your local Asian supermarket in a can or a packet as a powder. Canned grass jelly is very convenient, as all you need to do is scoop the jelly out in chunks to serve. The powdered form requires some more time and effort but is still relatively easy to make. The process is similar to making jello. The powdered grass jelly is cooked in a pot of hot water, poured into a mold, and cut into pieces.
Grass Jelly Uses
Due to the mild taste of grass jelly, you can use it in a wide variety of recipes, including but not limited to:
- Chinese shaved ice
- Grass jelly drink (e.g. milk tea with grass jelly)
- Grass jelly boba/bubble tea
- And this grass jelly dessert (served hot or cold)
If you want to customize your grass jelly dessert to your tastes, you can try out different combinations of the ingredients below! You can turn it into a hot grass jelly recipe and serve this dish warm.
Coconut milk, evaporated milk, condensed milk, and simple syrup are the most traditional choices.
- Milk options: coconut milk, evaporated milk, regular milk, soy milk, oat milk, nut milk (e.g. almond milk), coffee, milk tea, etc.
- Sweetener options: condensed milk, simple syrup (1:1 ratio of sugar and water), palm sugar syrup, honey, maple syrup, agave, etc.
- Cut fruit: mango, berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries), kiwi, papaya, dragon fruit, etc.
- Cooked red bean and mung bean (more details on how to prepare here)
- Taro and sweet potato balls (homemade recipe here)
- Or plain cooked taro/sweet potato
- Tapioca pearls
- Nuts and seeds (e.g. cooked lotus seeds, peanuts, palm seeds)
- Ice cream (vanilla, ube, matcha)
Grass Jelly Dessert
- grass jelly canned or made from a powdered form
- coconut milk or evaporated milk, soy milk, nut milk, etc., also see post above for more options
- condensed milk or simple syrup, liquid sweeteners, etc., also see post above for more options
Toppings (more options in post above)
- taro and sweet potato balls
- sweetened red beans store-bought or homemade
- sweetened mung beans store-bought or homemade
- tapioca pearls
- fruits cut into pieces (e.g. mango, strawberries, papaya, dragon fruit, etc.
- ice cream
- Add your grass jelly to a bowl.
- Add your choice of ingredients for the milk base and toppings to the bowl and serve warm or cold!
How to Make Grass Jelly Dessert
This dessert is very simple to make!
First, prepare all of the ingredients and toppings. Then, add all of your desired ingredients together in a bowl and serve!