Since the beginning of quarantine, I have found myself spending more time at home with my family. Amidst busying myself with AP examss, my mother proposed an idea to make a traditional Korean shaved ice dessert. I took this opportunity to take a break from studying and spend quality family-bonding time.
The most popular ingredients of Korean Patbingsu consist of — but are not limited to– sweet condensed milk, a scoop of ice cream, ice, chopped assorted fruits, sweet red bean paste, and bite-sized sweet rice cakes (mochi). You can drop by your local grocery store, but it might be difficult obtaining certain ingredients like bite-sized sweet rice cakes (mochi) and red bean paste unless, you are at an Asian marketplace.
Most importantly, it requires an ice shaver (if you have one) to crush the ice. If you don’t, there are no worries, for you can use a food processor. Although the textures of ice may differ, it is an option.
This South Korean Patbingsu is customizable, therefore, can contain a variety of add-ons to suit the individual’s preferences. Since my parents and I enjoy lots of fruits (strawberries, blueberries, mango, banana, leche), we focused on including a versatile mix. However, in order to satisfy my younger sister’s sweet tooth, we added more vanilla ice cream and condensed milk. To enhance the flavor, my mother added misugaru (a Korean multigrain powder) to top it off.
STEPS TO MAKE KOREAN PATBINGSU:
- Load ice into the shaved ice machine and grind it until it produces bite-sized pieces.
- Transfer the crushed ice into a serving bowl and add toppings of your choice. I poured a bit of half-and-half milk around the ice and decorated the bingsu with assorted fruits.
- Then, add preferred amounts of red bean paste (the more you include, the sweeter it will become) and sprinkle bits of chewy mini mochi.
- Layer the sweet condensed milk on top. (This is where I added misugaru, too)
- You can include a scoop of ice cream to finish it off
- Take a couple of snaps and serve!
I was thankful that staying in quarantine finally gave me the precious opportunity to sit with my family — as a whole — and enjoy a sweet Korean treat.
I even shared a couple of laughs and regrets for not looking at the ingredient labels while shopping. I had to insist to my mother and sister that it was my father who was responsible for accidentally buying evaporated milk instead of condensed milk.
It was nice enjoying this cool dessert during the hot morning. If you have time to spare or a need to take a quick break from work, try this wonderful recipe, and create another cherishable memory with your loved ones!
Joanne Chae, Grade 10