Patbingsu (팥빙수)

E_p10_recipeIt’s summer! (Someone please tell the weather that.) One of my favourite parts of summer is the warmer weather that calls for cool treats. This Korean favourite drew my attention because of its similarities to a Filipino dish I grew up with, called halo halo. Patbingsu literally translates to red bean ice, and consists of cooked sweet red mung beans (also known as azuki beans), shaved ice, and your choice of a variety of toppings. It’s great as a dish for parties or family gatherings because you can put together a create-your-own patbingsu bar with all the ingredients, and guests can help themselves to customize it with all the toppings. I often find that frozen desserts can leave you wanting more, but this dish with all its components is filling and refreshing at the same time.

Putting this together is a cinch – the part that takes the longest is cooking the red beans, you can save even more by buying a can or jar at the supermarket. As a tip – refrigerate or freeze your serving bowls. This will make the dessert last longer! Enjoy!

Yield: Four servings


• 1 cup red mung beans/azuki beans

• ½ cup sugar

• 1 pinch salt

• Shaved ice

• Fresh fruit (bananas, strawberries, blueberries and kiwi are popular)

• Condensed milk

• Ice cream (optional!)

• Injeolmi (a sweet rice cake, optional)


1. After rinsing the dry beans, place them in a pot with about four cups of water. Bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for approximately 50 minutes–1 hour.

2. To check for doneness, the beans should still keep their shape but can be smashed easily.

3. Drain the water and add your sugar and salt. I personally prefer the red beans a little less sweet, since we’re adding fruit and condensed milk later… you can adjust this to your taste.

4. Mix the ingredients together on low heat for 5–7 minutes. Set this aside to cool completely in the fridge.

5. Grind your ice – you can use an ice shaver or a sturdy blender for this.

6. Scoop approximately ½ cup of the sweet beans into your bowl, followed by 1 cup of shaved ice.

7. On top, place your diced fruit and drizzle with condensed milk.

8. Top with injeolmi, or in my case – some red bean ice cream!

9. Serve immediately and enjoy!