Wednesday 6 August 2014

Globe-cooking recipe : Grass Jelly (Vietnam)

I promised myself at the start of the holidays that I'd have a good clearout of all the things that have been lurking at the back of my food cupboard for an indeterminate amount of time. I also went back through my Kitchen Trotter recipe cards to see if there were any that we hadn't made yet. Grass Jelly fit the bill for both.

I apprehensively pulled out the two exotic ingredients that I'd need - a sachet of grass jelly mix and a packet of basil seeds. (I think I might try to grow some of these too.)

I was surprised to see that the grass jelly mix is a murky brown powder, accompanied by a little squeezy pack of banana essence.

I added water and heated the concoction and it turned into something resembling tar - hmm.

It didn't look any better after it had been chilled in the fridge and set. It smells vaguely chemical but not unpleasant, reminding me a bit of pear drops (or nail varnish remover, as Sophie said !)

On to the next strange ingredient - basil seeds. They are little black dots that look like poppy seeds.

But when you soak them in water, they become surrounded by a blue-tinged, white coating that makes them look unnervingly like frogspawn !

The recipe card for this drink-dessert said to half fill a glass with cubes of grass jelly, top with a few spoonfuls of basil seeds, then sugar syrup and a couple of drops of banana essence. The end result looked toxic surprisingly different.

Sophie was brave enough to try it and said that the basil seeds were delicious but she wasn't keen on the rest. I'll be honest - we threw away the rest of the grass jelly !

Other blogposts you may be interested in :

Globe-cooking recipe : Baklava (Turkey)

Globecooking recipe : Pão de Queijo (Cheese Bread) (Brazil)


  1. I laughed out loud at the 'surprisingly different' result :) I googled this because I have the same packet of grass jelly and almost choked at the smell of nail polish remover when I opened the packet. I wanted to know if anyone else had tried it and lived to tell the tale. Reading yours, I think I'll put it back in the cupboard for another day....

    1. Just try it then bin it - it will never get any better ! lol ;-)


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