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By Frances J. Yoon

Age Group: Elementary School

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I’ve loved bingsu for a long time. It’s soft and creamy even though it’s made of ice. When you eat bingsu you can taste a lot of flavors. It’s like a waterfall of melting flavorful ice. The burst of wonder can be found in a single bite. There are lots of variations of bingsu but most people like the red bean bingsu. But that is not my favorite. My favorite type is mango bingsu. Some other types of bingsu are injeolmi bingsu (injeolmi is a type of rice cake with bean powder), green tea bingsu, and strawberry bingsu. Some people say injeolmi bingsu tastes like peanut butter in powdered form. But even if you don’t like peanut butter it may still be delicious, even to you!


Bingsu was first discovered during the Joseon dynasty of Korea. It started being a thing when people would eat crushed ice with fruit. As time passed, Koreans added sweetened red beans to it, making it red bean bingsu.


You can make homemade bingsu at home but you can also buy bingsu in most dessert shops in Korea. When I was little, I used to live in Korea and my parents and I used to go out for bingsu even when it was winter. Even though we don’t have it a lot now, sometimes, when there’s nothing to cool me off, I think of bingsu.


One time, my family and I went to a bingsu place in California. It was a hot day and we wanted something to cool us down. So we went inside and ordered a share size bowl of injeolmi bingsu. A couple minutes later, the waiter brought us our order with a mini side bowl with red bean paste and some injeolmi toppings. But what do you know, there’s only 2. TWO!!! 2 bits of injeolmi. It was good though.

Toppings are a very important part of bingsu. Without toppings, it is NOT the bingsu I know. A few toppings are: red bean paste, chopped fruit, groundnut powder, tteok(rice cake), condensed milk, and nuts. But you can even add cookies or candy to make your bingsu even yummier!


Many people may think that bingsu and shaved ice are the same, but in reality they are actually very different. Bingsu’s base has milk in it as shaved ice’s base is, well, ice! Shaved ice adds artificial fruit flavors while bingsu uses real fruit.


When some people first see bingsu, the first thing they’ll think of is, “Why would you grind the ice and eat it?” They might think it’s weird. For example, let’s say a guy who has never had shaved ice came to Korea. He bought some bingsu because he wanted to try new things. He ate some then asked the guy at the table next to him, “What’s this made of?” The other guy said, “It’s ice. They grind it until it’s smooth, then add some syrups and toppings to make it flavorful.” The guy from the story wonders why they make it out of ice.

Another scenario might be this. There are 2 kinds of people who would each react differently after trying bingsu. The first one is the kind that loves it. They eat it, then they love it, gets obsessed with it and eats it everyday. Even moves next to a bingsu shop. Then, there’s the opposite of that. The kind that DOES NOT LIKE IT AT ALL. The kind that makes a face when the bingsu barely touched his tongue. Then he’d never eat it again. Which one do you think you would be?

If you want to try this amazing treat at home, it’s really simple to make. Also, this recipe doesn’t require a machine. I highly recommend trying this at home yourself.

First off, you mix some heavy cream, milk, and condensed milk together. The condensed milk adds sweetness to it. Then, you put it in a bag and lay it flat in the freezer for 3-4 hours. Next, take the frozen ingredients and roll the top of it with a rolling pin until it’s soft. You can chop up fruit or put a couple small bits of injeolmi for your toppings. After putting the bingsu in a bowl and decorating it with your toppings, you can drizzle some condensed milk on top for extra sweetness.

Then, it’s finished! Enjoy your Korean dessert!

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