Dragon Jelly

Peeled dragon fruit jelly
Boost your immunity this flu season with this attractive party dessert. It is loaded with powerful antioxidants such as Vitamin C and phenolics, which are acknowledged for their anti-aging and anti-cancer properties. Both dragon fruit and konnyaku (konjac) are prebiotics that strengthens the good bacteria to improve their fighting capacity against bad microbes, aid digestion as well as facilitate toxin removal and bowel movement.

I created this dessert specially for my nephew’s birthday. The light, tangy, refreshing dessert counterbalanced the rich, fried foods that young people love. I chose a dragon fruit with red pulp to provide natural red coloring to the colorless konnyaku. The jelly-like konnyaku acted as a binder for the dragon fruit pulp giving it a pleasant, smooth, firm, cool mouth feel. Since dragon fruit and konnyaku were bland in taste and did not have fragrance of their own, I boiled grated lemon peel to provide the refreshing fragrance and used lemon juice for tangy taste.

The pulp was peppered with tiny edible seeds that provided a rich source of omega-3 and omega-6 oils. I thought the fruit peel was very attractive and decided to use it as a jelly mold.

RECIPE

Some manufacturers sell only konnyaku in powder form. Others add in sugar and coloring. Therefore, refer to manufacturer’s instructions on amount of liquid and whether additional sugar is needed. If pickling lime powder is not provided, buy it separately. Normally, I use the handle of a spoon to scoop out a little pickling lime per liter of liquid.

INGREDIENTS
dragon fruit
• 1 dragon fruit
• 1 lemon
• 1 packet konnyaku powder
• Pickling lime (usually packaged with konnyaku powder)
• Water
• Sugar to taste (if needed)

METHOD

LEMON RELISH

1. Grate lemon peel into a container.

2. Add in 60 to 90 ml. water and microwave or boil the grated peel.

3. When fragrance is released, turn off heat. Cover container and allow peel to steep.

DRAGON FRUIT KONNYAKU

(The dragon fruit peel is like thick banana peel.)

1. Wash dragon fruit and pat dry.

2. Carefully cut away fruit stalk and cut a hole where the stalk was.

3. Scoop out the soft pulp.

4. Put pulp into a food blender to liquefy.

5. Pour dragon fruit juice together with seeds into a measuring cup.

6. Refer to manufacturer’s instruction on amount of water to use. If there is too much juice, pour out some. If there is not enough liquid, add in more water. The total amount of liquid should include the lemon relish water but do not add in the lemon relish water yet.
Dragon konnyaku

DRAGON JELLY

1. Pour konnyaku powder into a pot. Add in enough juice to make a watery paste.

2. Pour rest of juice into pot; stir contents and boil.

3. Add in sugar. Stir till all sugar is well dissolved. (Lower heat after juice has boiled.)

4. Strain lemon relish water into pot. Discard lemon peel residue.

5. Mix pickling lime and water into a watery paste.

6. Stir pickling lime into dragon jelly mixture in the pot. The contents will thicken very slightly.

7. Stir in lemon juice and boil for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously.

8. Turn off heat and pour contents into empty dragon skin mold. (You may need some assistance here. Use a funnel to make pouring into the mold easier.).

9. Pour any remaining konnyaku liquid into jelly molds.

10. When liquid has cooled, transfer molds to chiller section of fridge to set.

TIP:
To peel dragon fruit skin, cut slits down length of the fruit and then peel it open like a banana.


Variations

You can add honey to improve the flavor further; alternatively substitute with lychee juice or other fragrant herbs or fruits.

Ginger juice is warming, thus counterbalancing the cold nature of dragon fruit and lemon. you can replace lemon relish water with ginger juice.


Additional information

I bought konnyaku from a confectionary supplier but the product is also sold by grocery stores and some supermarkets.

For health benefits of konnyaku (konjac) see:
Low Calorie Konjac Jelly For Healthy Probiotics & Weight-watchers – (New window)

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