Grass Jelly (Suong Sao / Thach Den)

Make delicious Grass Jelly (Suong Sao / Thach Den) with this easy recipe. Grass Jelly is a wonderfully refreshing jelly with a glassy smooth texture. Similar to agar agar, it’s plant-based and is vegetarian. (Grass Jelly is made from the leaves of the cincau plant, a member of the mint family.) This jiggly cold treat is perfect on a hot summer day. Cut the Grass Jelly into cubes and serve over crushed ice for a simple chilled dessert. Another tasty option is to cut the jelly into small pieces and add to your favorite icy beverage. Give this no-fail recipe a try and share your comments with me.

Grass Jelly (Suong Sao) - How to Make Glassy-Smooth Grass Jelly | recipe from runawayrice.com
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Notes on the Grass Jelly (Suong Sao / Thach Den) Recipe, Tips and Tricks

Grass Jelly powder is sold at most Asian grocery stores, usually in the baking section. It’s packaged in small boxes or packets. Some packages contain a sugar packet and a small tube of banana essence. The banana essence can be a bit strong, but if you enjoy it, add during the last minute of cooking.

Adjust the sugar to your taste. I use 1/3 cup sugar which is plenty sweet for me. Use 1/4 cup sugar for a lighter taste and 2/3 cup sugar for a sweeter jelly.

I use a little less water than the package instructions and the jelly is medium firm. If you’d like a softer jelly, add 1/2 cup more water. Use 3 1/2 cups water for a firmer jelly.

Some key success factors to keep in mind when making Grass Jelly:

1) Bloom the jelly by letting it rest for 10 minutes after mixing with water.
2) During cooking, stir well including scraping the bottom of the pan to dissolve the powder. The powder has a tendency to settle on the bottom and if left undissolved will make the jelly lumpy.
3) Whisk out the lumps during cooking. The mixture will get lumpy. Keep mixing and it will become smooth again.
4) Bring the Grass Jelly mixture to a gentle boil to activate the gelling properties. The mixture does not need to boil for long or vigorously.

Watch the video for instructions.

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Grass Jelly / Suong Sao / Thach DenGrass Jelly (Suong Sao) - How to Make Perfect Grass Jelly | recipe from runawayrice.com

Ingredients

1.8 oz grass jelly powder
1/3 cup sugar
4 cups water, divided

Directions

Transfer the grass jelly powder into a medium saucepan. Add the sugar and 2 cups water. Stir together dissolving the powder. Add the remaining 2 cups water and mix well.

Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes.

Over Medium heat, start warming the mixture. Using a spatula, stir the mixture, scraping the bottom of the pan where the powder settles.

In 3-4 minutes the mixture thickens and becomes lumpy. Using a whisk, quickly stir until the mixture is smooth. Continue stirring, bringing the mixture to a gentle boil. Turn off the heat and continue stirring for 1 minute making sure the mixture is smooth and free of lumps.

Transfer the Grass Jelly mixture to a heat-safe dish or bowl. Pop any bubbles with a toothpick or skim with a spoon.

Allow to cool at room temperature for 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

Transfer into the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours.

To remove the jelly, invert the dish onto a large cutting board. Cut the grass jelly into cubes.

To serve, add some crushed ice into a dessert bowl. Add the Grass Jelly cubes. Sprinkle the jelly with a bit of sugar.

Optionally, use a small wavy knife to cut the jelly into smaller pieces and add to your favorite icy beverage.

Store any remaining Grass Jelly in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Yields: 6 servingsGrass Jelly (Suong Sao) - Better than Boba! | recipe from runawayrice.com

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Grass Jelly / Suong Sao / Thach Den

Course: Dessert, Drinks, Snack
Cuisine: Asian, Vietnamese
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 74 kcal
Author: Trang
Make delicious Grass Jelly (Suong Sao / Thach Den) with this easy recipe. Grass Jelly is a wonderfully refreshing jelly with a glassy smooth texture. Similar to agar agar, it's plant-based and is vegetarian. (Grass Jelly is made from the leaves of the cincau plant, a member of the mint family.) This jiggly cold treat is perfect on a hot summer day. Cut the Grass Jelly into cubes and serve over crushed ice for a simple chilled dessert. Another tasty option is to cut the jelly into small pieces and add to your favorite icy beverage. Give this no-fail recipe a try and share your comments with me.

