Some of you may be familiar with halo-halo thanks to a nearby Jollibee. For those of us not as lucky, I tried to do it justice. Put simply, it is the perfect dessert for to beat the summer heat.
The essential ingredients are some fruit on the bottom, followed by shaved ice, evaporated or condensed milk, then ube ice cream. Past that, and you can customize it however you want. You want flan and tapioca pearls? Sure! Want something crazy like sour gummi worms and frozen Mountain Dew? I mean, you could…Jump to Recipe
History of Halo-Halo
Most scholars trace the origin of halo-halo to pre-WW2 Japanese-Filipinos, living in the Philippines. Back then, sweetened mung beans were served over ice. It satisfied the urge to have something sweet, and the ice would cool you down in those hot, tropical summers.
Over time the more Japanese mung beans gave way to more local Filipino ingredients, such as jackfruit, ube (purple yam), and leche flan to name a few. Now, the name translates roughly to “mixed”, an homage to all the different ingredients you can use to make it.
How To Make Halo-Halo
One thing I love about this dish is that anyone can make it. Yes, even you, the guy who burns pasta water somehow. This isn’t really cooking, it’s more of an assembly. The ingredients are all tasty on their own, so it’s more about how you arrange it. If it appeals to the eyes, it will appeal to the tongue more too.
Tips I Learned
I ended up making halo-halo 3 times for this recipe and visiting a Filipino food truck in an old trainyard twice (that part was for fun). The main pitfall I found was choosing the wrong kind of milk. Apparently, evaporated filled milk is a thing. You can theoretically use it, but it will taste off. They add soybean oil to the milk to cut down on the price. Not as noticeable in baked goods, but if you’re drinking it straight from the can, you’ll notice.
I tried with coconut milk out of curiosity. It isn’t as good, simply because it isn’t nearly as sweet. So, if you need to watch your sugar intake this is a viable option. Otherwise, evaporated milk or sweetened condensed milk (even sweeter) are the best options.
Assemble Your Version
The preferred way to serve halo-halo is in a tall glass, but a bowl will work too. First, put your fruits on the bottom. Other stuff you might put here includes: jellies, tapioca pearls, yam, boiled taro, pinipig rice, and red beans. Next, add the evaporated milk. Add a big scoop of shaved ice. Finally, a scoop or two of ube ice cream with any extras you might want to make it pop visually. I used gummy bears, but the food truck used Fruity Pebbles and flan!
I like to eat it with a spoon and a straw at the same time. This lets you alternate eating from different layers of the dessert, so each bite is something new.
Other Dessert Recipes
- ¼ cup mango sliced
- ¼ cup bobas
- 2 tbsp passionfruit optional
- ¾ cup evaporated milk or condensed milk
- ½ cup shaved ice
- 1 scoop ube ice cream
- 3 tbsp flan optional
- 2 tbsp gummy bears
- 1 tbsp shredded coconut
- ½ tbsp pecans optional
- 1 tbsp sweet corn kernels
- Get a tall glass and add mango, bobas, and passionfruit to the bottom.
- Add a large scoop of shaved ice on top of the fruit. Pour evaporated milk over the ice.
- Put your ube ice cream on top of the ice, lay flan next to it if desired. Sprinkle toppings to finish and make it your own. I used coconut, gummy bears, pecans, and corn. Enjoy!