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The bingsu invasion

Joshua Tan Sheng Yao


Published: 8 July 2015, 5:10 PM

What makes the Korean dessert so well received in Singapore?

The Korean wave has taken over our little red dot for a few years now, and it is showing no signs of slowing down.

The latest Korean food trend in Singapore? Bingsu!

You may have noticed photos of bingsu making its rounds on social media recently. The Korean dessert is made up of shaved ice and various toppings, depending on the flavours you order.

The patbingsu (“pat” and “bingsu translate to “red bean” and “shaved ice” in Korean respectively), is one of the more popular flavours. The ingredients accompanying it are rice cakes, soya bean powder, azuki red beans, almond milk flakes and a scoop of ice cream.

Given the commercial success of bingsu, different and unique flavours are emerging to cater towards our local palate. O’ma Spoon, a Korean dessert café in Singapore, offers “modified” flavours such as choco brownie, mango cheesecake and green tea.

THE CHOCO BROWNIE BINGSU, TOPPED OFF WITH A SCOOP OF ICE CREAM PHOTO CREDIT: OMASPOON.COM

So, what is it about the bingsu that makes it so popular amongst people these days?

What I particularly like about bingsu is the syrup that accompanies it. You can pour it onto the dessert yourself to suit your taste buds. Those who prefer it not too sweet, like me, will still be able to savour the dessert the way it is.

The sweet treat is a crowd favourite in Korea during the summer season, and the sweltering heat in Singapore all year round creates the perfect environment for locals to indulge in a bowl of bingsu.

22-year-old Singapore Management University undergraduate Kaylen Teo said: “I love it! It’s something refreshing and it’s different from the usual ones we get in Singapore. (Since) the weather is crazy hot these days, all I want is to have something sweet and cold. Bingsu is just the right thing.”

A typical bowl of bingsu can cost you $10 to $20, depending on how complex the flavour is. This costs 10 times more than your usual bowl of ice kacang, which makes the Korean dessert a tad pricey to some.

KOREA’S BINGSU REMINDS US OF OUR ICE KACANG, WHICH CONSISTS OF SHAVED ICE DRIZZLED WITH COLOURED SYRUP PHOTO CREDIT: SINGAPORE50.SG

“I think paying over 10 bucks for a huge chunk of ice with toppings isn’t very worth it. It’s worth trying, but I think I will stick to the ice kacang; cheap and tasty,” said Lim Chee Hui, 18, who is in her sophomore year at Nanyang Polytechnic.

Having tried the bingsu personally, I think you should have a shot at the dessert to refresh your taste buds. However, having a bowl all by yourself may be rather overwhelming.

You should consider sharing a bowl with two to three people—you will get to split the costs too! After all, good things are meant to be shared, no?

I TRIED THE INJEOLMI BINGSU, WHICH IS COVERED WITH YELLOW ROASTED BEAN POWDER, ALMONDS AND CASHEW NUTS

Would you try this sweet and icy treat?


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