Ingredients

  • 1.8 oz grass jelly powder
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 cups water , divided

Instructions

  1. Transfer the grass jelly powder into a medium saucepan. Add the sugar and 2 cups water. Stir together dissolving the powder. Add the remaining 2 cups water and mix well.
  2. Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Over Medium heat, start warming the mixture. Using a spatula, stir the mixture, scraping the bottom of the pan where the powder settles.
  4. In 3-4 minutes the mixture thickens and becomes lumpy. Using a whisk, quickly stir until the mixture is smooth. Continue stirring, bringing the mixture to a gentle boil. Turn off the heat and continue stirring for 1 minute making sure the mixture is smooth and free of lumps.
  5. Transfer the Grass Jelly mixture to a heat-safe dish or bowl. Pop any bubbles with a toothpick or skim with a spoon.
  6. Allow to cool at room temperature for 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Transfer into the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours.
  8. To remove the jelly, invert the dish onto a large cutting board. Cut the grass jelly into cubes.
  9. To serve, add some crushed ice into a dessert bowl. Add the Grass Jelly cubes. Sprinkle the jelly with a bit of sugar.
  10. Optionally, use a wavy knife to cut the jelly into smaller pieces and add to your favorite icy beverage.
  11. Store any remaining Grass Jelly in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Recipe Video

Notes, Tips & Tricks

  • Grass Jelly powder is sold at most Asian grocery stores, usually in the baking section. It's packaged in small boxes or packets. Some packages contain a sugar packet and a small tube of banana essence. The banana essence can be a bit strong, but if you enjoy it, add during the last minute of cooking.
  • Adjust the sugar to your taste. I use 1/3 cup sugar which is plenty sweet for me. Use 1/4 cup sugar for a lighter taste and 2/3 cup sugar for a sweeter jelly.
  • I use a little less water than the package instructions and the jelly is medium firm. If you'd like a softer jelly, add 1/2 cup more water. Use 3 1/2 cups water for a firmer jelly.
  • Some key success factors to keep in mind when making Grass Jelly:

1) Bloom the jelly by letting it rest for 10 minutes after mixing with water.
2) During cooking, stir well including scraping the bottom of the pan to dissolve the powder. The powder has a tendency to settle on the bottom and if left undissolved will make the jelly lumpy.
3) Whisk out the lumps during cooking. The mixture will get lumpy. Keep mixing and it will become smooth again.
4) Bring the Grass Jelly mixture to a gentle boil to activate the gelling properties. The mixture does not need to boil for long or vigorously.

Nutrition Facts
Grass Jelly / Suong Sao / Thach Den
Amount Per Serving
Calories 74
% Daily Value*
Sodium 19mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 18g 6%
Sugars 11g
Calcium 0.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Grass Jelly (Suong Sao) - Better than Boba! | recipe from runawayrice.com

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4 Responses to Grass Jelly (Suong Sao / Thach Den)

  1. Beverly Mai June 16, 2018 at 9:39 am #

    Hi chi Trang,

    I am so excited to see you sharing this recipe. I know it’s supposed to be simple but my jelly never turns out glassy smooth and always bumpy. Now I know the secrets!! I have grass jelly in the fridge now and it is perfect! Thanks for sharing this recipe with tricks. It’s just in time to enjoy during the hot hot summer! 🙂

    • Trang June 20, 2018 at 12:10 pm #

      Hi Beverly Mai,
      You’re welcome! I am so glad to hear you successful and enjoy this delicious chilled treat. Stay cool this summer!

  2. Kim June 16, 2018 at 8:19 am #

    Thank you Trang for sharing this recipe. Many times I would like to try the ‘sương sáo’ powder but kind of afraid and wondering if the powder is safe to eat. Now that I saw you using it. I may reconsider. Have a great summer!

    • Trang June 16, 2018 at 8:49 am #

      Hi Kim,
      I hope you make Sương Sáo to enjoy this summer! It’s much easier than making from the fresh leaves (which can be difficult to find) and way better than the canned grass jelly. Check the ingredients on the package. It should just contain grass jelly leaves and starch, no extra ingredients like food coloring, preservatives, etc. 🙂

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