How to Make Grass Jelly from Powder

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Fail-proof guide to make grass jelly from powder

Grass jelly is a traditional ingredient used in a variety of desserts in Southeast Asia, and it offers a refreshing and low-calorie alternative to tapioca balls.
You can purchase canned jelly grass or in powder form for you to prepare at home.
And the cool thing is, making your own grass jelly from powder is actually quite simple.
In this blog post, I’ll share the tricks you need to know to succeed on your first try making grass jelly at home!

What is grass jelly?

Grass jelly is a type of jelly-like dessert or beverage topping ingredient commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisines.

It is made from the leaves of the Platostona Palustre plant (also known as Mesona chinensis), which are boiled and then cooled to form a gelatinous substance.

Grass jelly is mostly tasteless, with a slightly herbal, almost “medicinal” taste and sometimes a mild hint of bitterness.

It’s often served with sweet syrups, fruits, or other toppings to balance the flavor and since it has refreshing and cooling properties, it’s particularly enticing during hot weather.

Other names for grass jelly are herbal jelly or leaf jelly.

What is jelly grass made from?

While the main ingredient in grass jelly is the leaves of the Mesone Chinensis plant, starch is also added to thicken and stabilize the mixture.

Whether you use canned grass jelly or jelly grass powder, they both contain cornstarch or other types of starch to achieve the desired texture and consistency.
The starch helps the jelly set and keep its shape.

Nutritional values of grass jelly in powdered form

Is grass jelly sweet?

Some brands of jelly grass powder may contain a separate sachet containing sugar in case you want to make your grass jelly sweet, but typically, jelly grass is unsweetened.
This gives you the choice of adding a drizzle of simple syrup to adjust the sweetness according to the preference of each person.

How to make grass jelly from powder

Most packages of grass jelly powder come with instructions, but if your package does not have them, in this section I’ll share with you the steps and tips that work best for me.

These instructions work both for black grass jelly as well as for white grass jelly or green grass jelly.

What you’ll need

Grass jelly in powdered form and a small pot containing water


Time needed: 15 minutes

How to make jelly grass from powder

  1. Bloom the jelly powder

    Add water according to the package instructions (read more in the “tricks and tips” section), mix well and let rest for around 10 minutes.Blooming black grass jelly powder

  2. Bring water to boil

    In a small pot, bring water to a boil.
    Once it reaches a boil, add the mixture from step 1 (jelly powder with a small amount of water).
    Stir continuously to prevent lumps from forming as you bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Cooking black grass jelly powder in boiling water

  3. Let set

    Once the mixture is fully dissolved, pour it into a mold and let it sit at room temperature.
    Once it has cooled down and is no longer hot, you can refrigerate it. However, it will get a firm texture even at room temperature.
    Once set, you can cut it to the size of your choice.Cutting black grass jelly made from powder with a sharp knife

Tips and tricks

  • For every 50 grams of powdered grass jelly, use 200 ml of room temperature water to bloom it and 800 ml to bring to a boil.
  • You need to bring the mixture to a gentle boil to activate its gelling properties, but there’s no need to boil it for a long time or at a high intensity.
  • Stir well and scrape the bottom of the pan to avoid lumps while cooking. You can keep mixing with a wooden spoon or a whisk to get a smooth consistency.
  • A secret: if you can’t get rid of all the lumps, it’s not a big issue either.
What’s the difference between white grass jelly and black grass jelly?

Both black grass jelly (which is the most common type used as drink toppings), and green or white grass jelly are made from the same plant.
However, black grass jelly is made from dried leaves, while green or white grass jelly is made from fresh leaves.

How long does jelly grass last?

If stored properly in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator, jelly grass can stay fresh for about 5-6 days.

Is there caffeine in black jelly grass?

No, jelly grass doesn’t contain any caffeine.

What color is black grass jelly powder?

While the resulting jelly is black, the powder itself has a brown color, so there’s no need to worry when you open the package and see brown powder.

Does black grass jelly stain?

When you see the deep black color of the jelly, you might be concerned about potential staining on utensils or your mouth and teeth while eating. However, there’s no need to worry as black jelly does not stain, and you will be able to easily wash it off your kitchen utensils.

Black jelly grass made form powder for drink toppings
5 from 2 votes

How to Make Grass Jelly from Powder

Easy step-to-step guide
Print Recipe
Prep Time:15 minutes
Resting time:2 hours
Total Time:2 hours 15 minutes


  • A recipient to mix powder with some water I use a measuring glass
  • small pot
  • Mold I use a glass container with lid



  • Bloom the grass jelly powder by combining it with 200 ml. of water.
    Let rest for around 10 minutes.
    Blooming black grass jelly powder
  • Meanwhile, bring the 800 ml. of water to a boil, then, add the mixture of 1.
    Stir continuously to avoid lumps.
    Cooking black grass jelly powder in boiling water
  • Once the mixture has had a gentle boil, pour into a mold.
    Let set at room temperature. When it isn’t hot anymore, you can refrigerate or cut into desired size.
    You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge up to 5-6 days.
    Cutting black grass jelly made from powder with a sharp knife


Calories: 35kcal
Course: Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine: American, Chinese, Vietnam
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 35kcal

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