Japanese shaved ice, or kakigori, is one of the most popular summer desserts. It is the perfect way to cool down on a hot and humid day. While it comes in many flavors, Uji Kintoki is a traditional flavor of kakigori that uses Matcha green tea.
Uji Kintoki is usually topped with toppings such as Shiratama Dango (Mochi balls), sweetened red beans, and condensed milk.
When you first take a bite, you instantly feel the unique bitterness of matcha, followed by the sweetness of the red beans and condensed milk which mellows out the flavor of the entire kakigori. The shiratama dango also adds a nice chewy texture to the refreshing dessert.
If you’re wondering about the origin of the name Uji Kintoki, “Uji” means “Matcha” in this case, because Uji city in Kyoto is the most famous city in Japan for producing green tea, and “Kintoki” means “Anko” (sweetened red bean paste).
The history of Kakigori is quite long. It is said that people started enjoying it during Heian Era (somewhere around the 8-12th centuries). This Uji Kintoki is believed to have been enjoyed since the Edo Period (17-19th centuries).
Uji Kintoki is the typical dessert enjoyed in summer in Japan. In fact, many restaurants and cafes include it on their menus but only serve it during the summer months. However, this dessert may be virtually impossible for many people to find outside of Japan.
If you’re a lover of matcha and are looking for a new and refreshing way to enjoy it, we’re going to show you how you can easily make this Uji Kintoki Matcha Shaved Ice at home.
In our recipe, we’ll be making homemade matcha syrup and Shiratama Dango, as these ingredients may be hard to find in the supermarket. You can make both of them in advance and keep them for 1-2 days before making the Uji Kintoki.
We will also be using a Nutribullet Blender to make our Uji Kintoki. We are doing it this way because we believe that many people may not have a kakigori or shaved ice maker at home. Another reason we are using a blender is that we can make the kakigori from ice cubes rather than using an ice block. However, if you want to make kakigori that will have the best texture and will resemble kakigori sold in Japan more closely, then we recommend using a Kakigori Machine.
We hope you’ll enjoy our recipe and make Uji Kinkoki for yourself at home. Let us know if you make it using a blender or a machine and how the texture turns out in the comments below.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Total servings: 2
- 200g Ice Cubes
- 10g Matcha Powder (For making Matcha Syrup)
- 2 Tbsp Hot Water (For making Matcha Syrup)
- 2 Tbsp Sugar (For making Matcha Syrup)
- 20g Shiratama Glutinous Rice Flour (For making Shiratama Dango)
- 1 Tbsp Water (For making Shiratama Dango)
- 2 Tbsp Sweetened Red Beans
- 2 Tbsp Sweetended Condensed Milk
- 1 Scoop of Matcha Ice Cream (Optional)
If you want to try making “real” Japanese kakigori, then a kakigori machine is definitely necessary. While you can use a blender, the ice does not become as fluffy as when using a machine. This kakigori shaved ice maker makes the lightest and fluffiest shaved ice. You can also use it when making ice for frozen cocktails. Its retro design and durability make it a kitchen appliance you’ll want to use all summer long.
1) Gathering the Ingredients
Gather all of the ingredients together.
Keep the ice cubes in the freezer until making the actual shaved ice.
2) Making Matcha Syrup
In a small bowl, combine the hot water, sugar, and matcha powder and mix well. Keep mixing it until all of the sugar has completely melted. Make sure that the matcha powder has evenly combined as well.
Wrap it in a piece of saran wrap and put it in the refrigerator to cool down and proceed with the next steps of the recipe.
Tip: You can make the matcha syrup in advance and keep it in the refrigerator for whenever you are ready to use it. Feel free to double or triple the measurements to make however much matcha syrup you need.
3) Making Shiratama Dango
Combine shiratama glutinous rice flour and water in a bowl.
Press the mixture with your fingers until it comes together and there are no loose bits of flour.
Divide the dough into 3 or 4 pieces. Form each piece into a bite-sized ball.
Press the center of the ball with your finger to make an indentation. This will allow the dango to cook faster.
Note: If the texture of the dango dough is too hard or it doesn’t hold together, add water little by little until it comes together and forms a smooth dough.
4) Cooking Shiratama Dango
Bring a small pot of water to a boil and then add in the Shiratama Dango and cook them for 2-3 minutes. When they begin to float, take them out from the pot and add them directly to a bowl of ice water to cool down.
Tip: You can also make Shiratama Dango ahead of time. Just keep it soaking in plenty of water in an airtight container until you are ready to use it.
5) Shaving/Crushing the Ice
Add your ice cubes to a blender to make shaved ice. Make sure that your blender has an “Ice Crush” feature, otherwise the ice may break your blender’s blades.
Blend the ice until you achieve an evenly fluffy consistency that looks like snow. It took us about 10 seconds to reach this with our blender.
Note: We are using a Nutri Bullet blender in this recipe. Please also note that you cannot re-freeze the ice once you have shaved it.
6) Decorating the Uji Kintoki
Pour the Matcha syrup over the shaved ice. Decorate the shaved ice with the sweetened red beans, Shiratama Dango and pour over as much condensed milk as you would like. Add a scoop of green tea ice cream to add another layer of flavor to the dessert if you’d like.
7) Enjoying the Uji Kintoki
All that’s left to do is enjoy it before it melts!
Tip: If you want to add more toppings, we recommend matcha or vanilla ice cream or matcha jelly.