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Chin chow

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Chin chow, 仙草水 (xiān cǎo shuǐ), also known as Grass jelly, or Leaf jelly, is a jelly-like dessert found in Singapore as well as in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

Chin chow is made by boiling the aged and slightly oxidized stalks and leaves of Mesona chinensis (member of the mint family) with potassium carbonate for several hours with a little starch and then cooling the liquid to a jelly-like consistency. This jelly can be cut into cubes or other forms, and then mixed with syrup to produce a drink or dessert thought to have cooling (yin) properties, which makes it typically consumed during hot weather. The jelly itself has a slight bitter taste, a light iodine lavender flavor, and is a translucent black. It can also be mixed with soy milk to produce a milky white liquid with black strands in it.

Plain grass jelly is mixed in various kinds of desserts, such as ice kacang and cendol. It is also mixed with soy milk to produce a milky white liquid with black strands in it, a drink known as Michael Jackson in South-East Asia (a humorous reference to Michael Jackson's changing skin color and/or the song "Black or White").

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