Photograph by Nicholas Cope Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Linda Heiss


Coconut Lychee Aquarium

Desserts from Issue 8 – Winter 2016 – Origin

Unlike Dorothy’s companions on her journey to Oz, the jellyfish has made it for 650 million years without a brain, heart, or blood for that matter. We imagined the sea world these graceful umbrella-d creatures would inhabit as a coconut water and lychee jelly aquarium, using a syringe to inject it all with red jellyfish “tentacles.”

serves 6 to 8

  • 4 pkgs unflavored gelatin (about 3½ Tbsp)
  • 3 cups lychee juice (we like Ceres brand)
  • 4 cups canned coconut juice with pulp (available in Asian and Latino markets)
  • a handful of mint sprigs
  • a blunt-tipped industrial syringe (available at
  • and food colors of choice if injecting color (we used red)

  • 1

    Very lightly oil a 2 qt mold (recipe can be scaled down for smaller molds).

  • 2

    In a medium saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over 1½ cups lychee juice and let stand until softened, about 3 minutes. Heat over low heat, without boiling, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in coconut juice and remaining lychee juice. Pour into mold and chill. Place in mint sprigs when starting to set. Chill completely overnight.

  • 3

    To unmold, quickly dip mold in hot water, very briefly, and invert onto serving platter.

  • 4

    If injecting color, mix a little cool water with food color and gently inject into gelatin.