How to make Hmong Jello

Making Hmong jello is very easy.  It is great for all occasions.  All you need are a few ingredients! Let's get started.

Hmong Jello Ingredients:

Version 1

  • 1 cup of Knox Unflavored Gelatine (if you can find the 16 oz can it will save you lots of $$)
  • 1 can of coconut milk (13 oz can)
  • 5 cups of hot water
  • 1 and 1/2 cup of sugar
  • add small amount of salt (optional)
  • add drops of smell flavoring (cov tsw tsw qaab rau nabvam) OPTIONAL
  1. Add sugar to a large bowl.
  2. Measure out 5 cups of boiling water to a big bowl. (becareful cos it's hot!)
  3. Then add the water to dissolve the sugar.
  4. Add coconut milk and stir.
  5. Lastly, add the Knox unflavored gelatine. 
  6. Divide the mixture into three equal parts. 
  7. Add food coloring as you wish. 
  8. In a large pan, pour one color mixture and place in the refrigerator until firm (usually 15 minutes, depends on the temperature of your fridge). 
  9. When the layer is firm, add another layer.
  10. Once it's all solid, cut it up into smaller pieces!


VERSION 2 - this one tastes creamier!

5 cups water
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unflavored gelatin
1 can of coconut milk (13 oz)
5 egg yolks
pinch of salt
Food coloring of your choice

Mix the water, coconut milk, and sugar in a bowl and heat over medium heat. Add a pinch of salt, optional.
When little bubbles start to form on the surface, add the egg yolks and stir immediately. Do not let it boil or else you will have scrambled eggs.
Sprinkle the gelatin carefully and stir so it does not get lumpy.
Remove and separate into 3 equal parts.
Add food coloring as you wish.
Pour one color in a pan and chill in the freezer or fridge until solid.
Pour next color when the layer is solid enough to hold another layer.
Continue until all colors are done.
Cut and serve!

To make egg shell mold, crack the narrow end of the egg with a toothpick or knife. Carefully remove a dime size hole. Pour out the egg whites, then the egg yolk will come out last. You can use the egg yolks for this recipe or save for another time. Rinse the egg shell in water. Place upside down back in the egg carton so the water drips out.  If you are concerned about using real eggs, I suggest you can buy egg molds online or at the store.  They make jello molds for eggs.

To fill the egg shells, use a plastic bag and pour it carefully into the shells. OR put the liquid into an empty plastic squeeze bottle and pour into the egg shell.

Where to find the large can of unflavored gelatin?
I bought a 16 oz can of Knox Unflavored gelatin at a large American grocery supermarket. Here in Madison, WI I bought it at Woodman's.  If you cannot find the 16 oz can, you can buy the individual unflavored gelatin packages at any supermarket.  It is cheaper to get the 16 oz can if you plan to make a lot of jello! You can make a few batches with the 16 oz can!

Where to find the powder food coloring like the one in the video?
I bought the Swad food coloring at my local asian grocery store.  If you cannot find powder food coloring, you can use liquid food coloring too.  Powder form just makes the colors brighter but any coloring would work. 


I hope you enjoy this recipe.  Try it with different colors and see how it turns out!  Please subscribe to my youtube channel for more updates and new videos!


Hi Annie,I love all your recipes! You don't know how much you have changed the world of cooking fo us Hmong women.I have also wondered how people got their sesame balls to become so thin and hollow inside. Is it possible you can make a video of this? I would love to see how you make it. Thank you!Lisa

Hi Annie,This is Ka from Eau Claire.  My son and I were just youtubing for Hmong music and for some reason, we ended up at your website on How to Make Hmong Jello.  I looked at your photo and said, "I know her."  Wow, you did a wonderful job.  I have a recipe from my sister from years ago for this recipe but it includes eggs and it's harder to make. I will definitely try yours. I hope things are well for you and the family.  I live in Roseville, MN and am doing well. Ka 

Hi Ka, thanks for commenting. :-)  I also have a recipe for the jello with eggs.  It does have a different taste and texture than this recipe I posted here.  Hope you get to experiment and try other flavors! Glad to hear that you are doing well.  It's been a long time since I last saw you.

Thanks for the recipes! I live in Japan and I do not have the convience of going to the Hmong market to get these yummy food any more; can't wait to go back to the states for the convience! I love all your recipes and look forward to more. Can you post the serving amount for the recipes. It's just me and my husband so I would like to adjust the amounts of ingredients accordingly if I need to. Thanks again!

This recipe actually will serve a lot of people. Not sure how many, but it is a whole pan.

i really enjoy learning all your cooking stuff, these are the kind of stuff i've been looking to learn! thank you for posting ;)

Thanks for your comment!

Have you tried the jello from a box? Is it good? (I'm not sure what they're called but it's sold at the Hmong store in a pink box. I think it's the easy-to-make jellos.)

Hi, I haven't tried the jello in a box but have seen them sold at the stores. I think this recipe is slightly different because it uses gelatin. Most of the jello at the asian store uses Agar-Agar.

Annie, just wanted to thank you for the recipe. It was a success on this recipe.

Yay! Makes me happy to hear that!

omg..i love it...going to try this out tonite..thanks

Awesome! I hope it turned out well for you!

