Thạch Rau Câu (Vietnamese Coconut-Pandan-Coffee Jellies)
A cooling—and vegan!—Southeast Asian treat from Brooklyn baker, Doris Hồ-Kane.
makes 30 jellies
These tasty Vietnamese jellies are set with agar agar, a vegan gelatin-like substance made from seaweed. For this version, Vietnamese American baker and pastry chef, Doris Hồ-Kane swirls three colorful flavors together for a green marble effect.
Pandan, a herbaceous tropical plant, is widely loved throughout Southeast Asia for its mild, malty flavor and strong color. Find fresh or frozen pandan leaves in Asian markets, or otherwise, Hồ-Kane suggests substituting the pandan water in this recipe with a ¼ teaspoon powdered pandan (which is available online). For an added pop of color, a few drops of bottled pandan extract may be added to the liquid.
Hồ-Kane cuts her jellies into cubes using a crinkle cut knife for a decorative presentation, though a straight knife works as well. Enjoy the treats—cut in any shape that you like—on their own, as a topping for ice cream, or even with milk, ice, and a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk.
Featured in "On Pastry-Making and the Punk Rock Appeal of Pop-ups."
- 1 .88-oz. packet powdered agar agar (such as Telephone brand)
- 3 fresh or thawed, frozen pandan leaves, rinsed well
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 14-oz. can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. instant coffee
- 2–3 drops Pandan extract (optional)