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Chinese Shaved Ice (刨冰, Bao Bing)

Chinese shaved ice, or bao bing, is the perfect refreshing dessert for hot weather! With a wide variety of lightly sweetened toppings such as red bean and boba, this simple recipe is great for customizing flavor combos!

Chinese Shaved Ice, Bao Bing Full

Shaved ice is a dessert that is enjoyed all across the globe! Chinese shaved ice (Chinese: 刨冰, bao bing) is a delicious version of this well-known dessert. The Chinese variety is a mound of ice shavings with a generous amount of toppings. The wide range of topping possibilities makes this dish very easy to customize. Some of the most popular options include adzuki beans, mung beans, condensed milk, and tapioca balls. A most comprehensive list is included below.

Chinese shaved ice is enjoyed in many other countries, such as Taiwan. There is a Taiwanese shaved ice variation, xuehua bing (雪花冰). This Taiwanese shaved ice has layered sheets of frozen milk/condensed milk instead of ice for a creamier consistency. Wherever you go, shaved ice tends to have lots of toppings to change the flavor profile. So, the key to making shaved ice at home is to prep all of the toppings beforehand to save time!

Chinese Shaved Ice Toppings

  • Sweet Toppings: sweetened adzuki beans, sweetened mung beans, grass jelly (can be bought in a can or powdered form)
  • Condensed milk
  • Chewy Toppings: boba, tapioca balls, mochi, taro and sweet potato balls (homemade recipe here)
  • Fresh fruit (e.g. mango, strawberry)
  • Ice Cream
  • Etc. 
Chinese Shaved Ice, Bao Bing Square
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5 from 1 vote

Chinese Shaved Ice (刨冰, Bao Bing)

Chinese shaved ice, or bao bing, is the perfect refreshing dessert for hot weather! With a wide variety of lightly sweetened toppings such as red bean and boba, this simple recipe is great for customizing flavor combos!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Chinese, Taiwanese
Keyword: bao bing, chinese shaved ice, chinese shaved ice dessert, how to make chinese shaved ice, taiwanese shaved ice
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • shaved ice
  • condensed milk

Sweetened Red Bean

  • 1/2 cup adzuki beans ~ 113 grams
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp sugar 12.5 grams

Sweetened Mung Bean

  • 1/2 cup dried mung beans ~ 113 grams
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp sugar 12.5 grams

Other Toppings (choose your favorite, see more options above)

  • grass jelly canned or made from a packet
  • taro and sweet potato balls
  • boba pearls

Instructions

Prepare the Sweetened Red Bean and Mung Bean (Instant Pot)

  • Wash the adzuki beans. Add the washed beans and 2 cups of water to the Instant Pot. Cook at high pressure for 25 minutes and wait at least 10 minutes before natural releasing. Stir in the sugar while the beans are still hot so that the sugar melts.
  • Repeat the same process with the mung beans, but pressure cook on high pressure for 8 minutes and natural release for 10.

Prepare the Sweetened Red and Mung Bean (Stovetop)

  • First, soak the beans in separate bowls overnight. Drain the soaked beans, transfer them to separate pots, and add the water.
  • Bring the pots to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the beans are tender (roughly 1 hour for adzuki beans and 20-30 minutes for mung beans).
  • Mix in the sugar and set aside to cool.

Prepare the Toppings

  • Cook the tapioca pearls/boba according to packaging instructions. Note 1
  • Cook the taro and sweet potato balls (for either store-bought or homemade).
  • Prepare other desired toppings, such as cut fruit (check post above for more suggestions).

Assemble

  • Use a shaved ice machine (manual or electric) to make shaved ice. You can also try using a food processor/high-speed blender to pulverize ice cubes into flakes. Note 2
  • Place the shaved ice into a large bowl. Add the prepared toppings on top.
  • Finally, drizzle the condensed milk on top and serve immediately.

Notes

  1. There is quick cooking boba, which can take only 5 minutes to cook. There is also regular boba, which requires 30 minutes of boiling and then another 30 minutes of sitting in the pot covered to completely cook through. Check the boba to see what type you have and how long it takes to prepare.
  2. To slow down the rate at which the shaved ice melts, place your serving bowls in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare everything. Colder bowls will help the shaved ice to stay colder for longer.

How to Make Chinese Shaved Ice Dessert

First, prepare the red bean and mung bean toppings. You can choose to make the beans in the instant pot or on the stovetop. I’ve listed instructions for both below. 

Sweetened Red Bean and Mung Bean (Instant Pot Method)

Wash the adzuki beans. Add the washed beans and 2 cups of water to the Instant Pot. Cook at high pressure for 25 minutes and wait at least 10 minutes before natural releasing. Stir in the sugar while the beans are still hot so that the sugar melts. 

Repeat the same process with the mung beans, but pressure cook the beans on high pressure for 8 minutes and natural release for 10. 

Chinese Shaved Ice Toppings

Sweetened Red and Mung Bean (Stovetop Method)

First, soak both of the beans in separate bowls overnight. Drain the soaked beans, transfer them to separate pots, and add the water.

Bring the pots to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the beans are tender. (Adzuki beans take roughly 1 hour to cook, while mung beans take around 20-30 minutes.) Mix in the sugar with the cooked beans and set aside to cool. 

Prepare the Remaining Toppings

Cook the tapioca pearls/boba according to packaging instructions. Also, cook the taro and sweet potato balls (for either store-bought or homemade)

Cooking the Sweet Potato Balls

Note: There is quick cooking boba, which can take only 5 minutes to cook. Another option is regular boba, which requires 30 minutes of boiling and then another 30 minutes of sitting in the pot, covered, to cook through. Check the boba to see what type you have and how long it takes to prepare. 

Prepare other desired toppings, such as cut fruit. Check the post above for more topping suggestions.

Assemble

Use a shaved ice machine (manual or electric) to make shaved ice. You can also try using a food processor/high-speed blender to pulverize ice cubes into flakes. **Note: To slow down the rate at which the shaved ice melts, place your serving bowls in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare everything. Colder bowls will help the shaved ice stay frozen for longer. 

Chinese Shaved Ice, Bao Bing Spoon

Place the shaved ice into a large bowl. Add the prepared toppings on top. Finally, drizzle the condensed milk on top and serve immediately. 

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