Matcha Bingsu is a refreshing way to cool down on a hot day. It is a light and fluffy shaved ice flavoured with matcha green tea, paired with red beans, chewy mochi, sweetened with condensed milk.
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What is bingsu?
Bingsu is a Korean shaved ice dessert.
The most common version is patbingsu, which is a shaved ice with sweet red bean paste.
There are many variations of shaved ice desserts in Asia, including kakigori (Japanese), ais kacang (Malaysian), and halo-halo (Filipino).
What makes bingsu different than say, a granita, is that the shaved ice is super light and airy with large fluffy flakes of ice crystals.
What is matcha?
Matcha is a Japanese finely milled green tea powder with a naturally vibrant green colour.
It has an earthy flavour, which pairs well in sweet desserts.
Some dessert recipes using this tea:
How to choose matcha green tea powder
Choose a high-quality matcha for the best flavour.
Look for matcha that has a bright, green hue, with a pleasant grassy scent.
It should not taste bitter or unpleasant.
If the matcha is dull, yellow or brown in colour, it's been oxidized or is of low quality -- it will impart a bitter flavour.
Find out more about this green tea in my Beginner's Guide to Matcha.
Why you'll love this recipe
Matcha Bingsu (or green tea bingsu) is an easy recipe to make.
You can easily customize the dessert to your liking with your choice of toppings.
Using a high-quality, powered mechanical ice shaver yields consistent, large, snow-like flaky ice crystals.
It's a relatively healthy and naturally gluten-free dessert (depending on your toppings).
Special equipment you'll need
- mechanical ice shaver: I have one as an attachment from KitchenAid; I don't recommend hand-cranked ice shaver as it will not produce light and fluffy shaved ice
- if you don't have one, you can use a high-powdered blender or food processor to break up the ice, but the texture will not be as fluffy; it will be more slushy/granita-like
Ingredients you'll need
- hot water: boiled and cooled to 80C/176C degrees
- matcha: use a high-quality matcha powder for the best taste and flavour; adjust the amount to your preference
How to make it
Make the matcha ice block:
Add matcha powder to a glass/jar/bowl.
Pour the boiled water over the matcha.
Whisk the matcha until frothed.
Let it cool.
Transfer the cooled matcha to a freezer-safe container or ice molds (I used the molds that the ice shaver came with) and freeze until solid.
Shave the ice:
Remove the frozen matcha block and let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
Place the matcha ice block into the ice shaver.
Shave the matcha ice into a chilled bowl according to the ice shaver manufacturer's directions.
Serve immediately with your choice of toppings and condensed milk.
Optional topping ideas
The sky is the limit when it comes to customizing the toppings.
- fresh fruit: mango, watermelon, kiwi, cherries, strawberries, blueberries are popular choices
- mochi/dango/tteok: chewy pieces of glutinous rice cakes/sweet rice cakes
- ice cream: make the bingsu more decadent with a scoop of matcha ice cream or vanilla ice cream
- sweet red beans: cooked red adzuki beans, commonly used as a filling in mooncakes and steamed buns
- mung bean: small cooked yellow beans that are also used in Cendol
- pocky sticks/cookies
- nuts: almonds
- soybean/kinako powder: roasted soybean powder used in Korean desserts, such as Injeolmi Cream Buns
- tapioca/boba pearls
I don't recommend using a manual hand-crank ice shaver. It's quite a lot of effort to shave the ice by hand.
By the time you're done shaving the ice block, it's melted into a pool of water.
Keep the serving bowls chilled in the fridge to slow down the melting.
If you prefer a sweeter matcha ice, you can add a little sugar to the matcha mixture prior to freezing. Otherwise, you can sweeten to your own taste with additional condensed milk.
Choose a high-quality matcha, which will give you a better flavour and colour.
After freezing, the matcha will float and be more intense at the top; this is normal.
For a matcha milk-based bingsu, replace the water with milk to make it more creamier.
Other delicious recipes you may like
Be sure to check out these recipes:
Let me know if you try out this recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
Matcha Bingsu (Green Tea Shaved Ice Dessert)
- mechanical ice shaver
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- ¾ C water cooled to 80°C/176°F
- 1-2 teaspoon matcha powder to your taste
- dango (chewy glutinous rice dumplings)
- red adzuki beans
- condensed milk to your taste
Make the matcha ice block:
- Add matcha powder to a glass/jar/bowl.
- Pour the cooled boiled water over the matcha.
- Whisk the matcha until frothed.
- Let it cool.
- Transfer the cooled matcha to a freezer-safe container or ice molds (I used the molds that the ice shaver came with) and freeze until solid.
Shave the ice:
- Remove the frozen matcha block and let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
- Place the matcha ice block into the ice shaver.
- Shave the matcha ice into a chilled bowl, according to the ice shaver manufacturer's directions.
- Serve immediately with your choice of toppings and condensed milk.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.