Hong Kong Classic Drink: Red Bean Ice

This blog post is sponsored by Surrey BC Events.

Virtual Surrey Fusion Festival is now live until October 24, 2021, in participation with Cultural Days. In this festival, you are invited to join our cultural cooking challenge and share a traditional dish via photo, Instagram story, or video for a chance to win one of the four $250 gift cards for Central City Shopping Centre in Surrey. Each week has a different theme, including appetizers (week 1), drinks, entrees, and a dish you have never made before. You will be able to find more details here about this Cultural Cooking Challenge. Today, I would be creating a classic drink, Red Bean Ice, from my hometown, Hong Kong. And I hope this will give you guys some inspiration for your submission as well.

red bean ice - pigoutyvr

What is Red Bean Ice?

Red Bean Ice is a classic Hong Kong dessert drink, with sweetened red beans, evaporated milk, coconut milk, and crushed ice. You can also pair it with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. It is easy to make and addicting to drink.

For me, Red Bean Ice is a special treat as a kid. It is often served in Hong Kong Style cafes (cha chaan teng), and they are part of the specialty drinks section. It is relatively expensive compared to other drinks, so I can only get it on my birthday or when I get an A on exams. When I did get one, I love to take my time scooping out every red bean and ice cream hiding under the ice.

It is actually quite easy to make at home, so I decided to share this recipe, as well as this piece of good childhood memory with you all.

Red Bean Ice with Ice Cream

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Course Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine Chinese, Hong Kong
Servings 1 serving


Sweetened Red Beans

  • 100 g red bean
  • 400 mL water
  • 50 g sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 can sweetened azuki red beans (only if you don't want to prepare and cook)


  • 1 cup small ice cubes
  • 2 part evaporated milk
  • 1 part coconut milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla ice cream


To prepare sweetened red beans:

  • In a large bowl, rinse and wash the red beans 3-4 times. Add water 2 inches above the red beans. Soak preferably overnight or at least 2 hours.
    100 g red bean
  • In a saucepan, add the red beans and 400mL water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook for 50 minutes. Stir occasionally.
    400 mL water, 100 g red bean
  • Add sugar and salt. Cook until the beans are soft and cooked through (approx 20-30 minutes). Stir occasionally to ensure the beans are cooked evenly.
    50 g sugar, A pinch of salt
  • Cook until it thickens. About half of the beans should still stay intact. while others are starting to fall apart. This gives a nice chew to the drink, while some are blended with the milk.
  • If you do not want to prepare the red beans, skip step 1-4 and use a can of sweetened azuki red beans instead. The sweetness and texture are the closest to homemade ones.
    1 can sweetened azuki red beans

To prepare the drink:

  • In a glass, add sweetened red beans. The drink is normally served in a tall glass.
  • Add small ice cubes. If you have a blender, you may blend to make crushed ice.
    1 cup small ice cubes
  • Add evaporated milk and coconut milk. The ratio for evaporated milk and coconut milk is 2:1.
    2 part evaporated milk, 1 part coconut milk
  • Add a scoop of ice cream. Stir well and enjoy.
    1 scoop vanilla ice cream
Keyword Red Bean
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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