You probably had those hot summer days when you needed something refreshing because the heat was unbearable. Many things could have come to your mind, including some cold water, wintermelon milk tea, watermelon, or iced caramel latte from Dunkin.
But, I think most of you didn’t come up with the idea of some refreshing Taiwanese snack in the form of jelly. But, that is precisely what I am going to talk about in this article. It is a summer snack called Aiyu Jelly.
Although it is more popular in Taiwan, China, and some other East Asian countries like Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore, it is not uncommon to find it here, in the United States, in some specialty stores, but we will come to that later.
All in all, in this interesting article, you will find out what this amazing snack is, where to find it, and how to make your own version. So, stay tuned!
So, What Is Aiyu Jelly Anyway?
Aiyu jelly (Ai Yu Jelly), known as “Ogio” in the Amoy dialect and as ice jelly in Singapore, is an Asian gelatine snack that is known for its refreshing properties and for the slice of lime with which it is commonly served.
It is also known for its main ingredient, and those are the seeds of a type of fig plant which grows fig fruit containing those fig seeds.
One interesting fact is that Aiyu jelly was discovered by a Taiwanese tea businessman in the 19th century; he named it after his beautiful daughter who was selling it and which made it highly popular in that part of the world.
What Is Aiyu Jelly Made Out Of?
Aiyu jelly is made out of the Aiyu seeds of the Awkeotsang creeping fig which is also called Aiyu jelly fig. The process of making this jelly is an interesting one.
These seeds are placed into a cotton cloth bag with some cold water and the contents of the bag are rubbed and that process naturally transforms the water into jelly. In Chinese, this process is known as “washing Aiyu”.
The main reason for this so-called transformation is the gel in fig seeds which is called pectin. It is released from the seeds when they are rubbed. After this jelly is made, it doesn’t last long, only about 1-2 days before it converts into liquid.
So, it is best to put it in a cool place or in the refrigerator. And, before I jump to the next subheading, I also have to add that, when using cold water, it is not a good idea to use tap water because the gelling depends on the presence of minerals.
So, it is best to use spring water or mineral water for this purpose.
Alternative to Aiyu seeds is an Aiyu jelly powder from which you can also make an Aiyu jelly.
What Does Aiyu Jelly Taste Like?
Aiyu jelly alone doesn’t possess any taste, i.e. it is tasteless. This is because it is primarily made up of water. This cool, silky, loose jello is most commonly served with some other ingredients that determine its taste.
It is most often served with a combination of honey and citrus, such as lemon or lime. This Taiwanese dessert can be served with some honey-lemon water also. In this way, you will add that popular sweet and citrusy flavor.
It can also be used as a topping to shaved ice or bubble tea by adding some sweet flavorings through honey or sugar syrup. This bubble tea or boba topping does not have a strong taste and that is the reason to combine it with some matcha tea, milk tea, or red bean.
It can also be combined with some honey lemon green tea to give it that recognizable lemon flavor with a bit of sweetness.
But one more beverage that is commonly used in combination with Aiyu jelly is sparkling apple cider or apple cider substitutes because pairing this jelly with sparkling liquids is awesome and you will see for yourself.
I must also mention one thing that this jelly is known for, and that is its texture. Its texture is chewy and gel-like and it is very similar to the texture of grass jelly or agar-based crystal boba.
What Is The Nutritional Value Of Aiyu Jelly?
Talking about the nutritional value of Aiyu jelly, the first thing that I must mention is that it is low calorie since it is primarily made up of water (about 90%). It doesn’t contain any fat and it does contain a small amount of carbohydrates which is about 1% dietary fiber.
When it comes to vitamins and minerals, this jelly does contain some vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and iron. But the most important component and its amount is pectin and that same pectin is the source of some important health benefits.
It helps to resist aging, nurtures the throat, and improves skin conditions. It is also great in promoting good digestion and better absorption of plant foods.
And let’s not forget that the mentioned vitamins and dietary fiber can decrease blood cholesterol levels and regulate metabolism. So, as you can see, there are some very important health benefits that this summer dessert can provide, in addition to refreshing you on hot summer days.
Where To Find Aiyu Jelly?
It really depends on where you live, but here in the USA, Aiyu jelly is most commonly found in Chinese markets. It is most probable that you will find the canned version of the jelly: the green or yellow one.
If you find yourself in Taiwan sometime, you will get the chance to buy the fresh version of this amazing snack. The most common places where you could find it are definitely the night markets and tea shops.
Unfortunately, here in the US, it is less likely that you will find that same fresh version. But, I found the solution for that problem. The fact is that it will take some of your time, but the result will be great.
I will reveal to you how to make your own amazingly refreshing Aiyu jelly that you won’t be able to resist. So, keep reading to find out the dessert recipe.
How To Make Your Own Aiyu Jelly
Here is one simple dessert recipe that will delight your taste buds and refresh you on hot summer days.
• 1 dried fig fruit of Aiyu seeds
• 1 cheesecloth
• 5 cups of mineral water
• 1/2 cup honey
• 2 juiced limes
• 2-3 slices of limes for the bowl
1. First, place the seeds in the cheesecloth and put it aside.
2. Meanwhile, prepare a bowl by filling it with 5 cups of mineral or spring water.
3. You can then place the cheesecloth with seeds in the water and rub it and squeeze it. In doing that, the water will turn yellow and slowly transform into gelatine.
4. After that, place the bowl in the fridge for about half an hour.
5. In the meantime, boil 2 cups of water and add 1/2 cup of your favorite sweetener and wait until it dissolves.
6. Once it is completely dissolved, set the liquid aside to cool, and, in the meantime, prepare the juice of 2 fresh limes.
7. After you have done that, combine that lime juice with the cooled mixture of water and sweetener.
8. You will then take your jelly out of the fridge and dissolve it into a few pieces by using a knife and you will pour the mixture of lime juice and water on it. You can also add some ice cubes and a few slices of lime on top of it.
9. Your refreshing snack is finally ready for serving and for enjoying.
The prep time is about 5 minutes and the total time of preparation is about 50 minutes.
Unlike jello shots, keep in mind that you can store your jelly in the refrigerator for up to 2 days only because, if you store it longer, it will return to its liquid form.
Final Words On This Amazing Snack
So, now that you found out about this amazingly refreshing and healthy Taiwanese snack called Aiyu jelly, I am sure that nothing will stop you from trying it whether the store-bought version or making it yourself.
Should you want to make your own snack, I made sure to offer you the best solution in the form of a simple recipe with only a few simple ingredients that you can find in your nearest local grocery store.