Red bean ice cream


My friend C demanded/requested red bean ice cream for my next cooking workshop and I thought to myself, why not? Being Vietnamese/Chinese, I’m familiar with the taste and thought that I wouldn’t have any problem making it for the first time. Being lactose intolerant, I thought that I’d make it with coconut milk instead of cream and I think the taste is actually better.

I prefer my ice cream chunky. Biting into one of these hard, cold nuggets is heaven itself!


  • 250g red beans (adzuki)
  • 1 can of 400mL coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 125-150mL of sugar depending on your sweet tooth
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract


Step 1

Soak the beans overnight.

Step 2

Rinse well.

Step 3

Place the beans in a 5L stock pot. Add cold water, enough to cover the beans.

Step 4

Cook at high heat until the liquid is boiling. Continue for another 3 minutes.

Step 5

Discard the liquid and rinse the beans again.

Step 6

Cook for a second time to boiling and a further 3 minutes before discarding the liquid. This is necessary to remove some of the beany taste.

Step 7

Bring the liquid to a boil and lower the heat to medium. Cook for about 1 hour or until the beans are soft, but not mushy. Keep adding enough water so that there is at least 5cm of water covering the beans.

Step 8

Drain the beans.

Step 9

Reserve 1/5 of the beans (skip this step if you like your ice cream smooth). Set aside. Bung the rest of the beans into a mixer with the coconut milk and whiz until you have a paste.

Step 10

In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch in 3 tablespoons of cold water. Mix well.

Step 11

Transfer the bean paste to a stock pot. Add the salt and sugar.

Step 12

Bring the mixture to a boil at medium heat.

Step 13

Gradually stir in the cornstarch paste.

Step 14

Cook until the mixture has thickened, about 6-8 minutes, constantly stirring to prevent the bottom from burning. Taste and add more sugar if needed.

Step 15

Add the reserved beans and vanilla extract to the bean paste and mix thoroughly.

Step 16

Allow the mixture to cool before spooning into popsicle molds.

Step 17


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