Grass jelly is constructed from the Chinese language mesona plant, a member of the mint household that’s harvested yearly within the springtime, proper on the cusp of the yr’s hottest months. To organize grass jelly, the mesona leaves are dried within the solar till they oxidize, much like the way in which tea leaves are ready. The dried mesona leaves are then boiled for a number of hours to create a extremely concentrated tea of kinds, after which the combination is strained and sometimes sweetened with sugar or honey. You possibly can drink it similar to that, however there’s often another step. So as to flip the liquid into jiggling jelly, a thickening agent should be added. The standard selections are arrowroot or cassava root starch, however in trendy occasions corn starch, tapioca starch, gelatin, or agar agar are extra widespread.

Contemporary grass jelly has a shelf lifetime of solely per week or so, and whereas the canned and powdered variations final for much longer, they do incorporate components and generally come on the expense of taste. Whereas canned grass jelly is refreshingly cool, it’s usually described as having little or no taste apart from the sweetness of the added honey or sugar, and a slight trace of grassy, herbaceousness within the background. Freshly-prepared grass jelly, alternatively, is sort of fragrant, and its taste profile even has a slight smokiness. Texture-wise, it’s springier than canned grass jelly, and its shade leans in direction of golden brown quite than black.