If you’re looking for a sweet and refreshing treat that stands out from the usual frozen desserts, you should try bingsu, a popular Korean shaved ice dessert. This cold concoction is made with shaved ice and topped with a variety of ingredients, such as fresh fruits, creamy sweetened condensed milk, bite-sized mochi pieces, fruit syrup, and sweet red bean paste. And since bingsu is a shaved ice dessert, it’s similar to our very own Filipino treat: halo-halo. As such, many Filipinos also enjoy the bingsu as it offers a new twist to our familiar ice dessert.
A common type of bingsu that Koreans enjoy is the patbingsu, which means red bean shaved ice. This version is a little closer to the common Korean bingsu, though there are plenty of bingsu variations today without sweet red bean paste. As such, even if you don’t have certain Korean ingredients, you can still create your own bingsu at home. Depending on your preference, you can use different kinds of toppings, including chocolate chips, crumbled cream-filled chocolate cookies, and even your choice of ice cream. Just make sure your topping combinations go well together.
Here’s how you can create bingsu in your own kitchen:
What are the ingredients for Bingsu?
The first thing you need to consider is the bingsu flavor you want. This determines the combination of toppings that will go well with your shaved ice dessert. If you happen to enjoy fruits, it’s better to get fresh fruits that are in season. A combination of chopped mangoes, bananas, kiwis, or strawberries tastes great. Perhaps, you also want some chocolate in your bingsu, or even chopped almonds. Prepare the ingredients ahead of time before you assemble your shaved ice dessert.
If you want your bingsu to have a bit more of that classic Korean flavor, you should definitely check out your nearest Korean grocery store. Ingredients like sweet red bean paste and misugaru, a multigrain roasted powder mix, will provide an interesting contrast to the citrusy fruit flavors. If you haven’t tasted these ingredients, making your own bingsu would be a good opportunity to try them.
How much of each topping to put in your bingsu will be entirely up to you, but to give you an idea about the general portions, below is an example of bingsu ingredients that yields two servings. You’ll need:
- 400 grams of ice cubes for the shaved ice
- 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tablespoons sweet red bean paste
- 80 grams of chopped mangoes
- 45 grams of chopped strawberries
- 45 grams of thinly sliced kiwi
- 12 small mochi pieces
Prepare the Shaved Ice
The next important step is to make shaved ice. If you’re like most people, you probably don’t have a shaved ice machine at home, but don’t worry. What’s important is you have enough ice cubes. Instead of a shaved ice machine, you can use a blender or food processor to crush the ice cubes.
Want extra special ice shavings? Milk or injeolmi bingsu is a type of bingsu with ice shavings made of milk. To create this, set aside one cup of fresh milk and mix in two tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk. Next, pour the milk mixture into an ice tray and place it into the freezer. Once they’re solid, you can crush your milk ice cubes using your crusher of choice. This produces sweet and creamy ice shavings for your bingsu.
Assemble Your Shaved Ice Dessert
Prepare a container, like a wide bowl or deep dish, for your bingsu. You can also chill the bowl for at least 30 minutes inside the fridge to keep the container cold. Doing this can help keep your bingsu cold for longer.
To plate your bingsu, put the shaved ice into the bowl. Next, arrange the ingredients on top of the ice shavings. For instance, you can place chopped mangoes on one side and chopped strawberries on the other side of the dish. If you’re adding sweet red bean paste, you can spoon it into the center of the bingsu. Finally, pour the sweetened condensed milk on top of the ice shavings and the toppings. And there you have it! You just made yourself a nice and refreshing bowl of bingsu.
Bingsu is a sweet and delicious treat that anyone can easily make at home. You can choose different ingredients for your bingsu that will cater to your taste. Whether you add crushed cookies, sweet red bean paste, or vanilla ice cream, it’s all up to you. At the end of the day, just be sure to enjoy your dessert with those dearest to you!