Beat the Summer Heat with Turtle Shell Jelly (龟苓膏)


Traditional guilinggao recipes require boiling turtle shell for many hours, first by itself, then with a variety of herbal ingredients, so that the liquid is gradually evaporated and a jelly-like residue forms. Rice flour and corn starch is added to “thicken” the product.[5][3]

The ingredients of traditional guilinggao consists of 300g tortoise plastron,
80g rehmannia root,
80g honeysuckle flower,
80g smilax rhizome,
80g Chinese mesona,
40g abrus fruit,
32g atractylodes rhizome,
32g forsythia fruit,
20g dandelion,
20g dictamnus root bark,
20g siler root,
20g schizonepeta spike,
20g chrysanthemum flower,
20g lysimachia,
30 bowls of water, boiled to half its volume. 375g of rice flour and 80g of corn flour are used to thicken the decoction.

Guilinggao jelly can be prepared at home from commercially sold powdered concentrate (the “guilinggao powder”),[3] similarly to how Jello is made. When it is prepared, other herbal substances, such as ginseng, are added to the jelly to give it certain tastes and medicinal values.


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