Coconut, Adzuki Red Bean, Matcha Green Tea Layered Jelly

For the past several weeks, it’s been a crazy, busy several weeks for me, primarily with work and planning my upcoming trip to London. I wanted to make a simple but tasty but minimalist beautiful dessert that also has Asian flavors since they were all in my pantry – matcha green tea, adzuki red beans, and coconut milk. Come to think of it, this sweet is pretty healthy since there is no cream or butter involved.

This jelly is made with agar, a vegetarian alternative to gelatin that’s normally sold in powdered or flake form. There is generally a difference in texture of gelatin (slightly creamier texture) and agar tends to be firmer. The general ratio of agar to water to set is 1 tablespoon agar flakes to thicken 1 cup of liquid, and 1 teaspoon agar powder to thicken 1 cup of liquid. But of course, the more the agar there is, the firmer the gel. The most important thing to remember is that the agar needs to be hydrated for at least five minutes.

Instead of drowning you in the uses and details of how agar can be used, here’s the recipe of this delectable and well, pretty to look at in the end.

Coconut, Adzuki Red Bean, Matcha Green Tea Layered Jelly
Yield: 8 x 8-inch cake pan

Coconut layer
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar (depending on how you like it)
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
1 teaspoon agar agar

Red Bean layer
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup (or more depending on preference) cooked adzuki red bean (soaked overnight, drained, and boiled in water for 1 1/2 hours)
1 1/2 teaspoons agar agar powder

Matcha layer
2 teaspoons matcha green tea powder
2 tablespoons condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon agar agar powder
1 cup whole milk (you can use any type of milk or even substitute it with a nut or rice milk)

1. Pour the coconut milk and water into a saucepan and add the agar agar powder. Let rest for 10 minutes.
2. Add in the sugar and bring the liquid to boil for about 3-5 minutes. Stir continuously while it’s boiling.
3. Pour the liquid into your preferred container. It should set within 20 minutes.
4. Pour on another layers once the previous layer is about to set. Then refrigerate for 2 hours.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 for the remaining layers.


  • Before adding other layers, add a thin film of water prior to pouring the other layer mixture so it would adhere.
  • Add as much or little adzuki red bean as your layer and adjust accordingly as to the amount of clear agar mixture needed for this layer.

I shoot, eat, and drink. My full time job is a hospital administrator. Moonlighting as a freelance photographer and food and travel writer.