Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chinese Style Coconut Pudding 棉花椰汁糕

Just found out  that I became a granny again last night.  My niece had her second baby yesterday.  Plus 3 kids from another niece, wow, I have 5 grand-nieces and nephews!  Since I'm an "old" lady now, it sounds appropriate for me to make the old Chinese dim sum - coconut pudding.

Another reason is, an aunt came from Hong Kong for a visit, and she LOVES this dessert.  Since she just had her 70th birthday last month, I promised to make one for her.

Somehow I don't see these old fashion dim sum in Chinese restaurants as often as before.  I consider this old fashion because the newer ones I had recently didn't have the same texture.  They're more like plain gelatin pudding.  I call mine "Cottony Coconut Pudding" 棉花椰汁糕 because it is as airy, soft and fluffy as cotton.

Here's what I did...

  • 2 tbsp unflavoured gelatin
  • 1 3/8 cups water (1/2 cup cold, rest boiling)
  • 1 can of coconut milk (400 ml)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  1. Get a 1 litre container ready.  Lightly grease it if you are going to flip out the pudding before serving.  Otherwise, use a container which you can cut the pudding in without scratching the container.
  2. In a small microwaveable bowl, dissolve gelatin with 1/2 cup of cold water.  Set aside for 5 mins.
  3. Microwave the gelatin mixture for 10-15 seconds. 
  4. Transfer to larger bowl, pour remaining boiling water to mix well.  (Step 2 avoid having lumps in gelatin mixture.)
  5. Add sugar, once it is dissolved, add coconut milk. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  6. Whip egg whites until soft peak.
  7. When gelatin is cooled to room temperature, place gelatin bowl in an ice bath.  
  8. When mixture begins to set*, fold egg whites into it.
  9. Spread in prepared dish and refrigerate until set.
*Note: If you prefer less airy texture, do not let the gelatin set for too long.  The closer to setting stage, the airier it will taste like.


  1. Thank you so much for this recipe. Most of the ones I've seen have been made with coconut extract which I know is the wrong way. I had to try this a few times before I got the folding egg whites part right.

  2. You are very welcome. Glad that you like the recipe and it's working for you. The egg white stage affects texture of the pudding a lot. I had to test it a few times to find the perfect texture too.

  3. I tried your recipe last night and the results were great! thanks!

  4. Hi, I tried your recipe but it like the egg whites are separating form the rest of the coconut gelatin mix. Do I need to mix it more?

    1. Hi Tim, sorry I just saw your comment 6.5 months late! I haven't logged in for awhile as my new job had taken up a lot more of my time. I think you're egg whites were're too cold. Try to use room temperature whites. They'll rise easier and won't separate. Also make sure you fold the whites in the gelatin mixture right after you have whipped it to the right stage. The whites will start to separate if you let them sit for sometime.

  5. Great recipe, thanks! Pretty close to what you get at dim sum restaurants. I don't particularly like the thought of eating raw egg whites but their addition does make the texture nice and fluffy. I'm going to try layering it with a pandan pudding next time.

  6. Is it possible to make this using regular milk rather than coconut milk to make plain milk pudding?

    1. Hi Alina, I haven't tried it myself but I would think since coconut milk is a lot thicker than regular milk, you may either need more gelatin or add cream to the mixture. In fact, table cream may have a closer texture. Try it and let me know your result. :-) Good luck!

  7. Hello,
    I'm from NZ and would often have what we called 'coconut jelly' when we went for 'yum cha'(chinese brunch?). It seems you know a bit about this... I've been unable to find 'yum cha' in London and was wondering if you might know what else it's called? Also, I used to LOVE the coconut buns which were lovely soft bread filled with buttery coconut. Any chance you have a recipe for these?

    1. Hi, You can head to any Dim Sum place in London, especially in Chinatown and you should be able to find the coconut jelly:)



  8. is a good recipe for those yummy buns... or you may be able to find them frozen in Chinatown. yum cha is often referred to as dim sum in London so you can search for that. there is a good one near Baker Street I believe but it has huge queues on weekends.

  9. Hello! Just wondering, how many servings does this recipe make, would you say?