This Chinese Buffet Jello Recipe is easy to make and features firm jello cubes, just like the Chinese restaurant. It can be made using gelatin or agar powder.
🍬 About This Recipe
Jello is one of the most common desserts at Chinese-American buffet restaurants. They're typically served in strawberry, orange, lime, and lemon flavors.
Buffet-style Jello has a much firmer texture than regular Jello. They can be picked up with your fingers, and you can really sink your teeth into them.
🍮 The Secret Ingredient to Firm Jello
Chinese Buffet Jello is made the same way as regular Jello but with extra gelatin or agar powder added.
To make firm Jello at home, simply add gelatin or agar powder to a packet of Jello.
I've found that to get the desired firmness, you need one (7g or 0.25 ounce) envelope of gelatin per small box of Jello.
🥊 Gelatin Vs. Agar Powder
In many recipes, agar and gelatin serve the same function. They're both used to gel and thicken liquids. Unlike gelatin, which is derived from animals, agar is derived from red algae.
Agar powder is more potent than gelatin and thickens at room temperature, whereas gelatin liquids must be refrigerated.
Both can be used, but agar is less popular because it's harder to come by. You have to go to a specialty kitchen store or order it online.
- Jello Powder: We'll be using two 3-ounce boxes (or one 6-ounce box) today. You can use any flavor you want. It doesn't have to be Jello brand, either.
- Gelatin Powder or Agar Powder: You can find gelatin in small boxes in the baking section of most grocery stores. Agar can be purchased on Amazon or at specialty grocery stores.
The following section provides instructions for using gelatin powder. The recipe card has instructions for using agar powder.
STEP 1: In a large bowl, whisk together the Jello powder and gelatin until homogenous.
STEP 2: Stir in 2 cups of boiling water until the Jello is completely dissolved. Stir in 2 cups of cold water.
STEP 3: Transfer to a rectangular container. Use a spoon to remove bubbles from the surface. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until firm. Cut into cubes and enjoy!
🥡 Storage & Leftovers
Storing: Chinese Buffet Jello can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
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Chinese Buffet Firm Jello Recipe
- 2 3-ounce boxes any-flavored Jello powder
- 2 envelopes Knox unflavored gelatin from a 1-ounce box (or 2 teaspoons of agar powder)
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 cups cold water
- In a large bowl, whisk together the Jello powder and gelatin.
- Stir in 2 cups of boiling water until the Jello is completely dissolved.
- Stir in 2 cups of cold water. Transfer to a rectangular container and refrigerate for 4 hours or until firm. Cut into cubes and enjoy!
Agar Powder Instructions
- In a medium pot, whisk together the Jello powder and two teaspoons of agar powder.
- Stir in 2 cups of cold water until the Jello is completely dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, constantly stirring.
- Stir in 2 cups of cold water. Transfer to a rectangular container and refrigerate for three hours or until firm. Cut into cubes and enjoy!