Unquenchable Sweet Tooth - Grass Jelly Mesona chinensis (仙草/涼粉)
Updated: Jun 16, 2021
Grass jelly, leaf jelly, or herb jelly, is a popular dessert in Asia. Traditionally, Asians boil leaves and stalks from a plant named Mesona Chinensis with a small amount of starch, rice, or flour to make grass jelly. After cooling down, the liquid will firm into a jelly-like texture. However, this method cannot be popular in our daily life as it is quite time-consuming. In order to simplify the process, there are popular canned grass jelly and powdered grass jelly.
Mesona Chinensis, the key to grass jelly, grows as a wild plant in tropical Taiwan. Though here in Northern California, I am having a hard time (hit and miss) germinating the seeds. I am still not quite clear what triggers the germination, but do know it will happen when the daylight length, season, temperature, location...etc are harmonious. Keeping germinated grass jelly alive through winter is another hard task. Not to mention that these plants grow extremely slow, even for a green thumb gardener (like myself). Since it does not look promising that I will ever be able to grow enough and harvest my very own grass jelly, I do it a quicker (and lazier) way - instant grass jelly powder! If you have an unquenchable sweet tooth like mine, you should give the instant jelly powder a try!