UPDATED — 14th Jan, 2022
Everyone must have seen or tasted a shaved ice recipe at least once in their life which is made with shaved ice maker. Nostalgic is the time when cold puffs of flavored ice quickly thaw into their mouth. There’s also the ice’s melted slush that trickles into flavor bombs when consumed.
Recipes and techniques for this delicacy may vary, but people across the globe acknowledge Asian’s mastery over the dish. So, what makes their versions superior to most of the westerners’ versions? Does this require a specialized tool to satisfy meticulous Asian chefs?
This article highlights the thousand-year-old shaved ice recipe, “Baobing,” and how it is different from the Korean Bingsu and other counterparts. We will also recommend the kind of ice used in the industry.
Ice Recipe History Before Ice Maker
Believe it or not, shaved ice had long been in the history books as a dessert treat. The earliest record comes from Marco Polo’s journals about Chinese culture.
Shaved ice originally was a slush of crushed ice, fruit juice, and cold water. This shaved iced doesn’t even have any cream on it either. But the idea of flavored ice quickly spreads to its East Asian neighbors. Further lapse in history, and this concept finally reached the west, where people are adept at storing ice despite the lack of electricity.
The Traditional Baobing was the first successor from the original shaved ice descriptions by Polo. Baobing’s earliest version opts for the lavish use of sweet beans available: adzuki, red, and mung beans. The use of milk became dominant with this recipe.
Eventually, the use of chopped fruits finds its way to this cold dessert. The use of seasonal fruits like mangoes during summer or strawberries in winter became a prevalent choice too.
Case in point, there are only three fundamental ingredients present in this dessert: ice, milk, and sweet beans.
Kinds Of Ice Used
In the olden days of Baobing making, the Chinese would resort to just smashing the ice into smithereens. As such, crushed ice was their go-to method in this recipe. The drawback with this lazy method, however, was the harshness of the ice texture.
Chinese solve this texture roughness by shaving the ice using blades. The scraping of ice allows smaller ice crystals, as compared to the chunky ice, from crushing.
Still, the best ice to use for shaving is solid block ice. A good ice maker could create this type of ice with ease. The compact refrigerator is used to make ice at home.
Today’s technology makes shaved ice with better efficiency and effectiveness.
Some of these devices include:
- Freezers that blast freezes pure water into ice.
- Ice shaving devices that produce fine powdery ice that resembled fluffy snow. Power commercial ice shavers can make 300-400 servings of ice shaves per day.
- Know the difference between ice shavers, crushers, and ice cones. Cone ice makers produce larger chunks, which is unfavorable for Baobing. Ice crushers, on the other hand, pulverize the ice but do not aerate the output. Ice shavers of high quality, however, achieve just that.
Variations With Other Shaved Ice Recipes
Among the shaved ice variations across Asia, Bingsu is the leading popular contender against Baobing. The great difference between these two desserts lies in the main feature of the dish.
Baobing highlights the ice as its main ingredient, while Bingsu showcases a plethora of fruit accompaniments on top. Both include red beans, but the beans come in the form of paste in the Korean counterpart.
There is also a huge difference between Baobing and the Japanese Kakigori. While both highlights ice as the main feature, Kakigori only includes fruit juice—if not fruit syrups, as flavorings.
Baobing may have different variations, but the recipe won’t come to life without shaved ice. Check reviews to find an excellent ice maker, preferably something that has an ice shaving feature. Whether you’ll pursue a business about shaved ice recipes or use it for home, these tools are indeed an investment.