Summer is coming, and so is that hot, hot heat. Sweeten the transition with this tasty summer treat.
Patbingsu (팥빙수) is one of many delightful red-bean desserts dished out here in Korea. While Koreans love to flavour their confectioneries with the ubiquitous red stuff, a lot of foreigners I know aren't too keen about it. It took me a few tries, but now I love it. So what is patbingsu? Pat (팥) is red azuki bean, boiled and sweetened to make a paste which is then layered over shaved ice or bingsu (빙수). The ice is sweetened with condensed milk, making a lighter-tasting treat than those ice cream sandwiches of summers past. Often topped with some sweet rice cake or ddeok (떡) for texture, patbingsu will cool and refresh.
From early spring to early fall you can get your bingsu fix at most bakery-cafes, major restaurants, and ice cream or coffee shops for 3,000 to 8,000 won. You can't leave leave Korea or enjoy a Korean summer without trying it!