Looking for some fresh, exotic desserts? We zoom in some of Asia’s defining sweet treats
Sorry Europe; there is no tiramisu, lava cake or cheesecake in this list of desserts. These are just some exotic treats that millions of people in Asia enjoy every day:
Red Bean Soup
Some of us might be used to eating soup before a meal but dessert soup is a popular end-of-meal treat in many countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. Made from red adzuki beans and brightened with the tangy citrus of dried tangerine peel, it is normally served warm and has a subtle, sweet flavor. In Japan, it comes porridge-style with rice dumplings, while in Vietnam, the dessert is served cold with rich coconut milk.
These pastel-coloured treats hailing from the Land of the Rising Sun do not just look appealing: one bite of mochi and you will never look back. Traditionally made from short-grain Japonica glutinous rice, mochi can be found in a rainbow of shapes and colors. One of the latest rages is enjoying them as a delicious ice cream treat ¬– not to be missed!
Tip: Need some fortune? Look for the type of mochi known as Daifuku — its name translates as “good luck”.
This multi-layered Thai treat is as eye-catching as it is sweet. Its smooth and sticky consistency is a lot like JELL-O but its ingredients are all natural. Khanom chan is made up of three types of flour — rice, arrowroot and tapioca teamed up with coconut milk, sugar and distinctive coloring, typically from the pandanus plant (for the green version) and the roselle herb (for the red variety). This dessert is associated with success and progression — so if you have a friend who just got a promotion, treat them to some khanom chan!
In hot and muggy weather, what’s better than digging into a towering tower of cool, refreshing ice kacang? A perennial favorite in southeast Asia, this iconic dessert is a humble concoction of shaved ice, red beans, sweet corn grass jelly, multicolored syrup and a squirt of evaporated, condensed or coconut milk. Meanwhile Taiwan have their own shaved ice treat called xue hua bing or “snow flower” — and with its delicate ribbons of frozen milk, draped with cold fruit, it’s definitely a sweet-smelling treat for the eyes and tummy. Iced desserts are always welcome. But if you have sensitive teeth, sinking your chompers into thirst-quenching treats like ice kachang may be a painful experience. To savor these delectable sweets and bite into life without hesitation, try using a toothpaste that is specially formulated for sensitive teeth, like Colgate Sensitive Pro Relief.