Baobing Chinese Shaved Ice


Baobing, or Chinese Shaved Ice, is something I’ve only ever seen properly produced in China.

A tower of fluffy, snow-like shaved ice with all the toppings was the best way to beat the heat in Beijing while my parents and sister lived there for three years while I was in college there. Adzuki beans and mung beans, as well as plenty of chewy tapioca pearls and rice balls, are all combined with just the right amount of sweetened condensed milk in this dish.

My all-time favorite dessert, it was both complex and refreshingly light at the same time.

Din Tai Fung is one of China’s most popular restaurants, noted for its soup dumplings and other Shanghai brunch staples like xiaolongbao.

But this shaved ice dessert was a must-have for me at the end of every dinner. For our first course, we were served an enormous tower of ice that arrived at the table with four spoons, and we sat down to eat it slowly, nibbling on the sweet tapioca pearls mingled in with the sweet beans and delicately-frosted pieces of the tower.

Now that I’ve lost my only source of frozen treats, I’ve come up with this recipe as a replacement. When it comes to newbies, you’re in for a real treat!

Baobing, or Chinese shaved ice, is distinctive from the ice creams found in Japan, Korea, and Hawaii. Hawaiian shaved ice, for example, has a fluffy snow-like appearance and is sweetened with syrups. When it comes to patbingsu, which is the Korean version of shaved ice or ice cream, there is no milky soup to bring it all together.

This Honeymoon Dessert-inspired Chinese shaved ice is likewise distinct from our other chilled milk-based Chinese desserts. Instead of milk and ice cream like in our Black Sticky Rice Mango dessert, the key ingredient here is ice.

Shave ice is a tower of flaky, shaved ice that melts in your mouth, with toppings and a condensed milk mixture covering it all.



  • 1 cup of dried red adzuki beans, soaked overnight
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt


  • 1 cup of dried mung beans
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt


  • 1/2 cup of boba
  • 1/2 cup of dried white tapioca pearls
  • 1/2 cup of glutinous rice balls
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup of regular milk
  • 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk



  1. After soaking, split the red and mung beans into two pots. Each should be topped off with 3 glasses of water.
  2. Bring the water in both pots to a boil and then turn off the heat. Simmer the red adzuki bean mixture for an hour on low heat. It all depends on how long the beans have been soaking and how old they are. As you cook the green mung beans, they should be soft and split open after around 20-30 minutes of simmering.
  3. Use an immersion blender to purée 1/2 cup of each bean soup once the beans are tender and broken down. Pureed vegetables should be returned to their containers, then returned to the pots. Before usage, allow the product to cool to room temperature. I cooked it the day before and let it sit in the fridge all night. Because the adzuki beans can be extremely starchy, you may need to add a little water to the red bean combination after you’ve made it the first time.


  1. Use the ice shaving machine’s included molds to freeze the ice.


  1. Prepare the tapioca pearls according to the package instructions in small pots. These instructions will help you make dried white tapioca pearls. While the white tapioca pearls can be difficult to cook, black tapioca pearls (the ones in containers that state, “Ready in 5 Minutes”) cook very quickly, so you can use solely those if you’d rather not use the white ones.
  2. Glutinous rice balls should be prepared according to our recipe. To prepare them, all we had to do was boil them and pour cold water over them until they were lukewarm.
  3. After that, combine the three types of milk to make the milk mixture. If you prefer one over the other, you can use all coconut milk or all dairy milk in this recipe. If you don’t have condensed milk on hand, you can use evaporated milk, which has a higher concentration of sugar.


  1. Put the ice cubes in a shallow basin and shave them into a tower. Shave the ice into a smaller dish than you plan to serve it in, if necessary. If you have to move ice, don’t waste any time!
  2. Make sure to alternate columns of red and green beans on the edges of your structure with each spoonful. Then, place the boba, tapioca, and glutinous rice balls at the base of the ice tower. Once you’ve done that, simply pour your milk mixture over the ice and let it soak in.
  3. It takes around 1 cup of shaved ice, as much bean mixture and toppings as you like, and about 1/2-2/3 cup of milk to make one serving of this shaved ice.

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