Halo-halo is a Filipino-style shaved ice made with sweetened beans, fruits, and jellies and topped with milk, Leche flan, purple yam jam, and ice cream. It’s a cold and refreshing treat you’ll want year-round!
We’re in the midst of summer here in Texas, and if there’s one thing about Texas in summer, it’s hot. Like, really HOT. Like, some days it’s 95 F, and you’re grateful it’s only 95 F.
I’m never more as appreciative as I am from June to September that I work from home and seldom leave the house. The girl gotta eat, though, and I occasionally have to brave the oppressive temperature for a food run. Boy, the blistering heat and humidity feel like you’re walking in a bowl of soup!
But as much as I whine about the hot weather, there is no other place we’d rather live. Four months of Summer is not that bad when we have a beautiful fall and mild winter to look forward to. Besides, a scorching hot day is more reason to enjoy a tall glass of halo-halo!
What is Halo-halo
Halo-halo, which translates to “mix-mix,” is said to have originated from the Japanese shaved ice, kakigori, and was brought to our shores by Japanese migrants who settled near the ice manufacturing plant in Quinta, Manila.
This Filipino cold dessert is made with sweetened beans, fruits, and root crops such as monggo, bananas, jackfruit, sweet potatoes, ube, nata de coco, and young coconut.
The delicious assortment is topped with shaved ice, milk, Leche flan, and ice cream. It’s also common to finish it off with a generous sprinkling of crispy pinipig or pounded rice for extra crunch.
As its name suggests, the colorful add-ins are mixed into a creamy and refreshing treat. Each component marries into an exciting medley of creamy, soft, chewy tastes and textures that’s like a party in your mouth!
Choice of Mix-ins
Don’t let the long list below intimidate you! This Filipino shaved ice is very customizable, and you can have as many or as few items as you like. You can make all the components from scratch or use storebought.
- Coconut Gel (nata de coco)
- Sugar Palms (kaong)
- Sweetened jackfruit (langka)
- Sweetened saba bananas
- Ripe Manila mango slices
- Sweetened sweet potatoes (kamote)
- Sweetened beans such as garbanzos, red beans, or white beans
- Sweet corn kernels
- Gulaman made from agar-agar bars or powdered jelly mix (reduce water required in the recipe to yield a firmer texture)
- Tapioca or sago pearls
- Young coconut (buko) or sweetened coconut sport (macapuno)
- Evaporated or fresh milk
- Pinipig or rice crispies
- Purple yam jam (ube halaya)
- Leche Flan
- Ice cream (mango, ube, or vanilla flavor)