Kakigōri, or Japanese shaved ice, is a summertime favorite for people of all ages. The icy dessert is made by shaving solid blocks of ice and then topping it with syrups or sauces to create a variety of flavors.
Whether you enjoy the classic strawberry flavor or something more adventurous like green tea with azuki beans, there’s a kakigōri for everyone.
Here’s everything you need to know about this delicious summer treat.
What Is Kakigōri?
Kakigōri (かき氷) is Japanese shaved ice flavored with sweet syrup and condensed milk. The dessert’s name comes from the Japanese words kaki (shave) and Koori (ice).
Kakigōri originated in Kyoto during the Edo period (1603-1867) when it was called kakizome mochi. The name changed to kakigōri during the Meiji period (1868-1912).
Kakigōri is similar to another, slightly more complex Japanese dessert called anmitsu, which includes mochi, red bean paste, and fruit in addition to shaved ice. Kakigōri is often seen at summer festivals and fairs, where it’s sold from colorful mobile carts with striped canopies.
Kakigōri was invented in Japan but has since become popular throughout Asia.
In mainland China, the treatment is referred to as baobing (抱冰), and you can find it at street food stalls during the warmer months. Kakigōri is also very popular in Taiwan, where it’s sold from carts and also at night markets.
Why Is Kakigōri Popular?
The answer is quite simple: it’s delicious!
Traditionally made from ice shavings and flavored syrup, Kakigōri has been around for many years, but the sweet treat has recently become an even bigger hit with the creation of new and exciting flavors. From fruit to green tea, there’s something for everyone.
You can even find regional variations such as kinako (roasted soybean flour) or matcha Kakigōri in Kyoto and Kansai, as well as Yuzu-Kosho (chili-citrus paste) in Kagoshima.
Here’s another great thing about this refreshing summer dessert: it can be enjoyed by everyone! Whether you’re a tourist or a local, you don’t need to know much about Japanese culture in order to enjoy this tasty treat.
You can easily find Kakigōri on any street corner across Japan during the hot summer months. It’s also very affordable; most flavors cost around 500 yen per cup, which is less than $5 USD!
How Many Flavors Of Kakigōri Are There?
The most common flavors of kakigōri are vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate. Many vendors also offer fruit-flavored varieties such as melon (including cantaloupe and watermelon), pineapple, mango, and peach.
Some vendors also offer savory versions of the dessert that feature uni (sea salt), furikake (a blend of dried fish), or other toppings such as corn flakes or condensed milk.
Some of the most common flavors include:
- Vanilla – Vanilla is the most popular flavor for kakigōri in Japan, and it’s easy to understand why. The combination of sweet creaminess and mild vanilla flavor makes this flavor perfect for all ages.
- Strawberry – Strawberry is another top choice among Japanese people, as well as foreign visitors who have tried this delicious treat. It also has a high nutritional value since it contains vitamin C and calcium.
- Matcha – This is a green tea that is usually served in a bowl or mug and mixed with hot water. It comes in many different grades and qualities and can be expensive or cheap depending on the quality of matcha powder used to make it. When people say they want to “matcha” something, they usually mean that they want to add green tea powder to the dish.
- Yuzu – This is a citrus fruit commonly used in Japan. It has a very distinct flavor and smells that you either love or hate!
- Kuromame (Taro) – A root vegetable that tastes like potatoes with an earthy flavor similar to a sweet potato but with more bite from the taro root itself. Taro can be eaten raw with salt or cooked as part of a meal or snack food such as Kakigōri!
Types of Kakigōri in Japan
This dish goes by many other names like yakitori, yakimeni – and even sundaes! You can fix your filling with no extra effort as they offer great toppings like strawberry pineapple syrup or caramel sauce for those who love sweets along with whipped cream.
Matcha Green Tea Syrup, Mochi, and Azuki Beans
The sweet red bean paste Anko and balls of mochi are addictive, but it doesn’t stop there! Green tea ice cream makes this Japanese rice cake hybrid so rich in flavor you’ll want to eat every last bite before its melts in your hand (or mouth).
Shirokuma is the Japanese word for the polar bear. This frozen dessert has been popular in southern Japan, Kyushu since the Edo era and it’s a form of shaved ice with condensed milk syrup drizzled on top topped off by fruit or mochi!
