One calls it shaved ice, the other granita and yet another suddenly mentions bingsu. To stay on top of the trends in shaving ice land, you have to do your best. Almost every summer there is a new trend at the ice cream parlor on the corner. This summer, bingsu will be your cooling friend. But, what is it, where can you eat it and how does it differ from the other (perhaps well-known) types of shaved ice? Culy explains everything about Bingsu: Korean shaved ice to dream of.
What is shaved ice?
Classically, because we can now throw in culinary terms such as bingsu and kakigori, but first we have to go back to the basics. Because what exactly is shaved ice? In short, shaved ice is literally ice that is shaved off a block. The ice shavings are collected, after which you receive it in a cup. Of course with tasty toppings such as syrups or fresh fruit.
Shaved ice has become a popular refresher worldwide in recent years. Hence, there are so many different terms (and ways) for it. But in essence, bingsu, kakigori , halo-halo (Filipino shaving ice), and granita are just the same thing.
What is bingsu?
It is clear that bingsu is a type of shaved ice. The Korean dessert has been eaten since 1392 with sweet toppings such as fruit, condensed milk, syrups and even red beans. The way bingsu is prepared may have changed over the years, but the Koreans still love their shaved ice.
So fond that the major fast food chains in Korea put a variant of the patbingsu on their menu in the summer. The patbingsu is the most popular bingsu in Korea. This is shaved ice from anko (sweetened red azuki beans). Where people used to eat it ‘natural’, the various extra toppings are no longer available and the patbingsu is eaten as a dessert, but also as a quick snack on a hot day.
What is the difference between bingsu, kakigori and granita?
As mentioned briefly above: all three are types of shaved ice. Bingsu the Korean variant, kakigori the Japanese variant and granita the Italian variant. Although it may seem that there are no differences, there are. For example, the kakigori is sometimes made from flaked ice with a taste. While bingsu and granita are shaved from pure ice and only then flavors are added.
In addition, there is a difference in substance and mouthfeel. Kakigori takes the cake and is said to be nicknamed “angel snow”. It must be that soft. According to the Koreans, bingsu is a powdery dessert and as soft as cotton candy. And the granite? It is like the temperament of the Italians: sharp. Here you can feel the texture of the shaved ice.
And let’s not forget the way in which shaved ice is eaten in Korea, Japan or Italy. In Korea and Japan, they really see their bingsu and kakigori as a dessert or quick snack. In Italy, on the other hand, the granita is often a breakfast and is eaten with a sweet roll.
Where do you eat bingsu?
Bingsu is also increasingly popular in the Netherlands. No wonder, we are of course tired of rockets and calippo colas. Fortunately, there are plenty of Korean restaurants and food trucks where you can get acquainted with the classic patbingsu, but also other variants.
In the Twetsche Foodhal you can go to Omma’s Kitchen or in the Randstad to restaurant Man Nam in Rotterdam.
Make your own bingsu
Fancy a refreshing snack? Fortunately, Bingsu is very easy to make! Make sure you have ice cubes in your freezer, put them in your food processor and chop them into fine pieces in 20 seconds. Put the shaved ice in a small bowl (put this in the fridge beforehand, otherwise the ice will immediately turn into water), drizzle over some condensed milk and finish with your favorite toppings .
Tip: want to make a patbingsu? At the toko you have ready-made (and tasty) sweet red bean paste . Finish with a swirl of con7densed milk and enjoy.