Grass jelly, a traditional Asian dessert, is made from the leaves and stems of the Mesona chinensis plant. The plant is boiled in water, and the resulting liquid is cooled and solidified into a jelly-like substance. Now, most of the grass jelly is made from powder directly. It has a mildly sweet taste and a slightly herbal flavor.
One of the most popular way of using grass jelly, in addition to regular dessert dish is to combine it into milk tea.
Grass Jelly as Boba in milk tea
Grass jelly has a more slippery and gel-like consistency compared to the soft, chewy tapioca boba. Unlike fruit jelly boba, it does not burst with juice and is milder in flavor.
When soaked in drinks, grass jelly boba absorbs surrounding flavors while adding delightful bounciness. It holds up well in icy cold beverages without dissolving.
The lower calories and higher fiber in grass jelly boba make it a slightly healthier option than starchy tapioca boba. It also appeals to gluten-free and vegan diets.
For these reasons, many bubble tea shops now offer “grass jelly boba” as a novel topping. It allows customers to experience a different textural sensation.
Grass jelly can be cut into small cubes, rectangles, or oval shapes when prepared as boba. The irregular, asymmetric shapes help distinguish grass jelly boba cubes visually from fruit jelly and tapioca boba.
Ingredients for grass jelly boba
- Grass jelly– it is very easy to make grass jelly at home. But you can also choose to use canned grass jelly.
- Black tea- black tea is the most commonly choice tea base for milk tea.
- Sweetened condensed milk- brings a sweet and creamy mouthfeel. a cheaper way is to use syrup.
- Milk- for vegetarians, almond milk, oat milk, or coconut milk also can work.
Make grass jelly at home
Dissolving the Powder: mix the grass jelly powder with water to create a smooth paste.
- Boiling: add the dissolved jelly paste to boiling water and stir continuously for 5-10 minutes. add sugar for sweetness
- Setting: Pour the mixture into molds or a flat dish and allow it to cool at room temperature.
- Serving: After it’s fully set, you can cut the grass jelly into cubes or desired shapes and serve.
Two Steps to make Grass jelly boba or Grass jelly milk tea
- Steep 1 or two bags of black tea in hot water for 4 minutes and let it cool off completely.
- Drop grass jelly cubes into the glass (I also use some crystal boba pearls too), then add ice cubes if using, stir in sweetened condensed milk and black tea. Stir to combine.
Grass Jelly Milk Tea
- 100 g grass jelly powder
- 600 ml water for grass jelly
- 1 bag black tea use 2 for stronger tea flavor
- 1 cup water for tea
- 1 cup sweetened condensed milk or to taste
- Ice cubes
- 2 tbsp. crystal boba
- Dissolving the Powder: In a large bowl, mix the grass jelly powder with a small amount of water to create a smooth paste.
- Boiling: In a pot, bring the rest of the water to a boil. Once boiling, add the dissolved jelly paste to the pot, stirring continuously.
- Sweetening: If you wish to add sweetness, now is the time to stir in your sugar or honey. Continue to boil and stir for another 5-10 minutes, ensuring the powder is fully dissolved and integrated.
- Setting: Pour the mixture into molds or a flat dish and allow it to cool at room temperature. Once it starts to set (usually in a few hours), you can transfer it to the refrigerator.
- serving: cut the jelly into the small cubes that can pass the straw
- Add hot boiling water to black tea and let is steep for 4 minutes. Let it cool completely.
- Drop grass jelly cubes into the glass (I also use some crystal boba pearls too), then add ice cubes if using, stir in sweetened condensed milk . Stir to combine.
- Enjoy with a fat straw and spoon for the jelly chunks.
1. Is grass jelly boba gluten free?
Yes, pure grass jelly made from the Platostoma palustre plant does not contain gluten. However, some pre-made grass jelly may be processed in facilities with gluten risk, so check labels carefully if you have celiac disease or a gluten allergy.
2. Do you drink or chew grass jelly boba?
Grass jelly boba should be chewed before swallowing to prevent choking hazards. The bouncy texture can be difficult to drink through a straw directly. Gently chew each grass jelly boba cube thoroughly, allowing time to appreciate their fun texture.
3. Is grass jelly keto friendly?
Yes, grass jelly is low in carbohydrates with only 1 gram of net carbs per serving. This makes it a keto-friendly option. But be mindful of sugars in the drinks you pair grass jelly boba with on a keto diet.
4. How do you store leftover grass jelly boba?
Refrigerate any unused grass jelly boba in an airtight container, submerged in fresh cool water. Change the soaking water daily. Properly stored, grass jelly boba keeps for 3-5 days in the refrigerator before use.
5. Can you freeze grass jelly boba?
Yes, grass jelly can also be frozen for longer term storage. Keep frozen grass jelly submerged in water in airtight containers. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using to prevent splintering from quick thawing at room temperature.
In conclusion, Grass Jelly Boba Tea is a delightful and unique fusion of two beloved Asian beverages. The cooling properties of grass jelly, the chewy texture of boba pearls, and the creamy, sweet taste of the tea create a satisfying and enjoyable drink, perfect for a refreshing break on a warm day.