How To Make Kakigori
- Frozen strawberries
- Lemon juice
- Put everything in the pan
- Bring to a boil over low heat
- Cook until mixture thickens (about 2 to 3 minutes).
- Wait for it to cool before adding it to the kakigōri (If you keep the syrup hot it will melt the ice)
To complete your strawberry khakigōri, pour the strawberry syrup and condensed milk over a pile of shaved ice. Strawberry syrup is also great on pancakes and ice cream.
Nutritional Values Of Kakigōri
The nutritional values depend on what flavor you choose to top your Kakigōri with. It’s also important to note that some Kakigōri stands will also offer small side dishes, such as rice cakes or mochi (rice balls), which can add an extra layer of sweetness and fun to the meal.
Here are some nutritional values for common topping choices:
- Calories: 146
- Carbs: 35
- Fat: 0g
- Protein: 1g
Where Can You Get Kakigōri?
If you’re looking for kakigōri in the U.S., look no further than your local Japanese grocery store. Kakigōri is a staple of Japanese cuisine, and the Japanese food industry has made it available to Americans who can’t make it back to Japan anytime soon.
You can also find kakigōri at some Asian grocers, but if you want authentic Japanese products, go with a Japanese grocery store. If you don’t know where to start, check out our guide on how to shop at an Asian grocery store.
You can also order kakigōri online from Amazon Japan or another online retailer.
FAQs Related To Kakigōri
What Can I Put On My Homemade Kakigōri?
Here are some ideas for what you can put on your homemade kakigōri:
- Cinnamon (and other spices) – Add cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, or nutmeg to the syrup when cooking it down.
- Nuts – Toasted nuts give a nice crunch to your kakigōri. Try almonds, pecans, or walnuts. You can also use raw nuts if you prefer them softer.
- Dried fruits – Raisins and dried apricots are good choices for adding sweetness and texture to your kakigōri.
- Sprinkles – Candy sprinkles are another way to add color and sweetness without adding too much sugar.
How Fast Can Kakigōri Melt?
The answer is…it depends! The type of syrup you use and the temperature outside will affect how quickly your Kakigōri melts.
You can see that if you use a thicker syrup, like honey or molasses, it will take longer for your Kakigōri to melt than if you use regular simple syrup. Also, using condensed milk instead of regular milk will slow down the melting process because of its higher sugar content.
How Can I Keep Kakigōri From Melting Quickly?
Here are some tips for making sure you get to enjoy your kakigōri for as long as possible:
- Make sure to get your order as soon as possible. If you order ahead of time, the ice will have more time to melt before you eat it!
- Don’t overfill your cup. If you cover too much of the surface area with toppings, then there won’t be much room left for ice — and your drink will melt faster!
- Don’t leave your cup out in the sun for too long. Heat will accelerate melting considerably!
- If you’re using an aluminum cup, place it on top of another surface so that it doesn’t touch anything directly (like concrete or metal) — this will help keep condensation from forming inside the cup!
What Happens If I Eat Kakigōri Too Much?
If you have ever eaten this delicacy, you will know that it is delicious. However, can you eat too much of it? As with anything else in life, moderation is key.
If you eat too much of anything, you can get sick from it. This includes Kakigōri. Many people see this as a treat, so they may eat more than they realize because they think that it is fine to just have some more.
The danger comes from the fact that Kakigōri contains a lot of sugar. Eating too much sugar can lead to problems such as diabetes and tooth decay.
To avoid these issues, try not to eat more than one serving at one time and make sure that you wash your teeth after consuming Kakigōri (or any other sweet treat).
Can Kids Eat Kakigōri?
While many adults believe that kakigōri is a dish completely unsuitable for children, the truth is that this frozen dessert can actually be enjoyed by children of all ages. This sweet, refreshing treat is made by shaving ice, then topping it with flavored syrup and other toppings.
While some commercial brands have added sugar and artificial ingredients, it’s important to choose a high-quality kakigōri made with only natural ingredients.
So whether you’re looking for a delicious way to cool off on a hot summer day or simply want to give your kids a fun new dessert, kakigōri can certainly be enjoyed by kids of All ages favorite!
Thank you for reading our post on kakigōri. We hope that you will be inspired to try this delicious summer treat yourself!
If you have any questions or comments, please let us know in the comments section below.
Have a good day!