Alien's Day Out

How to make your own patbingsu (without an ice shaver)!


Holy ddong, this is by far the hottest summer I’ve experienced in Korea. News reports are saying that it’s one of the hottest, and it seems like it’s going to last a while… Ah!! All I want to do is stay indoors where the temperatures are more bearable. Just the thought of doing anything outside in this sweltering heat makes me want to crawl inside my fridge. So with all the heat these days, I thought it would be fun to share my favorite cold treat! Not ice cream, not frozen yogurt, not frozen popsicles…. Patbingsu!

Without a doubt, this is the most ubiquitous Korean summer treat. I remember this was pretty popular during my high school years, and then it kind of went out of style. And then all of a sudden, these past few years, there has been a total patbingsu revival, and now practically every cafe and bakery has this on their summer menu. However, the only downside about buying patbingsu is the price! At most cafes, a decent sized bowl will cost around 8,000 won or more. And that can add up if you’re a patbingsu lover such as myself. Not to mention, most store-bought patbingsu’s are not vegan with dairy ice cream or condensed milk poured in.

So to remedy this problem, I have resorted to making my own patbingsu at home, and waddya know, it’s soooo easy! Most people think they need to get a special ice shaver to get flaky ice shavings, but it’s really not necessary because you can use a food processor instead! And besides, who has the extra kitchen counter space for yet another appliance?

Aside from the shaved ice (bingsu), the only real required ingredient is the sweet red bean, “pat” (hence the name ‘pat’ bingsu), but you can also make a fruit bingsu without any beans. If you want to go the extra mile, you can make your own sweetened red bean filing, but I just bought the canned stuff from the store… don’t judge, hehe. It tends to be on the sweeter side, so when I have time, I’ll probably make my own where I can adjust the sugar content. Some other popular toppings include fruit, ddeok, toasted bean powder, jellies, corn flakes, nuts, and ice cream. What’s great is that there are so many variations of patbingsu, from the basic and minimalistic, to the ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ style. You make it the way you want!

What you need:

1 tray of ice cubes
2 heaping spoonfuls of sweetened red bean (pat)
1/2 cup non dairy milk (I used soy milk)
toppings of your choosing

Step 1. Dump a whole tray of ice cubes straight into the food processor.

2. Pulse several times until there are no more large chunks of ice remaining. You can tell it’s done when you can’t hear any ice cubes clattering about. In the end, you get something that resembles snow or shaved ice! Tadaaa~

3. Scrape out the processed ice into a serving bowl. Spoon some ‘pat’ onto the ice and add all your favorite toppings. For this particular patbingsu, I used pat, fresh peaches, chopped almonds, and a few banana slices.

4. At the very end, pour in some soy milk (or any non dairy milk or creamer) to slushify everything a little and make it easier to mix.

A big bowl of patbingsu will definitely cool you down, from the inside out. Infact, by the time you’re done, you might even feel chilly! Enjoy!

Patbingsu Tips!

*Tip 1* Make sure the ice cubes are sufficiently frozen, or you’ll just get a slurry mess when you try to process them.

*Tip 2* Add some green tea powder with the ice cubes into the processor, and you’ll get green-tea flavored ice cubes, which pairs great with the sweetened red beans.

*Tip 3* This takes some planning-ahead, but you can pour soy milk or almond milk straight into the ice cube tray, let it freeze, and then pulse those in the processor. That way, when it starts melting, you’ll get a more flavorful, milky soup.


  1. Hi, I am also a HUGE fan of this dish.
    But I was wondering if you knew of the calorie content a typical Bingsu might contain. Mainly the red bean element….
    I saw the tins of red bean in the supermarket but I’m unsure if they’re calorific or not!
    Thanks for yet again another wonderful post! ^^

  2. Hiya! I think you’ll like an old friend of mine’s site — she’s all vegan and gluten free… a chef in LA. happy looking!

    p.s. I bought some of your goodies at High Street Market the other day. I call em goodies for a reason… mmm mmm good! THANKS

    • Hi Janna, Thanks for supporting my vegan corner at HSM! :) Glad you hear you enjoyed them, and I’ll also check out your friend’s blog now!

  3. am planning to go to SEOUL on 1st October and i found this blog taaaa daaaa…. the foods makes me crazy ….

    I wish i can see you there … and show me the foods …

  4. you did it!! Looks amazing! And the first picture with the creatures hanging around is adorable!!!! I hope you get a chance to try the genius combination of green tea and pat, like that drink we had at Harunohee Cafe, :)

  5. I don’t have a food processor, but I’ve tried it in the VitaMix – FAIL. The thing is just too powerful. I either get huge chunks of ice or just cold water. It’s good to know a regular food processor would work. If I have to buy another machine, the food processor would be more useful than an ice shaver.

    BTW I was just in Paris for 10 days. I had English muffins and lentil pie in your honor. Holy cow that lentil pie is FINE! Nothing else at either organic market was vegan. Apparently they put either milk or eggs in their crepes and in ALL pastries now. ㅠㅠ

  6. You are not kidding when you say the heat has been brutal! We just might have to make some pattingsu (thanks so much for sharing!)… we LOVE <3 it! However with you on not loving the 8,000 w price tag.

  7. Oops – I mean Cafe Mano!

  8. Pingback: Foods I’ve been eating, baking, and buying lately | Alien's Day Out

  9. Ah! Your food always looks so amaaaazing! A month or two ago, my 팥빙수 addicted boyfriend went and looked up how to make every ingredient in this great desert and made everything! Including the 팥…but we don’t have an ice shaver (or food processor, but I do have a blender, so maybe that will work…?) so we would just freeze a single-serve size of milk (soy for me, regular for him), then pull them out of the freezer for a bit and wait until we could smash it with our spoons. Not quite as pretty as yours, but still good. Although, now I want to try this again!

    • Thanks Sidney! I’m not sure if it would work in a blender…. I think a blender might turn the ice into slush. But you can give it a go! :) Let me know if it turns out well~

  10. Good way of telling, and nice post to get facts on the topic of my presentation topic, which i am going to
    convey in college.

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  12. I freaking LOVE patbingsu. I put sweetened condensed milk in it, and it’s so good! Another tip for making this dish without the machine is to freeze milk for 45 min, and using a fork, scrape at it until the texture is right. Frozen milk is super easy to scrape at, so you shouldn’t have trouble!

  13. Hi, could you tell me, which food processor you used, or which one would be the best to use for both price and effectiveness? I live in Korea, so a local brand is not a problem for me.

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