Fruit Jelly

This stuff is AAAWWWEEESSOMMMEEE! It’s a fruit jelly like jell-o, but it doesn’t use gelatin. It uses a magical white powder known as cocaine agar agar. Agar agar is a plant based gelatinizing agent used in a lot of asian cooking.

I liked this bunches – it was really light, refreshing, and smooth. I’ve been holding off on installing the AC out of cheapness and laziness (although really, telling the husbear to install the AC isn’t really work…) and this totally hits the spot for those swealteringly humid nights.


It really works! 1/2 a gram for the entire 8″ x 12″ pan above.

Fruit Jelly

.5 oz agar agar (~1.5 – 2 T)
6 C water

½ C tapioca boiled in 4 C water until tender
1 C sugar
1 C fruit (crushed, shredded, or minced)
¼ C evaporated milk

Cook the tapioca first and set aside. Then bring 6 C of water to a boil.

Add the agar agar and stir until dissolved (if it’s not powdered this could take a while. The powdered stuff dissolves very quickly).

Turn off heat and add tapioca pearls, sugar, and fruit.

Pour into an 8” X 12” pan and refrigerate a few hours until set.


This is like a lot of Chinese desserts – light and not too sweet. If you’d like it sweeter, add another 1/2 C of sugar. I also used small tapioca pearls, but I am now imagining how cute it would be with colored pearls, or big boba tapioca pearls too.

I think I’ll also leave out the evaporated milk next time. It didn’t add very much at all to the flavor. Nothing that I could tell. I’d leave it out next time I make it.

You can use any fruit you’d like and cut them up into whatever shape you’d like. I used canned pineapple and I’ve been enjoying them cut into bite sized pieces in a bowl, kind of like a jiggly ice cream. I wanted to use canned lychee fruit, but Albany John hates the stuff.

This also makes a LOT and I’m not eating it as fast as I thought I would. Halve the recipe if you’re not cooking this for a crowd.

4 comments
  1. Aha! Thank you for sharing the secret. I have always loved those sweet milky fruit gels/puddings out at dim sum parlors, and never really thought about making them at home.

    I suppose I could have always looked it up online, but it's so much nicer when one stumbles upon this kind of information.

    What a treat. Count me among the inspired.

  2. At the Asian supermarket you can buy the agar sticks. They have them in a number of colors.

    Given the warm weather, my use of agar and tapioca pearls is going to shoot through the roof!

  3. You can also use fruit juice with them, no? To make a natural jello? Neat.

  4. Third Auntie said:

    I love agar agar jello!! Thanks for giving this recipe. I can't wait to try this.

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