Another piece of memory from past
Have you ever been to a Vietnamese restaurant and wondered what on the earth was that black jelly in the dessert section? If you have, this post will give you the answer you have been seeking for.
That one of a kind black jelly is called Grass Jelly. It’s a well-known dessert in many Asian countries including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thai Land, Indonesia, Viet Nam and more. The black color is the signature of Chinese Mesona herb after being boiled for hours. The black liquid then get added with some kind of starch to create a jelly consistency. Fresh grass jelly has a somewhat bitter taste and smoky after taste.
Traditionally, we don’t make grass jelly at home because of the accessibility of the herb. It usually gets sold at the farmer markets. The jelly come in blocks or packed in plastic bags. Depending on the sellers, some vendors will offer you a bottle of banana oil to serve along with your grass jelly. However, I highly suggest not to use it, because it’s nothing but a chemical compound. Grass jelly is great serving by itself or with milk tea.
When I was in high school, me and my friends used to bike to our favourite grass jelly vendor after class to have a bowl of cool and fragrant grass jelly. We always ended up having 2 or 3 bowls for each person. There was something about their grass jelly that we had to come back time after time for more. I quickly learned the reason when I tried my best to replicate the recipe.
It’s all about the texture of the jelly. The smooth and chewy texture of the jelly combining with the cool icy sweet sugar water really heal your burning throat from a hot summer day. I always reduce the about of water down to 80% of whatever the instruction say on the package. This allows the jelly to archive the perfect texture.
Vietnamese Grass Jelly