Red Bean Ice with Ice Cream is a classic Hong Kong dessert drink. Sweetened red bean, evaporated milk, crushed ice and vanilla ice cream. It’s sweet, cold and fun! Perfect as afternoon snack or dessert.
Red Bean Ice with Ice Cream is something I dreamt of when I was a kid. It’s a Hong Kong dessert drink that every child would want when they are in Hong Kong style cafe (cha chaan teng 茶餐廳) or some fast food places. It’s cold and sweet. Kids absolutely love this!
For me, this drink is a special treat. I rarely got to have it. Usually, it was during summer vacation. Mom took my sister and I to a Hong Kong style cafe for afternoon tea. We probably shared a French toast and red bean ice with ice cream. I enjoyed watching the beautiful colors when mixing the beans and the milk. And the most fun part was to dig through the drink to find the ice cream.
This dessert drink is actually very easy to make. Red bean (aka adzuki bean) is the key ingredient. It’s the most common ingredient in Asian dessert. It’s always sweetened with some kinds of sugar. It tastes sweet & earthy. To make red beans, soak them overnight. Then cook them in water until cooked through and sweeten with rock sugar. For this recipe, beans should be half broken down and half being intact. Transfer the finished beans to the fridge to chill.
Once the beans are cold, you need some crushed ices and evaporated milk. Pour into a glass and you got yourself a tasty drink. Just a few ingredients and nothing too precise. If you want, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. It’s optional, but I always think it’s more fun to add ice cream! Enjoy this before summer is gone!
Red Bean Ice with Ice Cream
- 200 grams red bean
- 28 ounces water
- 250 grams rock sugar
- 28 - 30 ice cubes
- 6 - 7 ounces evaporated milk
- 3 scoops vanilla ice cream (optional)
- Drinking water (optional)
- The night before, rinse and wash the red beans. Place them in a large bowl. Add water till 2-inch above the beans. Soak overnight.
- The next day, rinse the red beans under water again. Transfer to a medium pot. Add the beans and 28 ounces of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat to medium-low. Cook for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rock sugar and cook until the beans are soft inside and cooked through, about 10 – 40 more minutes. At the last 10 minutes of cooking, stir often to make sure the beans cook evenly. When finished, the first layer of beans should be above the water and the mixture should be kind of thick. Half of the beans should stay intact while the other half are broken into half or pieces. Remove from heat and cover with a lid for 20 minutes.
- Remove the lid and cool to room temperature. Transfer to an air-tight container and keep in the fridge for at least 2 hours until cold.
- When ready to serve, add enough red beans to fill the glasses half full. No need to pack and shake the glasses. Pour enough evaporated milk to just cover the red beans.
- Depends on your blender, you may not be able to crush the ice just by itself. Don’t worry. You can blend ice with water. Add enough drinking water until the blender blades are covered. Add ice cubes and blend into tiny pieces. Pour into a sieve and spoon the crushed ice into the glasses until reaching the top. Pour more evaporated milk over the ice until just ½-inch below the top of the ice. Top each glass with a scoop of ice cream. Serve immediately.
- How to tell if red beans are done? Squeeze a bean with your thumb and index finger. If the bean can be smashed easily and there is no hard part left inside. It is done. Make sure to test a few beans as some can cook little slower.
- Red beans can be found in most Asian supermarkets or from Amazon.
- Rock sugar can be found in Chinese supermarkets or from Amazon.
- When cooking the red bean, add more water when needed.