Hey, Annie!! I tried reducing portions and making it with just four packets of Knox gelatin (4 come in the box and total to ~1.2 oz) since you didn't know before. :) I didn't need a whole palteful of coconut jello :D2 C boiling water1 Can (~13oz) Coconut Milk1 C White Sugar1 box (4 packets) of Knox unsweetened gelatinBasically the same process as yours, boil the water, dissolve the sugar and add the milk and gelatin. I kept mine in the fridge overnight, and it has a slightly thicker consistancy than jello, you can hold it to eat it. The sugar and coconut milk seperated overnight to make one clear layer, and a white layer similar to that of when  you use agar agar (which I still need to try!) It tastes just about the same, however I'll be needing to add some more sugar next time! The flavor doesn't hit you until the way end, but it's just a peak of sugar... so next time, more sugar!I might even reduce the recipe to one cup of water. Either way, I'm finding that water is porportional to sugar.Thanks SO much for your tutorial! Your jello is beautiful :)

Very cool! Thanks for commenting and sharing your experience! :-) It's fun to experiment and to change it up as you see fit.

Dear AnnieVangThe soyasauce used for the Hmong Sweet-pork is that an sweet or a salt-one?Thanks for an possible reaction,Johannes VerkruissenAmsterdam Holland. 

In that recipe for sweet pork it was the salty soy sauce. If you make it with the sweet soy sauce, you don't have to add the brown sugar. Good luck.

Where can i buy those food coloring....? 

I bought mine from a local asian grocery store called Yue Wah. If you do a search on Google for "powder food coloring" there are a lot of websites that sell different brands. I do not know if they are good, but that's a start.  If you can't find powder food coloring, liquid works too.

Thanks for sharing your recipe Annie!! I love the sweet pork.  However, for those of you interested I preferr my sister in law's recipe to make this jello.  She boils the water, coconut, surgar, one egg and gelatin all together until there's a smooth texture and then chill.  The results come out beautiful and less oily from the uncooked coconut milk.  The egg also makes the coconut coagulate to the top of the dish so when you serve it's two tone.. (aside from layering.)  If you do try this method Annie, please let me know what you think.

I haven't tried it with egg yet but it does sound yummy! I'll give it a try and let you know how it tastes!  Thanks for your suggestion!

This has got to be the most easiest and best jello recipe ever!!! It's easier than the vietnamese one. Thanks a million for sharing, you don't understand the gratitude I have for it:) It's brilliant! 


 Read this comment if you want to know how many box of unflavored gelatin you need to used in order to get 1 cup...6 box of unflavored gelatin equal to 1 cupIf you live in Saint Paul MN you can buy the unflavored gelatin at Cub food or Festival Foods...Hope this helps.... :)


Are you sure? I had the Knox brand, the one that comes 4 packets to a box. And I measured each packet which measured to 1 tbsp which makes each box 1/4 c. So you really only need 4 boxes, not 6. I'm not sure how much yours measures...

Annie,is this "hmong jello" recipe the hard jello or will it be soft and flimsy like the vietnamese jello at the stores? I love the soft vietnamese jellos, so is this the recipe for it?

I'm not sure which vietnamese jello cos there's quite a few! If you use 3/4 cup of unflavored gelatin, it will be perfect. When it gets solid, remove it from the fridge. The longer you keep it cold, the firmer it gets.

do know how to do any other different kind of jello, because this is the only picture that you showing....i would love to learn more about your dessert...can u post more picture....and thankyou so much for the recipe, i love it a lot

You can make this any color you want. I also have an updated recipe that I'll revise this page soon.

Dear Annie,Thank you for helping us all create all these wonderful dishes!I honestly learned how to cook through your YOUTUBE and blog <3

Hi Alyssa, thank you for your wonderful comments! I like to share so I am happy to spread the joy with others.

Dear Annie,I love that you are sharing all these great recipes. I am so excited to try this jello recipe out. I have seen this jello made with a middle or top layer of something in a "soybean" like texture, where the layer is not all jello, and is normally left at it's clear or off yellow color, would you have the recipe for that? Thanks again for sharing all your great recipes. Looking forward to your reply.   

The soybean like texture is Eggs.  I have a recipe to revise this but I haven't had the chance to do a video on it yet. I will soon.

Hi,what size pan did you use to pour the color mixture in?

Just a regular cake pan. (rectangle)

ok, so at the beginning, i didnt add everything in order? will that change anything after i finish cooking it? 

It doesn't need to be in order.

The that you play in the video i love ....... I just wanna know where you get it from n how you download it or somthing of the sort..... so pppplllleeeaaassseee... tell me what it is ... please. 

Hey Annie! I tried making Khaub Piaj using your recipe and it turned out great! I was looking through your recipes again and wanted to make something else. I was curious, what is the difference between the Hmong Jello and the Tapioca Layer Cake?

Hi Jamie, the tapioca layer cake requires steaming.

Hi Annie, What kind of coconut milk did you use? the one that we use for cooking curry noodle or which kind? I can't see the picture from your vedio. Thanks! 

Hi Ka, you can use any brand. It doesn't matter. 

I love This Recipe so much is so good

When I make this, my layers come apart. Do you know why that is and what can I do to prevent that?

Hi, make sure you let them become solid before adding the next layers.

You can find the large can of unflavored Gelatin at a Smart'n'Final if you're in CA. That's where I got mine. :)

Hi there.I want to make this recipe. But you used coconutmilk, and i'm allergic to coconuts. So are there any other things i can use?

You can try just using water.

Hi can you tell me how long you can keep this in the fridge for once made


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