This Lychee jelly showcases the deliciousness of the Asian fruit with its sweet and tarty undertones. Made with real lychee fruit, sugar and agar agar, this jelly is a delectable dessert snack or you can use it to replace boba pearls in boba tea. We will also include two ways of assembling this into a lovely drink for summer.
Lychees – those translucent, aromatic, plump and squishy balls of sweetness!
Enjoying a bowl of this pink spiked fruit with a juicy interior (you cannot stop at one) is an acquired taste for some. For many of us from Asia, it’s a seasonal fruit delicacy we eagerly await every year.
You have different varieties of lychee. Some like the pink skinned fruit are sweeter than the Thai ones with a yellow skin. This tropical fruit is a sweeter tasting relative of Longan and is native to China. Now it’s cultivated in many Asian countries and available worldwide.
What’s Lychee Jelly
Jellies are jiggly versions of pureed fruits or fruit juice set with a gelling agent that is usually agar agar, gelatin or carrageenan. Lychee Jelly is a blend of sugar, lychee juice and agar agar derived from red algae. The recipe I share is naturally vegan and gluten free.
The fresh or frozen fruits are peeled and blended with water. The strained juice is boiled with sugar and agar agar and then allowed to cool down and set.
What Does Lychee Jelly Taste Like
A delicious add-on or topping ingredient that you find in a variety of drinks and sweet treats.
For starters, it tastes like the fruit you love. The natural sweetness registers through with the hint of tartiness and a bit of astringent tang.
The addition of agar agar does not affect the original flavors while the added sugar amps up the sweet quotient.
Why Is It Popular In Boba And Drinks?
Lychee jelly with its unique chewy texture is a popular Chinese dessert. It has an energizing tropical savor which makes this fruit jelly so tasty.
The lychee flavor pairs well with green teas, milk teas and other fruits as well.
The fresh fruit jelly retains the nutrients including antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber present in the lychee. This makes it a healthy and lovely addition to bubble teas and non-milk beverages.
Ingredients for Lychee Jelly
Lychee jelly is easy to make at home and you get to enjoy the goodness and taste of real fruits. You need eight easy-to-find ingredients for making jelly and serving in a drink.
Lychee: The juicy fruit is the star of both jelly and the accompanying drink I am sharing with you. Use fresh lychee and thaw the frozen ones before blending them. Save some fruit to add as a topping.
Water: You need water to make the jelly and to infuse the green tea. Use filtered water.
Sugar: This enhances the sweet flavor of your jelly. Use white sugar for making jelly so it can have a creamier texture.
Agar Agar powder: The thickening or gelling agent that turns your lychee into a jelly. Use powder form to allow it to dissolve fast. Use less for a wiggly jelly and more powder for a firmer jelly. The ratio of agar powder vs water is 5: 1.
Optionally Konjac Powder: You can also use konjac powder to replace agar agar powder. It is a vegan friendly thickening agent just like agar agar. However the ratio is slightly different. Around 10:1. Meaning for each cup of liquid, we will need 2.4g konjac powder.
You can sub with gelatin or carrageenan if the ingredients above are hard to find, but this may affect the cleaner texture and flavor profile of your drink.
How To Make Lychee Jelly At Home
Here is the basic process to make this fruit jelly. You can use a square baking pan for molding. If you prefer shaped jelly pieces, use silicon mold with square cavities.
Make the jelly juice
Step 1: Rinse the lychees well, peel the skin, and remove the seeds. Roughly chop the fruit and blend into a juice with water.
For the Jelly
Step 2: Strain the juice with a sieve and add it to a saucepan.
Add the sugar, agar agar powder or Konjac Powder. Mix well to let them dissolve. Heat until boiling and make sure all the powered ingredients are dissolved well.
Set and mold jelly
Step 4: Take a square baking pan or silicone mold with square holes. Pour the liquid jelly, tap the pan or mold to allow air bubbles to escape.
Step 5: Leave it to rest and set. When the jelly is firm enough, remove gently from the pan.
