Agar-agar Green Tea Duet

 

Green tea duet - sliced

 

Here is my latest creation – cue thunder, lightning and mad-scientist laughter.

I call it Green Tea Duet.

I’ve been snacking a lot lately, even when I’m full. And it’s unhealthy stuff like crackers, thai crispy pancakes, currypuffs, etc. So, I decided to make some healthy desserts, full of anti-oxidants and fibery goodness and not fattening.

First, I started with vague idea I wanted to make agar-agar jelly. It’s rather nostalgic. It’s one of those things that every Malaysian kid will learn to do by age of ten – cook rice, make agar-agar jelly.

I’d made plain ones (flavoured with sugar and pandan). The experimental ones with milo, instant 3-in-1 coffee (had a whole pack that’s been collecting dust, since I’m not a coffee person), fruit juice, and milk & honey. This time, I have a lot of green tea, due to a friend of mine going shopping in Johor Bahru every fortnight and discovering the delights of Jusco and all things Japanese.

So, I have 50 teabags of sencha (normal green tea), 25 teabags of organic genmaicha (toasted rice & green tea), 20 packets of 3-in-1 instant macha (very yummy, very expensive. MYR 1.00 per packet). Genmaicha is probably better for something savory. So, sencha and macha it is.

  1. Boil water (Packet says 1L, but I suggest 1.2 to 1.5L. The agar-agar don’t dissolve in 1L)
  2. Throw in 1 packet agar-agar powder (swallow brand) – remove scum from surface
  3. Steep 5 teabags of sencha in 250ml hot water (make very thick sencha)
  4. Pour sencha in pot with agar-agar.
  5. When dissolved, pour into plastic container – pop bubbles if you want smooth and pretty
  6. Wait until set.

I made several experiments.

1. Plain sencha – yes, just plain sencha. Light brown green translucent jelly. Unsweetened.

2. Sencha with brown sugar. Is nice, but I was too impatient and brown sugar muddled around into dark brown streaky jelly.

  • Pour 1 layer jelly (~1 cm)
  • Wait till semi-set
  • Sprinkle brown sugar (muscavado)
  • Pour another jelly layer on top.
  • Repeat

3. Sencha with green seedless grapes. It was disaster. This would have been better with canned grapes or fruits in syrup. And maybe not with sencha. Just plain jelly mixed in with syrup. But I’ve all ready done that too many times all ready.

  • Pour 1 layer jelly (~ 1 cm)
  • Wait till semi-set
  • Put in grapes (arrange nicely)
  • Pour in more jelly till cover grapes

4. Green tea duet. Finally, the masterpiece. The sencha layer is unsweetened. The macha layer is creamy and sweet. Sencha layer can be sweetened too if you like. I just don’t like too much sugar in my snacks. Will be nice soft creamy jelly with just macha layer.

  • Pour half container with jelly
  • Put in 2 packets macha
  • Stir until macha dissolve and mixed up
  • Wait till somewhat set
  • Pour rest of jelly

So there it is. Green tea jelly galore! 1.5L of snacks to last me 3 days (hopefully). And having bad habit of not drinking enough water (since I hate plain water), it’s a good way to get hydrated without any actual drinking involved.

Hmm … that … just sounds like getting inebriated without any actual drinking involved. Hmm … I still have 300 ml of duty free kahlua from Brisbane … hmm…

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