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The Yin of Grass Jelly

The Yin of Grass Jelly 

Grass jelly is a common ingredient for desserts and beverages in South Asian. To some, it is an acquired taste. To start, it is black in color. It is translucent, shiny, and carries the cello texture. It also has a slight bitter taste. But after you have it a few times, you may grow to like it.

According to Wikipedia, "it is made by boiling the aged and slightly oxidized stalks and leaves of Mesona ch,inensis (member of the mint family) with potassium carbonate for several hours with a little starch and then cooling the liquid to a jelly-like consistency."

Foods are classified as yin (cool) or yang (hot) in Asian culture. Grass jelly is considered to be "yin" in nature and so has a cooling effect. That makes it a welcoming dessert in warm climate. Give the recipe below a try in your next summer party.

Recipe: Tri-color ice

  • 1/3 cup grass jelly
  • 2 tbsp mashed red bean
  • 2 tbsp shaved ice
  • 1/3 cup mixed sweet/tropical fruit - e.g. pineapple, mango, strawberry, kiwi
  • 5 tbsp coconut milk

Just put the above ingredients in sequence in a tall glass. The colorful layers create a "wow" factor. This is a very flexible recipe. You can adjust all the amounts to your liking and/or substitute the fruits with anything you like. Have fun with it.