Make These Edible Crystal-Like Gems — They’re Almost Too Pretty to Eat!

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finished japanese jellies in tray

Fun recipe and craft idea for the kids!

Looking for a fun end-of-summer craft idea to do with the kids? Making Japanese Jellies is fun for the whole family! Hip2Save reader Holly introduced us to these colorful crystals inspired by her trip to Japan.

Before the summer is finally through, I want to share my recipe that’s fun to make and perfect for tabletop decorations—and they’re edible!

I learned how to make these edible gemstones when I visited Japan. I came back to the US and brought them to a party. Everybody loved how pretty they are and kids were thrilled to eat them. They are crunchy on the outside, and the inside is soft and jello-y.

agar-agar powder from asian market

Japanese Jellies


    • 300 grams of sugar
    • 200 ml of water
    • 5 grams of agar-agar powder*
    • Food coloring of your choice + water
    • A splash of flavor extract of your choice (optional)

*I found my agar-agar powder at my local Asian market. I made sure to get unflavored one with no sugar added, as the recipe calls for a good amount of sugar. Agar-agar is like gelatin but made with seaweed, so it can be used for vegan cooking as well.

collage of cookie and coloring steps of japanese jellies


1. Add all the ingredients except food coloring into a medium saucepan.
2. Bring it to a boil on high heat, stirring constantly.
3. Reduce heat to medium and let the agar mixture thicken a little, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes (be careful not to let it boil over).
4. Pour the mixture into a glass pan. Remove the foam on the surface for a prettier result.
5. Using a spoon, color the mixture with food coloring dissolved in a small amount of water (1-2 drops in 2 tablespoons of water). Or just drop the colorings straight into the mixture for more vibrant gems.
6. Let the mixture harden in the refrigerator for about an hour.

cooling and cutting process of making japanese jellies

Instructions (continued):

7. Cut it into pieces with a knife or pull it apart with your hands and place them on a cookie sheet.
8. Let the surface crystalize, flipping them often to make sure all the surfaces are dry. It can take up to 4 days in a dry, cool place.

finished japanese jellies in soda water

I made three batches with different color combinations and flavored two of them with lemon and mint extract. These gemstones look cute on a candy plate or in a glass jar. I also like to put them in a glass of carbonated water just for fun.


Totally mesmerizing 🔮

Gorgeous gemstones you can actually eat?! Talk about the coolest edible DIY project ever!

Thank you, Holly, for sharing this super fun project idea with us!


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About the writer:

Emily obtained her Bachelor's degrees from Clarkson University with 5 years of content writing experience specializing in health, beauty, fashion, home, & living frugally.

Join The Discussion

Comments 20

  1. Kathy

    Wow! Never seen these before. My kids will love this. Thank you!

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      You are so welcome, Kathy! I hope the kids love it!

  2. Keepin’ It Green

    Great idea! Looks like a very fun kid-friendly activity.

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      It really does! Reminds me of the movie “Dark Crystal!”

  3. Michelle

    Can’t wait to do this!! Thanks 😊

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Woo hoo, Michelle! You are welcome!

  4. Amy

    Please let me know if anyone can convert the measurements for those of us that are metrically challenged!

    • Lisa

      Type it into your phone. 30 grams to cups. Or 100ml to cups. No need to do the math. 😜

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Here’s a rough conversion:

      300 grams of sugar = 1 1/2 cup
      •200 ml of water = 3/4 cup + 1 1/2 Tbsp
      5 grams of agar-agar = 1 1/4 tsp

  5. Lisa

    FYI our WinCo stores sell Agar-Agar in the bulk spice area.

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much, Lisa! That’s great to know!

  6. Stephanie

    300 grams = 1.5 cups of sugar
    200 ml = 1 cup of water
    5 grams = 1 tablespoon of agar

  7. Jodi P

    So they are not sharp-edged, since the inside is soft and the outside is firm? These look great, but I’m prone to stabbing my mouth with things like peanut brittle, LOL

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      You have a sister in mouth stabbing, Jodi P! It happens to me all the time!

    • jacqui0802

      What is the flavor, if you don’t add a flavor extract?

      • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

        Just a plain sugar taste with no extract. I think it would still be yummy, jacqui0802!

    • Mary

      I was wondering the same thing. After letting them dry for 4 days are they hard like a rock?

  8. Andre

    Great idea! they look beautiful, gotta try them at next house party!

  9. Debbi

    This is so cool . My grandaughter will love doing this. Thanks. Now just have to find a Japanese market .lol

  10. Polly

    How long will it last after it’s been made?

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