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Sian-chháu (仙草)

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Sian-chháu (仙草), literally translated as Grass jelly or Leaf jelly, is a dessert found in Taiwan and other Asian Countries. In Taiwan, grass jelly is used in various desserts and drinks, it can sometimes be added to boba drinks and shaved ice. It is also commonly used in a traditional drink, where the jelly is heated and melted to be consumed as a thick dessert beverage (仙草茶, literally Grass Jelly Tea), with numerous toppings like tangyuan, taro balls, azuki beans, and tapioca.


Grass jelly 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 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.

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Grass jelly,

Grass Jelly,