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Mango Bingsu (With or Without Ice Shaver)

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Mango bingsu is a delicious Korean shaved ice dessert that combines sweet and milky shaved ice with plenty of fresh mango chunks, as well as some mango puree and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Perfect for beating the summer heat, this fruity and refreshing dessert can be made with or without an ice shaver.

a mango bingsu in a bowl on a table with some mango syrup on top

One of my summer dessert obsessions is bingsu, whether it’s the fruity ones like my strawberry bingsu or the traditional patbingsu with Korean sweet red beans (팥). Sometimes I’d even get a midnight craving for it and head to the convenience store to get the basic Lotte frozen patbingsu that comes in a pot.

In Korea, summer is usually hot and humid due to the monsoon, so people tend to eat lots of refreshing meals like mul naengmyeon (Korean cold noodles) and bibim naengmyeon (spicy Korean cold noodles), as well as consume plenty of cold beverages like iced lattes. As a dessert, bingsu gets super popular in summer.

To be honest, I’m one of those people who can eat ice cream in winter too. Although it’s harder to find bingsu during the winter season, some places still offer it. So personally, I enjoy bingsu all year round 🙂

What is bingsu?

Bingsu (빙수) is a popular Korean shaved ice dessert. It typically consists of shaved ice topped with various sweet toppings such as condensed milk, fruit, syrup, and sometimes ice cream (my fav 🙂 ). Bingsu can come in a variety of flavors and toppings. Nowadays you’ll find some fancy bingsu with pieces of cheesecakes, tiramisu, cookies, etc. One of the most popular chains is Sulbing.

Bingsu has been a popular dessert in Korea for many decades. However, the specific variation of mango bingsu using locally sourced Irwin mangos became popular in 2007 when the Jeju branch of the Shilla Hotel introduced it to their menu. The hotel claimed that the Irwin mangoes had a particularly sweet and rich flavor, which made their mango bingsu stand out from others available in the market.

The Jeju branch of the Shilla Hotel listed their mango bingsu at a premium price (nowadays the bingsu costs over $60) due to the high-quality ingredients used, and it quickly gained a reputation as a trendy and delicious dessert. As news of the mango bingsu spread, other cafes and restaurants began to offer their own versions of the dish, and it soon became a popular summer treat across the nation.

In 2011, the Shilla Hotel made their special mango bingsu available at their Seoul branch, which helped to further popularize the dessert. The Shilla Hotel’s reputation as a luxury hotel chain and their focus on high-quality ingredients helped to cement the mango bingsu’s status as a premium dessert in Korea. Today, mango bingsu remains a popular dessert option at many cafes and restaurants throughout Korea, and it continues to evolve with new variations and twists on the classic recipe.

a mango bingsu bowl on a table

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE

  • Refreshing and cool. The shaved ice combined with the sweet and tangy mango creates a satisfying and cooling sensation.
  • Customizable. You can adjust the sweetness to your liking, add more or less mango, or add different types of toppings.
  • Quick & easy. Besides freezing the milk to make shaved milk ice, putting together a mango bingsu will barely take you 15 minutes.
  • Basic ingredients. You can make this recipe with basic ingredients available in any supermarket. No need to go to the Asian/Korean grocery store.

Ingredients

  • milk – I use full-fat milk to get more creamy snowflakes but you can use skimmed milk if you prefer. For dairy-free alternatives, you can use almond milk or soy milk but note that those types of milk will change the taste of your shaved ice as opposed to cow milk.
  • sweetened condensed milk – use some condensed milk to sweeten your milk.

toppings

  • vanilla ice cream – I personally like to add ice cream to my bingsu but it’s definitely not compulsory. And, if you like, mango sorbet also goes great with this recipe.
  • mango – cut a fresh mango into cubes or use frozen mangoes. For the topping, I like to use frozen mangoes just because they’re usually already cut into cubes and they’re frozen so it feels like having some bits of mango ice cream.
  • roasted shaved almonds – this is optional but shaved almonds go so well with mango and vanilla ice cream. They bring a nutty flavor to the bingsu.
  • condensed milk – this is also optional but it’s quite usual to drizzle some condensed milk on top of a bingsu.

mango puree

  • mango – for the puree, you can use fresh or frozen mango. Here, I usually use a fresh mango since one mango is usually the perfect quantity and there is no need to defrost it.
  • sugar – I add a small amount of sugar to sweeten the puree, but if you’re conscious about your sugar intake, you can omit it. The mango itself is already naturally sweet, and the ice cream also contributes some sweetness to the bingsu.
  • lemon – lemon juice also helps to prevent the mango from oxidizing and turning brown, keeping the puree looking fresh and vibrant.
  • water – you can adjust the amount of water according to your desired thickness of the puree.
mango bingsu ingredients

How To Make mango bingsu?

Make the mango puree

  • Mix mango, sugar, lemon, and water in a blender until you obtain a thin puree. Transfer the puree to a pot and cook over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved. Transfer the puree to a container and let it cool in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. You can skip the cooking step as it is not necessary. However, cooking the mango puree helps to create a smoother and creamier texture and intensifies the flavor of the mango.

Make the shaved ice

  • Mix milk with sweetened condensed milk. Pour the milk into a zip bag and close it properly. Use a zip bag that is big enough so that when you lay the milk flat, it is not higher than 0.5 cm / 0.2 inch (it’s easier to crack it afterwards). If using an ice shaver, use the provided containers to pour the milk and condensed milk in. Freeze them for at least 5 hours or overnight.
  • Once the milk is well-frozen, crack the frozen milk into pieces with your hands, then use a rolling pin to crush the frozen milk further. If using an ice shaver, place the milk blocks into the ice shaver and process.

