Ice Kachang Singapore

Ice Kachang / Shaved Iced Rainbow Dessert Recipe

{Ice Kachang / Shaved Iced Rainbow Dessert Recipe} I love autumn because it has to be the most appetising season of all! It’s when we start slowing down and making time to linger in the way we prepare and enjoy our food. As the home chef I love bringing to the dinner table the best of our favourite comfort foods—’tis surely the season to bring on the stews, soups and casseroles!

As for sweets…I know. It’s also perhaps arguably the best time to bake due to the chilly weather yet right now I’m craving for easy desserts that don’t require baking!

All I seem to be in the mood for is…a refreshing, almost guilt-free dessert. Some of my best inspiration for desserts have come from reminiscing those unforgettable treats I’ve enjoyed in my childhood growing up in Singapore, like Ice Kachang!

I might attribute the cravings to this newly acquired cute panda ice shaver machine.

Panda Manual Ice Shaver
Panda Manual Ice Shaver
too cute…

One afternoon we were invited to tea at one of our Singaporean friends’ new pad and they whipped out this cute gadget to serve us a shaved iced dessert. It comes with a nifty manual (rotatable) handle. When the handle is turned, the machine simultaneously shaves a cylindrical block of ice (made ahead by freezing water in the moulds that come with the machine) as you wind it.

We were suitably impressed by the remarkably fine texture of the ice. On scrutiny, we noticed that the fine texture is achieved through direct contact between the ice block and the razor blade located inside the base.

By the end of the afternoon we were sold. Couldn’t resist getting our own panda! The only drawback is having to freeze and store a few of the blocks ahead of time instead of being able to use ice cubes straight out the freezer.

ON a side note—I do own an electric ice crusher that swallows and spits out crushed grains of granita-like ice but yet would be nowhere near the desired texture I was after i.e. finely shaven ice best suited for an Asian-style shaved iced dessert like Ice Kachang or Chendol. (You could also use a good sturdy blender to get finely crushed ice as an alternative to this manual machine).

I can now make Ice Kachang at home after a couple of experiments I’ve made using my Panda machine. Am only too glad to share my recipe. Hope you all enjoy it!

What is Ice Kachang? (pronounced as ‘ice-car-chunk’)
Ice Kachang (Ais kacang—in Malay)is a shaved ice dessert I grew up with in Singapore comprising of a base of sweetened red (adzuki)beans, agar-agar (or jelly) cubes, grass jelly and cream corn. They are the fun part of this delicious refreshing dessert, much like ‘hidden treasures’. These edible ‘precious gems’ are buried under a colourful mountainous mound of shaven ice drizzled over with evaporated milk, condensed milk, red rose syrup (often with other coloured cordial syrups) and gula melaka (dark palm sugar)syrup.

There’s many other hybrids in both Singapore and Malaysia with interesting (sometimes eyebrow-raising novelty flavours) variations like durian, chocolate and ice-cream-added Ice Kachang. The traditional Singaporean version almost always includes ‘Attap chee’ (palm nuts) which is not quite a real ‘nut’ but rather a chewy, almond-shaped translucent-like pod.

Why it’s to die for
The joy of Ice Kachang lies in first demolishing the sweet colourful mountain of milk-drenched ice before you get to the hidden treasures that lie beneath the bottom of the dessert bowl. I always thought it was most definitely an Asian kid’s version of a Sundae! Super refreshing and thirst-quenching when you’re perpetually clad in balmy summer there!

My childhood Memories of Ice Kachang
The best Ice Kachang I’ve ever had growing up in sunny Singapore had been from this tiny nook of a hawker stall, ‘Hollywood Dessert Stall’ located originally at the old Haig Road food centre in Singapore. It has since re-located to the Bedok Food Centre.

One of my cousins used to cycle on his bicycle to the Haig Road stall to buy takeaway Chendol and Ice-Kachang for us at supper time. I’m not quite sure how he managed the acrobatics on his bike but he never dropped a single packet! That was always such a treat to look forward to on weekends. Yes, by the time I got them, my Ice Kachang would’ve melted into a coloured puddle with a small block of ice floating in the bowl, but not that I cared. I was pretty easy to please as a kid!

Ice Kachang / Singapore-style Shaved Ice Dessert Recipe


1 piece of round ice block frozen from ice shaver mould, or
2 cups ice cubes (blended into a ‘finely shaved ice texture used in frappes)

1/4 of a cylinder block of gula melaka/palm sugar boiled with 1 C water till completely melted); or substitute with 1/4 Cup dark brown sugar boiled with 1/3 cup water

2 TB condensed milk or evaporated milk (drizzled over the ice)
1 TB rose syrup
2 TB canned red beans (whole, not minced)
2 TB canned creamed sweet corn
2 TB canned grass jelly cubes/ almond toufu cubes
4 or more canned or fresh longans (or any fruit you fancy!)
As many *Attap chee (palm nuts) as you like! *optional

Add all the ingredients for the gula melaka syrup in a small sauce pan. Melt completely on medium heat as you keep stirring the syrup. Turn off the heat and let it cool. Reserve for later.

Start by spooning the desired amount of ingredients for your Ice Kachang into a small round bowl. The best size is to use a deeper, small dessert-sized bowl about the size of your palm.

Prepare the shaved ice by inserting the round block of ice made from the mould that comes packaged with the ice shaver. Position your bowl with the ingredients right under the opening on the ice shaver where the crushed ice will emerge once shaven.

Affix the ‘cap’ of the panda bear with the handle on the knob and turn it while pressing down firmly on the top of the of the ice shaver to get as much ice out as possible. (Pressing down firmly on the top ensures closer contact between the ice block and the razor).

Note: If using a blender, ensure the ice cubes become finely crushed to a frappe texture (not a granita texture)—this means you won’t hear it crush in your mouth as you chew. It should melt almost immediately in your mouth.

If using a blender, transfer the shaved ice to top the ingredients you have spooned out into the small bowl, and drizzle over the evaporated milk and/or condensed milk and syrup. Then drizzle over any coloured cordial you are using. I like rose syrup best! Serve immediately as it melts really quickly once the liquids are added to the shaved ice!

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