Aiyu Jelly or simply 愛玉, known as ice jelly in Singapore is a jelly made from the gel from the seeds of the variety of fig found in Taiwan and East Asian countries. We were told from young that the jelly is made from banana but found out was not true.
Fruits of the plant resemble large fig fruits the size of small mangoes and are harvested from September through January just before the fruit ripens to a dark purple. The fruits are then halved and turned inside out to dry over the course of several days. The dry fruits can be sold as is, or dried aiyu seeds (愛玉子, pinyin: aiyu zi) can then be pulled off the skin and sold separately.
We bought many packets from Taiwan in the form of dried seeds. 1 bag can make numerous bowls of aiyu jelly. Some places sold aiyu seeds sticked to the fruit skin.
The bag and its contents are submerged in cold water and rubbed. A slimy gel will be extracted from the bag of aiyu seeds as it is squeezed and massaged. This is known as "washing aiyu" in Chinese (洗愛玉). After several minutes of massaging and washing, no more of the yellowish tea-coloured gel will be extracted, and the contents of the bag are discarded.
The washed gel is then allowed to set into a jelly either in a cool location or in the refrigerator.