Halo-halo, this coveted Filipino dessert is known for its array of toppings, variety of textures and bright colours. Many countries have their own version of a shaved ice dish and this is how Filipinos like to do it!
My mom’s twist
It’s most common to see halo-halo made with shaved ice. This version is prepared how my mom would make it growing up. Rather than using shaved ice, she opts for shaving milk. When comparing shaved ice vs. shaved milk, the milk creates a snow-like texture and really nice flavour!
There’s a HUGE variety of toppings
The toppings are the star when it comes to making halo halo. Some toppings that are used include:
- Sweet beans (adzuki beans in syrup)
- White beans
- Pinipig (flattened rice flakes)
- Garbonzo beans
- Sago or tapioca pearls
- Macapuno strings (coconut shreds)
- Ube halaya (ube jam)
- And SO much more!!!
YES this list may be intimidating but you really don’t need to use all these toppings.
Want to make more Filipino treats? Try out these popular recipes:
LUCKILY you can find pretty much all of these already prepared and jarred at your local Asian grocer. They can usually be found in the Filipino goods aisle or in the international aisle of big box stores. If you live in North America like I do, chances are they won’t carry ALL these toppings at your local grocer but you may have more luck at an Asian grocer if you have access to one.
For a shortcut, some brands make a halo-halo mix which can save you from having to buy separate jars of toppings. They usually consist of sweet beans, nata de coco and sugar palm fruit. All you have to do is add your shaved ice (or milk! ;)) and enjoy!
Measure with your heart
Put your measuring cups away for this one! With halo-halo, you can add as little or as much of your favourite toppings. I try to do a small spoonful of each, especially when using a lot of toppings because they really start to add up. What matters most is that you have enough shaved ice to compliment the other sweet ingredients.
If you don’t have access to an ice shaver, ice your blender!
My family loves halo-halo as a summer treat so we always had an ice shaver on hand. However when I went away for college and didn’t have one, I would just throw some ice cubes in my blender. It always does a decent job!
If you’ve never had halo halo before, take this as your sign to try it!