Taiwanese Shaved Ice: A Cool and Refreshing Delight

Taiwanese Shaved Ice

What is Taiwanese Shaved Ice?

In the scorching heat of summer, there’s nothing quite like indulging in a delicious treat that not only cools you down but also tantalizes your taste buds.

Taiwanese Shaved Ice, also known as “Bao Bing or Tsua Bing” is a delightful dessert that has gained immense popularity not only in Taiwan but across the globe.

In this article we’ll take you on a journey through the origins, variations, and irresistible flavors of Taiwanese Shaved Ice.


Are Taiwanese Shaved Ice and Snow Ice the Same?

Nope, not even close!

Snow Ice uses a specially made ice block with fruit flavors and milk that is shaved razor thin to create a fluffy snow like texture.

Taiwanese Shaved Ice on the other hand is more similar to Snow Cones and Hawaiian Shave Ice.  Shaved Ice uses an ice block which is then topped with delicious treats like fruit and red bean (if you’re into that kinda thing).

Types of Shaved Ice

The History of Taiwanese Shaved Ice

Taiwanese Shaved Ice has a rich history dating back to ancient times in China.  Sometime around the 7th Century this ice delight was enjoyed by the elite and was considered a royal treat.

Over the centuries and with the advent of modern freezing and refrigeration, it evolved and became a favorite street food.


Shaved Ice Ingredients and Recipe

Shaved Ice Block

It all starts with a big block of clean ice that fits perfectly into a Taiwanese Shaved Ice Machine.

Syrups and Toppings

Without toppings, shaved ice would be, well, just ice.  Toppings are what really makes Taiwanese Shaved Ice stand out and can include everything from traditional red bean paste to exotic fruits like mango and lychee, there’s a wide array of choices to customize your dessert.

Popular Shaved Ice Flavors

Classic Red Bean Shaved Ice

The classic Taiwanese Shaved Ice features sweet red bean paste, condensed milk, and chewy rice cakes. It’s a nostalgic favorite that warms the heart.

If Red Bean for Dessert Doesn’t Make Your Mouth Water, then Stick with Fruit!

Fruit Explosion

For those who crave freshness, the Fruit Explosion is a must-try. Generous servings of fresh fruits, such as strawberries, kiwis, and pineapples, are layered over shaved ice and drizzled with fruit syrups.

Matcha Madness

Matcha enthusiasts will adore the Matcha Madness variation. It combines the earthy goodness of matcha green tea with sweet mochi and red bean, creating a delightful contrast of flavors.


How to Make Taiwanese Shaved Ice

Making Taiwanese Shaved Ice is easier than you might think.

All you need is a good-quality ice shaver, your favorite syrups, and toppings.

First, Freeze Your Ice Block:

Find a suitable container, pour in your clean water and freeze your ice block for 8-12 hours.

Next, Put the ice block in your Ice Shaver and start shaving!

Now, layer on the Goodness

In a bowl or dish, layer the shaved ice with your chosen toppings. Be creative and mix flavors for a unique experience.

Finally, Drizzle with Syrup

Generously drizzle your favorite syrup over the top. The syrup adds sweetness and flavor to every bite.


Wrapping Up

Taiwanese Shaved Ice and Snow Ice are both iconic desserts that can cool you off on a hot day but are definitely NOT THE SAME!

Shaved Ice is more than just a dessert; it’s an experience where you can travel back into time and enjoy this thousand year old treat.  Whether you enjoy the classic version or explore the innovative variations, it’s a treat that never disappoints.

Get ready to embark on a culinary journey to Taiwan without leaving your home kitchen. Try your hand at making Taiwanese Shaved Ice, experiment with different flavors, and share this cool sensation with your friends and family.



What is the origin of Taiwanese Shaved Ice?

Taiwanese Shaved Ice dates back to ancient times in China and was initially enjoyed by the elite.

What’s the Difference between Taiwan Shaved Ice and Snow Ice?

Shaved Ice uses a regular Ice Block while Snow Ice uses an ice block made with milk and fruit flavors.

What are some popular toppings for Taiwanese Shaved Ice?

Popular toppings include sweet red bean paste, fresh fruits, mochi, and condensed milk.

Is Taiwanese Shaved Ice only popular in Taiwan?

Nope, it has gained popularity worldwide and you can find it in various countries due to its delicious and refreshing nature.

What is Taiwanese Shaved Ice Called in Chinese?

In Taiwan, most people call it 剉冰tsua bing

In China, most refer to it as 刨冰bàobīng

Taiwanese Shaved Ice vs Bing Su

Bing Su is from Korea while Shaved Ice and Snow Ice are from Taiwan.