Dairy Free Red Bean Ice (紅豆冰)
Hong Kong is a food paradise - a mix of world class high end restaurants, modern fare, and local eats. Cha Chaan Tengs (tea-houses) are where Hong Kongers can satiate their appetites at virtually any hour of the day. Known for their incredibly affordable and eclectic menus, cha chaan tengs serve food that came about after the Second World War, when Hong Kong culture was influenced by British culture. The menus are endless and barely have parameters, including everything from wonton mein to curry, Hong Kong style French toast, and steak. Besides Hong Kong-style milk tea, one popular drink is the Red Bean Ice (紅豆冰).
I am a huge fan of red bean desserts, in all forms. The Red Bean Ice is so refreshing; especially in the humid HK summers. Crushed ice, tender red beans in a sugar syrup, and coconut milk are the most delicious cool-down treat on a hot day. Adding a scoop of ice cream makes it a popular dessert. Stirring it all together makes a sort of slush that is enjoyed with a long spoon and straw.
Another wonderful thing about the Red Bean Ice is that it's dairy free! It's nice to be able to enjoy a sweet treat while cutting out the dairy. In this version of Red Bean Ice, you'll be combining red beans cooked in coconut sugar, layered with creamy, rich coconut milk, and ice cold almond milk. Top it off with ice and a scoop of your favorite dairy free ice cream! I'm using Happy Cow Dairy Free Ice Cream, made from coconuts. I've tried this recipe with both their Vanilla and Red Bean ice cream, and it's amazing either way. It adds the perfect creaminess to the drink. Watch the recipe video below to learn how to make your own Red Bean Ice at home!
What You Need:
1/3 cup red beans
1/3 cup coconut sugar (you can also use regular sugar)
dash of salt
1 small can of coconut milk
ice cream (vanilla, coconut, or red bean would be great)
What To Do:
Soak 1/3 cup red beans in water overnight. This will help cut down on cook time as it helps to soften the beans! :)
Drain the beans, and simmer the beans in enough water to cover them. Add 1/3 cup coconut or regular sugar. You can adjust the ratio of water to sugar to match how sweet you'd like the beans.
Simmer the beans for about 30 minutes if you've soaked them overnight. If you didn't have time to soak them overnight, they will need to cook longer - closer to an hour. The beans should be intact, but tender. (You can totally used canned red bean paste as well)
It's time to build your Red Bean Ice! Fill a tall glass 1/3 of the way up with red bean. Top it off with a generous splash of coconut milk. Add enough almond milk to fill another 1/3 of the glass. Add ice to the drink, and top it off with a scoop of ice cream. I like to add extra red bean on top, too :)
This is best enjoyed ice cold, and stirred up to mix all the goodness together! I like the combination of thick coconut milk with the thin, ice cold almond milk. The combo is a viscous, refreshing dessert that is good any time of the day :) Hope you try it out!!
If you've tried any recipes from the blog, let me know! You can find me on IG and Twitter @brokeandcooking / #brokeandcooking :)