Want to ‘wow ‘your family with something sweet, beautiful and auspicious this Chinese New Year? Try koi fish jelly! As the weather is normally hot during Chinese New Year, I assure you that this dessert will be more popular than the regular pineapple tarts or even mandarin oranges.
Another reason why I love making it during Chinese New Year is because its symbolism. There’s a Chinese proverb that goes ‘nian nian you yu’ (年年有余) which means having things in surplus every year. As ‘yu’/ surplus sounds like ‘fish’, which symbolizes wealth and prosperity, the Chinese loves to serve fish on lunar new year. Well, now you can have it as dessert too!
The big picture
You need a fish mold. To make it life-like, what we do is give it a little pattern an a pair of eyes. To create red and yellow patterns on the fish, we use yellow and red food dye. For the eyes, we use raisins. You will need a speciality tool (fish mold) and a few other things that are easily available at the neighbourhood bakery supplies shop.
YOU WILL NEED
> Koi fish mold
> Agar-agar powder x 1 packet of 12 g
> Sugar x 160 g / 3/4 cup
> Pandan leaves, tied x 2-3
> Water x 700 ml
> Raisins, seedless
> Food colouring (Red and yellow)
- Cut raisins into smaller pieces with a pair of scissors
- Using your fingers, roll the raisins into balls. These are for the eyes.
- Place water, pandan leaves, sugar and agar agar powder into pot and bring to boil at low heat.
- Stir throughout. Off the heat when agar-agar and sugar have completely melted.
- Using a tweezer or chopstick, dip raisins into agar-agar liquid.
- Stick the balls of raisin on the eyes of the fish mold.
- Add a drop of colouring into a small bowl of agar-agar liquid.
- With a teaspoon, smear the coloured agar-agar on fish mold body.
- Gently pour in the rest of the agar agar liquid into mold.
- Let it set before putting into the fridge.
- Chill the jelly for 2 to 3 hours before removing the mold.
NOTES & TIPS
- It takes about 30 minutes to make.
- Make these a few days before Chinese New Year and keep it in the fridge.
- Serve them on a blue plate, tray or chopping board. The fish will look like they are swimming in a pond!
- For an even quicker and easier version, use a bigger fish mold.
How do you like this koi fish jelly?