Merry Christmas to my beloved readers! In honor of this special day I made you some bingsoo, because (1) it's never too late for a Christmas post, (2) you're too hipster for Christmas cookies, and (3) eating ice cream in the winter is probably the best seasonally inappropriate thing you can do for yourself.
For those of you who have never experienced this culinary miracle, bingsoo is a popular Korean dessert typically made with shaved ice, sweetened condensed milk, red bean paste, and fruit. However, it can also be topped with ice cream, rice cakes, cereal, and anything else your heart desires. Yes, it is a beautiful thing, and yes, it's okay to cry a little bit the first time you try it.
I made a simplified version using red-and-green everything, including homemade mochi. If you've never had mochi before, it's a chewy, slightly sweet rice cake that is oftentimes wrapped around red bean paste. This version is plain and cut into little cubes for addictive snacking purposes. Luckily, you'll only need a handful for the bingsoo so you'll have a bunch left over for eating or packaging into little gift bags and giving away. The recipe is surprisingly simple to make! Just remember to grease your aluminum foil before baking or you'll be picking specks of silver off of sticky rice for a looong time.
Go wild, my friends! As it turns out, this recipe can easily be adapted for occasions that do not call for red-and-green everything. If you have a favorite bingsoo variation, post it in the comments below! Have a fantastic Christmas and we'll meet again in 2016!
1 cup shaved ice
Drizzle of sweetened condensed milk
1-2 scoops pistachio or green tea ice cream
1-2 scoops raspberry ice cream or sorbet
1 handful chopped strawberries
1 handful mochi cubes
Other possible toppings:
- Corn flakes / other cereal
- Any type of fruit
- Grain powder (misugaru). <-- I love this stuff and would definitely have added it if I had it on hand! You can find it at your local Asian supermarket
- Red bean paste
- Flavored syrup
Layer all of the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, starting with the shaved ice and finishing it off with fruit and other toppings. Enjoy!