How to Make Ai Yu Jelly
These are instructions for making Ai Yu jelly with our Alishan Ai Yu fig seeds. We get our seeds from wild Alishan Ai Yu figs, which have a very high pectin content. The pectin is extracted from the seeds and interacts with minerals in water to create a jelly. This recipe is optimized for our wild Ai Yu seeds, and may not work as well for seeds acquired elsewhere.
How to Make Ai Yu Jelly
Serves: 12 cups of Ai Yu jelly (9-10 servings). The jelly lasts several days in the fridge before liquefying again. Recipe can be scaled up or down accordingly.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes to two hours for the jelly to set fully
1 Pack of Yun Hai Alishan Ai Yu Seeds (1.32 oz or 37.5 g) 12 Cups of Hard Water* (96 fl. oz or 2.84 liters) 1 Ai Yu Wash Bag (included, wash before use) Large Bowl
To scale: the ratio of Ai Yu Seeds to water should be roughly 1:78 by weight (1g of seeds to 78g of water). Note all Ai Yu seeds differ in their ability to gel water, this ratio is specific for the Yun Hai Ai Yu Seeds.
*Important! Water hardness is a measure of how much mineral content is present. Ai Yu interacts with minerals in hard water to create a jelly. Softer water will yield a gummy jello, and distilled or filtered water will not work at all. Find out the hardness of your tap water here. If your tap water is over 100 ppm or greater, you can use it. Alternatively, use store-bought mineral water such as Evian, Fiji, or San Pellegrino (often labeled with a chart of minerals, listed as having "total dissolved solids TDS" of more than 100ppm).
Make sure hands and bowls are clean without any traces of oil or grease. Pour 12 cups of water into a large and clean bowl. Pour Ai Yu seeds into the wash bag, with the sides rolled down so the seeds fill the bottom of the bag and aren’t caught on the sides. Roll the sides back up and tie a knot ½ inch above the top of the seeds. Fully submerge the bag of Ai Yu seeds in the water. With the bag submerged, use both hands to rub and squeeze the Ai Yu seeds in a "washing" motion. Continue process for exactly 5 minutes, switching between rubbing and squeezing, to extract all of the pectin from the seeds. The bag will begin to feel slippery from the pectin. Careful not to overwork it as the center of the seeds contain compounds that work against the setting power of the pectin. It should feel like wringing out a sponge or cloth. Remove the bag from the water, giving it a good squeeze so all the juices are squeezed back into the bowl. Set the bowl aside to rest untouched for at least 20 minutes or up to 2 hours for the jelly to set, faster in the fridge. Time may vary based on the type of water used and the local climate. Ai Yu jelly is set when firm and scoops cleanly. Once set, release the Ai Yu from the bowl. Cube the jelly or simply scoop out with a spoon to be prepared into a dessert or beverage.
Serve Ai Yu jelly in a bowl with your favorite toppings as a dessert. We recommend preparing this chilled, mixing the jelly with honey water and lemon juice (with a slice of lemon), and letting sit for 10 minutes before serving. Alternatively, mix with Winter Melon tea, passion fruit, or tapioca balls as a delicious drink or try serving it hot.
Recipe by: Yun Hai
Image Credit: Off Hour Studio