You can make classic Korean shaved ice (patbingsu) easily at home. My recipe combines milky shaved ice with red beans, rice cakes and a drizzle of sweet condensed milk for an authentic and delicious Korean dessert. No shaving machine required; step by step instructions included.
Bingu (Korean shaved ice) is a very popular summer dessert in Korea. This patbingsu (팥빙수) is made with shaved milky ice and sweetened red beans. It is such a refreshingly delicious summer dessert.
But, don’t care for red beans? Keep on reading. You can always put something else other than the red beans.
Here’s a quick Korean vocabulary lesson for the name of this dessert.
- Pat (팥) = red bean
- Bingsu (빙수) = shaved ice
So It literally translates into shaved ice with sweetened red beans.
Some people like to add a bunch of other toppings such as fresh fruits or canned fruit cocktails, rice cakes, cereals or whatever they wants to put on. But my absolute favorite has to be the old fashioned red beans and rice cakes. The less is the better.
Originally, patbingsu is made with plain ice. However, with a recent trend in Korea, shaved ice made with milk (ooyu bingsu, 우유빙수) became more popular. I think this shaved milky ice tastes even better.
But what if you don’t have a shaving machine?
Well, you don’t need to go and spend $$$. My Patbingsu recipe doesn’t require a shaving machine and you can still make a fantastic homemade patbingsu without any fuss.
This is one of the best Korean recipes I enjoy every summer and my kids and their friends love it, too.
4 simple ingredients for Patbingsu
- Store-bought canned sweetened red beans
- Sticky rice cakes (optional)
- Sweet condensed milk
What type of milk do you need?
Use whole milk. You will need the milk fat. I also like to add a little bit of cream to make it richer but it is totally optional.
Can I use other topping instead of red beans?
Absolutely! Try with strawberry, mango, or peach. Sweeten them with a little bit of sugar. They will be so good on their own. I shared a strawberry bingsu in my cookbook “Korean Cooking Favorites”. It is another favorite bingsu that I enjoy serving to my guests.
TIP TO KEEP THE DESSERT COLD: Keep your serving bowls in the freezer for at least 20 minutes to keep it really cold. Make sure your bowls are freezer safe.
How to make shaved milky ice without a shaving machine
First, you will need to freeze the milk until solid.
Since the milk mixture has some fat in it, by pounding it with a rolling pin or scraping with a folk, it will turn into slush. It is not the same as the fine snowy shaved ice produced by a machine, but you will get a similar result and tastes equally good.
I mixed milk with a little bit of cream and put it in a zip bag laying flat in the freezer. After about 3-4 hrs, you will get solid hard frozen milk.
Keep it on the counter for 5-10 minutes to thaw a little bit. Then, pound it with a rolling pin flipping the bag back and forth.
When you see the large cluster of milk mixture forming like slush, It’s ready. You can scoop the mixture into a serving bowl.
I use the store-bought canned sweetened red beans and chopped rice cakes. The rice cakes add chewy texture but you can omit them if you prefer without.
Place the milk slush into a cold serving bowl, and top with red beans and rice cakes. Drizzle a little bit sweet condensed milk on top, about a tablespoon or so.
I sprinkled some roasted grain powder (misugaru, 미숫가루) on top, too, to add nuttiness just like the old fashioned Korean bingsu style.
Serve while it is cold. Stir the slush-like shaved milky ice and red beans gently altogether. Now you can enjoy the cool refreshing taste of Korean summer dessert.
Enjoy other Korean dessert recipes
Homemade Patbingsu (Korean Shaved Milky Ice)
- 3 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup heavy or light cream. optional
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 (18 oz) can sweetened red beans
- 1/2 cup chopped sweet rice cakes optional
- 4-6 tbsp sweet condensed milk
- In a bowl whisk together milk, cream (if using) and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Pour into a gallon size zip bag and lay flat in the freezer. Freeze it for at least 3 hrs.
- Take the bag out of freezer and thaw in on the counter for 5-10 minutes. Using a rolling pin, pound the bag to break up the solid milk into large chunks flipping the bag back and forth. When you see the milk broken into large slush chunks, stop the pounding.
- Scoop the milk chunks into the individual serving bowls and top with red beans, about 3-4 tablespoonfuls per serving, and rice cakes if using. Drizzle with sweet condensed milk, about 1-2 tablespoon each. Serve immediately.