Fruit Jelly Dumplings Zongzi | 水果果冻燕菜糕粽子

These Fruit Jelly Dumplings are adapted from the traditional Sticky Rice Dumplings, Zongzi. Sticky rice dumplings are usually enjoyed during the Dragon Boat Festival. They have different names depending on the dialect: “Zong” in Cantonese, “Bak Chang” in Hokkien, and “Zongzi” (粽子) in Chinese.

These dumplings are made with glutinous rice filled with meat and other condiments wrapped in bamboo leaves and then boiled for 2-3 hours. It is time consuming to make traditional Zongzi. So recently, there is this trend of making jelly into the form of dumplings.

Kids will love them. These Fruit Jelly Dumplings look very pretty and the texture is tender and springy.


Tender and Springy Texture and Pretty Shiny, Translucent Colour

These Fruit Jelly Dumplings look very pretty with colourful fruits in shiny translucent jelly. The jelly texture is tender and springy.

Less Time Consuming than Traditional Zongzi

Traditional Zongzi takes 2 days to make. These Fruit Jelly Dumplings takes less than 2 hours.


Jelly Powder

For this recipe. I mixed Agar-agar and Jelly Powder to get a springy texture. Agar-agar texture is more stiff. So adding jelly powder will make the jelly more springy and chewy. Also the liquid will be clearer. Moreover, the jelly will be more resilient and less likely to break easily.

The Instant Jelly Powder is made of Carageenan, Konjac Gum and Sodium Citrate (information provided by Bake With Yen staff). Konjac Gum is derived from Konjac plant. As for Carageenan, according to wikipedia “Carrageenans or carrageenins are a family of natural linear sulfated polysaccharides that are extracted from red edible seaweeds. Carrageenans are widely used in the food industry, for their gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties.”


Agar-agar is extracted from seaweed. It is plant based, hence, it is used by vegetarians or vegans as a substitute for gelatin. Agar-agar is widely available in Asia.


Mix the jelly powder, agar-agar powder and caster sugar well

Mix well so that the jelly powder don’t clump up while cooking

Remove air bubbles from the liquid

After boiling the jelly liquid, remove air bubbles to get a clear jelly

Don’t put too much fruits into the bag

If you put too many fruits in the bag, there won’t be enough liquid to keep the jelly intact. When you take the jelly out of the plastic bag, the fruits may spill out.

Fill up the plastic to the height approximately the same as the length of the base

To make a symmetrical triangle, the height should be the same as the base length


You can tie these Fruit Jelly Dumplings with bamboo or kitchen strings. They look like the traditional Zongzi. See picture below.


What is Agar-agar?

Agar-agar is extracted from seaweed and is plant-based. It works like gelatin and is often used to make jelly, especially in Asia. Being plant based, it has become very popular amongst vegetarians or vegans as a substitute for gelatin. It is odorless and does not contribute much taste to the jelly, perhaps just a slight hint of fragrance.

Agar-agar comes in powder form or strips. You can substitute agar-agar powder with agar-agar strips if preferred.

My jelly texture is too soft/firm, can I change the texture?

Yes, you can. The texture of the jelly is based on the ratio of water/liquid to agar-agar powder. So if you prefer softer texture, reduce the jelly powder or vice versa.

Why does my jelly not set?

Not enough agar-agar powder used. Different brand of jelly powder have different liquid to agar-agar powder ratio. Generally the ratio is 1g powder = 100ml liquid but may differ from brand to brand.

Agar-agar starts to activate its gelling properties when the liquid is heated above 80-90°C. So it is necessary to make sure the liquid is cooked until it is boiling. Then leave to cool to room temperature. It will start to solidify below 40°C.

What is the texture of agar-agar?

Agar-agar texture is more stiff compared to gelatin. Hence it is not so jiggly and springy.


They can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days. They are enjoyed cold.

Troubleshooting – My jelly did not set, what can I do about it?

Step 1 – If it is your first time trying the recipe there is a test you can do. Before pouring into the mold, just scoop up a small portion of the liquid into a small saucer. Place it into the fridge to set. It should take about less than 5 minutes. Check the texture of the jelly. If you are happy with it, the proceed to pour into the mold. If it did not set, add more jelly powder (before adding the powder, dilute it in some room temperature water first), pour into the existing jelly liquid and heat up the liquid again. Redo the test and once you are happy with the texture, pour into the mould

Vice versa, if you find the texture of the jelly is too stiff/hard, add more water into the existing jelly liquid and heat up the liquid again. Redo the test and once you are happy with the texture, pour into the mould

Step 2 – If you have already poured into the mold and eventually find out that it did not set. Don’t throw it away! You can always fix it. Just simply place the liquid into a pot, add jelly powder, mix well and reheat again. Then repeat the above step 1 to test the jelly.

Fruit Jelly Dumplings Zongzi

Fruit Jelly Dumplings Zongzi

Yield: 18 small jelly dumplings
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes



  • 6 grams agar-agar 6克燕菜粉
  • 12 grams instant jelly powder (If you don’t have jelly powder, you can replace with 4 grams agar-agar powder) 12克 果冻粉(没有果冻粉可以用4克燕菜粉代替)
  • 160-200 grams caster sugar 160-200克 细砂糖
  • 1000 ml water, room temperature 1000 毫升水, 室温
  • 3 pandan leaves (optional) 3片香兰叶(可选)

Jelly filling 果冻馅:

  • 6 grams basil seeds 6克罗勒种子
  • 1 small mango 1个小芒果
  • 1 kiwi 1个猕猴桃
  • Quarter dragon fruit 四分之一火龙果
  • 1 packet blueberry 125 grams 1包蓝莓125克

Kitchen tools 厨房用具:

  • PP Plastic 3” by 5” PP 塑料 3” x 5”
  • Kitchen strings or bamboo/grass water string 厨房绳子或竹/草水绳子


  1. First let’s prepare the fruits and basil seeds: Soak basil seeds for 15 minutes. Choose your favourite fruits. Cut into small cubes. Place the fruits into the plastic bag. Set aside. Don’t put too much fruits, otherwise the jelly will not hold together well.
  2. Prepare the jelly liquid. Mix caster sugar, agar-agar powder and instant jelly powder. Mix well so that the jelly powder does not clump up while cooking.
  3. In a pot, add water (room temperature). Then add the mixed jelly powder. Mix well. Add pandan leaves (optional). Cook on low heat until it boils, stir often. Remove pandan leaves. Remove any bubbles to get a clear jelly. As I am going to pour into plastic, I’m going to let it cool down, just below 60°C, if you don’t have a temperature gauge, you can use your pinky finger to test. It will still feel hot but not burning. Don’t let it cool down too much as it will start to solidify.
  4. Fill up to the height approximately the same as the length of the base. Fold the top perpendicular to the base direction of the plastic. Then seal the plastic with cellophane tape to form a triangle.
  5. Tie with bamboo string, you don’t have to do this (Totally optional) Tie tightly so that it does not drop off.
  6. Place in the fridge to chill for 2 hours. Remove from plastic and serve cold.

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