Edible Flowers: Hibiscus Coulis


Here is one recipe that did not make it to my Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 Cooking with Edible Flowers party.  I decided to serve lavender cheesecake instead.  In hindsight, this hibiscus coulis would have worked great with the cheesecake as a topping or even for the rose-scented fruit salad.

The hibiscus used in this recipe (and all other recipes using hibiscus in this blog, unless stated otherwise) is the Hibiscus Sabdariffa.  It has many names and is commonly found in Mexican stores where it is called  flor de jamaica or jamaica flower.  Ironically, it is called sorelle in the Caribbean. In the Philippines this is commonly called roselle and rosella in Australia.  In some African countries, it is called bissap. Whatever is the name, it is widely used in cooking,  mainly in drinks.  It has been said that it is the main ingredient in the Red Zinger tea.  They actually do not look like the hibiscus you see in gardens or in Hawaii.  This hibiscus look more like a bud and that’s how they’re harvested and dried.  It has a sour taste and deep maroon/red color.  I have not tried it but it probably will work well as a food coloring substitute for red velvet cake!


  • 2 ounces dried hibiscus flowers
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water


  1. Combine ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 30 minutes, or until the flowers have softened (they won’t get entirely soft).  Take the mixture off of the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  2. Place the mixture in a blender or food processor and purée.  Strain through a sieve.
  3. Serve chilled. It will be much thicker when it is cold than it is hot.


Be Sociable, Share!

Related Posts

» lisaiscooking said: { Apr 4, 2009 - 07:04 }

This is a great idea! I haven’t found a large supply of hibiscus flowers in town yet, but the tea is readily available. Interesting to know the various names for it.

» Elyse said: { Apr 4, 2009 - 10:04 }

Hibiscus coulis sounds fabulous. What a perfect accompaniment to so many spring time treats. Glad that you still posted this one, even though you weren’t able to during 24-24-24. How elegant!

» Tangled Noodle said: { Apr 5, 2009 - 03:04 }

I’ve really enjoyed your dried flowers posts! This is another creative one, although I don’t much care for hibiscus in tea – its sourness is a little too overpowering. But I agree that this coulis would make a great counterbalance to a sweet dessert.

» Manang said: { Apr 8, 2009 - 01:04 }

now you have made me want to look this up the tea isle in the grocery store…
at first I thought it was the hibiscus commonly known as gumamela…hindi pala. I don’t think I ever encountered rosselle in the Philippines…

» virtual chef said: { Apr 11, 2009 - 12:04 }

lisa: i am sure you can use the tea for flavoring. i have seen it used in cheesecake and muffins.

elyse: i had so many edible flower recipes i tried and haven’t posted yet. it was so much fun creating the dishes!

TN: thank you! it is similar in taste to cranberries and will probably be a great substitute during thanksgiving dinner. i’m thinking of trying it with orange juice or orange zest and make jam.

manang: that’s what i thought , too. i was under the impression that it is the gumamela that we know. (maybe gumamela is also edible but i have not researched that so i will not be picking flowers from my yard anytime soon!) . i have seen it in manila but not too many. they might have it under a different name but the one i found was called roselle.

Post a Comment