The Six Best Korean Shaved Ice Toppings

Shaved ice is a hugely popular dessert during the Summer in Seoul. From June to August or September, almost every coffee shop offers a choice of iced desserts. Shaved ice is a large bowl or ice-cream coupe filled with crushed or finely powdered ice, with a variety of toppings. The most popular is red bean shaved ice, known as patbingsu. The joy of shaved ice is mixing and matching the different toppings. Our favourite includes a little of each of the six flavours below!

Red bean shaved ice at a tea house in Seoul, with green tea ice-cream topping Red bean shaved ice at a tea house in Seoul, with green tea ice-cream topping

Six of the Best Korean Shaved Ice Toppings

  1. Red beans - soaked overnight, and then simmered for an hour before stirring with sugar and oil, and leave to cool. The oil helps keep the bean paste slightly more liquid when cold.
  2. Green tea ice cream - often 'soft serve' from a Mr Whippy-style dispenser.
  3. Mochi - glutinous rice mochi cakes shaped into 2cm cubes. They are easy to make with glutinous rice flour, sugar and water.
  4. Kinako soybean powder - a powder made from ground dried soy beans, then toasted. The powder is often mixed with a  little sugar, and then sprinkled over the top of the shaved ice
  5. Sliced Jujube dates - bring a sweet cinnamon warmth to the dessert. Sometimes the jujube dates are dehydrated and lightly caramelised to make them crispy.
  6. Powdered Black Sesame - finely ground black sesame seeds give a similar earthy richness to the dessert. Our favourite!
Shaved ice in Seoul, topped with ground sesame, red bean, kinako soybean flour and mochi rice cakes Shaved ice in Seoul, topped with ground sesame, red bean, kinako soybean flour and mochi rice cakes

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