Step 6: Cut the jelly into squares with a sharp knife. Start at one end and cut into ½ inch sticks from top to bottom. Now make similar cuts from left to right. Set aside for now. If you plan to serve it directly as a dessert, cut into large pieces.
If you set the jelly in a shaped mold, remove the pieces and set aside.
Although I recommend you make fresh lychee jelly for your iced tea or bubble tea, you can make it in advance. If you have leftovers, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
How To Use Lychee Jelly
Kids love to eat lychees jelly plain or with some tasty toppings like fruit sauces, chocolate chips or whipped cream. I love to add them in both smoothie-like bubble tea and iced tea.
You can use this versatile food in different ways in beverages, fruit desserts, ice creams, and more.
How to make lychee jelly for boba
- 12 fresh lychee
- 1 tbsp. white sugar optional
- 1 cup water
- 5 g agar agar powder around 2 tsp.
For Lychee Jelly Boba
- 1/2 cup lychee jelly cut into small cubes
- 1 black tea bag
- 1 cup hot boiling water
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tbsp. lychee syrup or other syrup
Prepare and peel lychee
- Rinse the lychees well, peel the skin, and remove the seeds. Roughly chop the fruit and blend into a juice with water.
- Strain the juice with a sieve and add it to a saucepan.
- Boil the liquid, reduce the heat, and add the sugar. Let the sugar dissolve before adding agar agar.
- Add the thickening agent and stir until it dissolves fully. Remove from stove top.
Set and mold jelly
- Take a square baking pan or silicone mold with square holes. Pour the liquid jelly, tap the pan or mold to allow air bubbles to escape. Brush the top with a spatula to smoothen it.
- Leave it to rest and set. When the jelly is firm enough, remove gently from the pan.
- Cut the jelly into squares with a sharp knife. Start at one end and cut into ½ inch sticks from top to bottom. Now make similar cuts from left to right. Set aside for now.
To make lychee jelly boba
- Steep black tea bag in hot boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool down.
- Add lychee jelly cubes in the serving glass. Add ice cubes if using.
- Pour the black tea base, then with milk.
- Add lychee syrup or any other types of syrup. Stir before enjoying.
In addition, I am going to show you an easy way to create a delicious, chilled drink with lychee jelly, soda and jasmine green tea. Following are ingredients and substations.
Jasmine Green Tea: Prepare the floral tea either way you prefer – with tea bags or loose leaves.
Syrup: You can add simple syrup or lychee syrup to this soda tea with lychee jelly to make it sweeter. You can add some lychee juice for extra fruit flavor and natural sweetness.
If you’re on a sugar diet, swap this syrup with liquid stevia or monk fruit. Remember, a little goes a long way.
Speaking soda: Carbonated water or soda water turns your iced tea into a bubbly drink. Add a small quantity to avoid overpowering other flavors in the drink.
Ice cubes: This lychee tea beverage is served with ice cubes. If you are not planning to drink or serve this immediately, chill the drink in the fridge and add ice cubes later.
Iced green tea with lychee jelly
- 2 tbsp. homemade lychee jelly or store bought ones
- 1 bag jasmine green tea
- 1 cup hot boiling water
- 1 tbsp. lychee syrup or other syrup
- sprinkling water optional
- mint leaf
For Tea Base
- Add tea bags or leaves to hot water in a cup and steep the tea for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the tea bag and let the liquid cool to room temperature.
- Add the lychee jelly to the serving glass followed by ice cubes.
- Pour in the cooled jasmine green tea.
- Add a small amount of sugar syrup and sparkling soda.
- Garnish with mint leaves and top with some chopped lychee.
- Stir well and serve the drink immediately or chill the tea in the fridge (without ice cubes) until serving time.
Other Lychee Recipes to try
- You can make lychee puree at home
- Lychee syrup is also a great way of storing the lychee flavor
- Fresh lychee can be smashed and combine with regular boba milk tea.
- Lychee juice is a lovely summer drink.
We hope you will love our creative ways of eating lychee and also love to hear you share us with yours.