Note: if you have an ice shaver, you will get perfect milk snowflakes however, if you do not own one, you can still make a bingsu using the above mentionned method. Also note that an Asian-style ice shaver (I used to use this one, I now make it manually) will produce thinner and more delicate ice flakes compared to a regular ice shaver. This is because the blades of Asian-style ice shavers are designed to shave the ice in a specific way that creates a softer and fluffier texture, which is preferred for many traditional Asian desserts such as bingsu.

Assemble the bingsu

  • In a large bowl, add shaved ice. Top with mango cubes then add a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the centre.
  • Pour the mango puree on top.
  • Drizzle some condensed milk.
  • Sprinkle shaved almonds.

Variations

  1. Mango Coconut Bingsu – top your mango bingsu with a generous amount of coconut flakes and replace milk with coconut milk. Or add two tablespoons of coconut cream to the milk instead of condensed milk.
  2. Mango Cheesecake Bingsu – adding cheesecake pieces to bingsu has become popular. Simply cut up a slice of cheesecake into small cubes and sprinkle them over the shaved ice, placing some in the middle and some on top for extra texture and flavor.
  3. You can also add some yogurt or whipped cream on top of the bingsu instead of ice cream.
  4. For a chewy texture, you can add some tteok (Korean rice cakes) specifically made for bingsu.

How to serve bingsu?

Bingsu is typically served in a large bowl or dish. It’s usually eaten with a spoon and is often shared between two or more people, making it a popular dessert to enjoy with friends or family.

How To Store?

Bingsu is best served fresh and consumed immediately after preparation. However, you can prepare the mango puree up to 3 days in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Emma’s Tips

  • Choose ripe mangoes – the quality of the mangoes you use will have a huge impact on the flavor of your bingsu. Make sure to choose ripe, sweet, and juicy mangoes for the best results.
  • Freeze your bowl – before assembling the bingsu, you can chill the bowl in the freezer to keep the bingsu cold and prevent it from melting too quickly. I usually skip this step, but it can be helpful if it’s particularly hot and you don’t have airco.
milk shaved ice in a clear bowl topped with mangoes, mango puree, condensed milk and vanilla ice cream

RECIPE FAQ


Shaved ice and shaved milk ice are both low in calories and fat compared to other desserts. However, shaved milk ice may have a slightly higher calorie and fat content due to the addition of milk. In fact, back at the time, bingsu shaved ice was made with water rather than milk which is the more modern version of it.

  1. Stand the mango on its end and slice off the two flat sides of the fruit. The mango seed is oblong and located in the center of the fruit, so you should cut parallel to the seed.
  2. Score the mango flesh in a crosshatch pattern without cutting through the skin.
  3. Invert the scored mango half by pushing the skin side up, and gently press on the skin to pop the mango cubes out.

Yes, you can make mango bingsu without condensed milk. Instead, you can use some white sugar to sweeten the milk. You can also substitute condensed milk with heavy cream or coconut cream to create a creamier texture.

It’s not recommended to make bingsu ahead of time because it’s best served fresh. If you prepare the shaved ice and toppings beforehand, they may lose their texture and flavor when stored in the freezer or refrigerator. However, you can prepare the mango puree and place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

More Asian dessert recipes

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a bowl with korean mango bingsu (korean shaved ice)

Mango Bingsu – Korean Shaved Ice (With or Without Ice Shaver)

Mango bingsu is a delicious Korean shaved ice dessert that combines sweet and milky shaved ice with plenty of fresh mango chunks, as well as some mango puree and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Perfect for beating the summer heat, this fruity and refreshing dessert can be made with or without an ice shaver.
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Korean
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Freezing Time: 5 hours
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 18 minutes
Servings: 1 bingsu
Calories per serving: 854kcal
Author: Emma Choi

Ingredients

  • 400 ml milk
  • 2 tbsp sweetened condensed milk

topping

  • 1 scoop vanilla ice cream
  • 200 g fresh or frozen mango , cut into cubes
  • roasted shaved almonds , optional
  • a drizzle of condensed milk , optional

mango puree

  • 250 g fresh or frozen mango , chopped
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • a few lemon drops
  • 60 ml water

Instructions

Make the mango puree

  • Mix mango, sugar, lemon, and water in a blender until you obtain a thin puree. Transfer the puree to a pot and cook over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved. Transfer the puree to a container and let it cool in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. You can skip the cooking step as it is not necessary. However, cooking the mango puree helps to create a smoother and creamier texture and intensifies the flavor of the mango.

Make the shaved ice

  • Mix milk with sweetened condensed milk. Pour the milk into a zip bag and close it properly. Use a zip bag that is big enough so that when you lay the milk flat, it is not higher than 0.5 cm / 0.2 inch (it’s easier to crack it afterwards). If using an ice shaver, use the provided containers to pour the milk and condensed milk in. Freeze them for at least 5 hours or overnight.
  • Once the milk is well-frozen, crack the frozen milk into pieces with your hands, then use a rolling pin to crush the frozen milk further. If using an ice shaver, place the milk blocks into the ice shaver and process.

Assemble the bingsu

  • In a large bowl, add shaved ice. Top with mango cubes then add a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the centre.
  • Pour the mango puree on top.
  • Drizzle some condensed milk.
  • Sprinkle shaved almonds.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 854kcalCarbohydrates: 138gProtein: 24gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 271mgPotassium: 1687mgFiber: 8gSugar: 131gVitamin A: 5925IUVitamin C: 166mgCalcium: 772mgIron: 1mg
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