"Agar agar is a gelatinous substance extracted from seaweed; it is vegetarian’s gelatine. I think it is more practical than because it sets liquid without refrigeration. This means the jellies are quite portable, perfect for picnic or whenever you want a healthy treat. You can buy agar agar from Asian grocery stores." - Chef Mark Jensen


500 ml (17 fl oz / 2 cups) watermelon juice
5500 ml (17 fl oz / 2 cups) pineapple juice
12 g (½ oz) agar agar powder
2 tablespoons sugar
juice of ½ lemon
16 lychees, peeled and pitted
3 mangosteens
3 passionfruit
1 mango
1 quantity coconut cream (see Note)
2 tablespoons of crushed toasted peanuts (see Note)


Place the watermelon juice and pineapple juice in separate saucepans. Stir in 5g of agar agar into the watermelon juice and 7ml into the pineapple juice. Add 125mls of water and 1 tablespoon of sugar to the pineapple juice.

Place the saucepans over high heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Once the juices boils, remove the pans from the heat.

Strain both the watermelon and pineapple juice through a muslin cloth into separate, square heat proof containers. Allow the jelly to cool at room temperature. Once the jellies have set, cut them into 1cm square or diamond shapes, then lift them out of the container and place them in the fridge.

Meanwhile, prepare the fruit for the salad, then arrange it in serving bowls. Scatter over the jelly squares and pour the coconut cream over the top. Garnish with toasted peanut.

Note – To toast the peanuts, put 3 tablespoons of raw peanuts on a microwave-safe plate. Cook for 2 minutes on high. Allow the nuts to cool, then crush using a mortar and pestle. This will give about 2 tablespoons of crushed peanuts.

Coconut Cream
400 ml (14 fl oz) coconut cream
1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons potato starch

Put the coconut cream, sugar, salt and potato starch in a saucepan and mix well. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir the mixture for 3-4 minutes until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. 

Recipe from Mark's Book - The Urban Cook: Cooking and Eating for a Sustainable Future. Click here to purchase the book now.

Phuong Nguyen