As the temperatures begin to rise this month (well, they are in Korea..) there’s a tasty treat that tastes as cool as it looks. Actually, patbingsoo is eaten at all times of year, but in warm weather its frosty layers look especially appealing.

Patbingsoo traditionally consists of shaved ice and sweet red beans, but the dessert has been taken to a whole new level in recent years, with fruit, milk, cereal, ice cream, jelly, rice cake and a whole heap of other sweet yummies hopping into the bowl.

A popular chain in Seoul, Sulbing, offers ‘snow ice,’ a whipped frozen milk version, and the toppings vary seasonally. Right now it’s got apple mango, but take a look at their website for just how creative these desserts can get.

Making your own patbingsoo isn’t as daunting as it might sound. If you’ve got a food processor you can make a simple one no problems. Here’s a nice and simple recipe from an ex-pat living in Korea. She suggests freezing condensed milk in ice cube trays in advance, which will give your dessert more of a ‘snow ice’ feel. Add fruit, chocolate or nuts to your own desires. Or if you want to go down the traditional route, stock up on sweet red beans, which are simply adzuki beans.


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British writer and editor living in Japan. Currently studying Japanese, Korean, K-pop dance, and the fine form of 이성종's legs.