Korean Shaved Ice Recipe



The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

Prep: 16 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Freeze Time: 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs 16 mins
Servings: 2 to 3 servings
Yield: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
975 Calories
26g Fat
166g Carbs
24g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 3
Amount per serving
Calories 975
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 34%
Saturated Fat 17g 87%
Cholesterol 65mg 22%
Sodium 286mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 166g 60%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Total Sugars 129g
Protein 24g
Vitamin C 44mg 222%
Calcium 674mg 52%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 1192mg 25%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Almost every Asian culture has their own version of a shaved ice dessert. In Korea, it's called bingsu, which shockingly translates to...shaved ice. Originating from China where ice and fruits were eaten together, it arrived in Korea during the Joseon Dynasty in the late 14th century, where they added red bean paste for sweetness. Then, as a result of foreign influences during the Korean War, more toppings were added like condensed milk, syrups, fresh fruits, rice cakes, jellies, cereal, and soybean flour.

To this day, the most popular version of bingsu is called patbingsu, or red bean shaved ice. The more modernista versions use flavored ice blocks like milk, chocolate, matcha, mango, and coffee.

For my adaptation, I will be freezing cubes of a condensed milk mixture. The dairy and the sugar will allow the ice shavings to be fluffier, softer, and not as crystallized as just straight ice and will be a lot easier to make at home especially if you don't have an ice shaver machine. You can find plenty of options in varying prices on your favorite online marketplace for ice shavers which I do recommend as it will create a better product, but it's not totally necessary.

You can also use a blender or a food processor with the grating attachment. You will also need at least two ice cube trays depending on the size of the cubes. As for the toppings, this recipe includes some of my favorites, but feel free to choose your own adventure!

“What a delightfully refreshing mid-day boost! The Korean Shaved Ice is light and not sweet. I used thawed frozen mango because I could not find a fresh one. I processed half of the ice cubes at a time to be able to control what was happening in my food processor.” —Mary Jo Romano

Korean Shaved Ice Recipe/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Ice:

  • 4 cups whole milk

  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

For the Toppings:

  • 1/2 cup sweetened red beans, more to taste

  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk, more to taste

  • 1 large ripe mango, cubed, more to taste

  • 3 pieces mochi, any flavor, cut into 12 pieces, or 12 gummy candies, more to taste

  • 1/4 cup corn flakes, more to taste

Steps to Make It

Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this Korean shaved ice is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation.

Make the Ice

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients to make Korean shaved ice

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

  2. Whisk the whole milk and condensed milk together in a large measuring cup or pitcher.

    whole and condensed milk is a bowl

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

  3. Pour the milk mixture into ice cube trays and freeze until solid, at least 6 hours.

    milk mixture in ice tray

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

  4. Freeze two serving bowls one hour before serving.

    empty glass goblets

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

Assembling the Bingsu

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients to make Bingsu

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

  2. Spread 1/4 cup of sweetened red bean at the bottom of each of the frozen bowls.

    sweetened red beans inside glass goblets

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

  3. Unmold the frozen cubes into your ice shaver, blender, or food processor and process until it looks like fluffy snow. Divide the shaved ice between the bowls and shape into a cone or a dome.

    milk ice pureed in food processor

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

  4. Drizzle each bowl with half of the condensed milk, top with mangoes, and arrange the mochi around the sides.

    bingsu in glass goblets

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

  5. Finally, top with cornflakes and enjoy immediately.

    bingsu in glass goblets

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack


  • If using a blender or food processor, process the ice in 2 batches in order to get the best results.

Recipe Variations

  • Want to try different ice flavors? Try substituting 1 cup of the whole milk with fruit purée, 1/4 cup of the whole milk with chocolate syrup, or whisking in 1 tablespoon matcha powder into the condensed milk mixture before freezing them into cubes.
  • Need a dairy-free option? No problem! Try substituting the whole milk with coconut milk, and the condensed milk with agave syrup or honey. Squeeze in half an orange, lemon, or lime for some extra zing.
  • Feel free to customize your bingsu. Top with nuts, ice cream, syrups, fresh fruits, or candy.

How to Store

  • Bingsu cannot be kept frozen after it is shaved, as it will just settle back together into one dense block. Alternatively, you can prep a trillion ice cubes and store them in freezer bags until you are ready to use them.

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