halo halo please?

halo halo

my #1son has been bugging me requesting halo halo for all these past summer weeks…especially when the temperatures cracked the 100F last week. but i said, patience, my son, first i must make leche flan. then there’s ube ice cream, and i must gather up all the necessary ingredients.

literally “mix-mix” halo-halo is such a festive summer cooler, and i’ve read it mentioned in Gourmet magazine in one of their summer issues. i’ve seen versions from Malaysia and Japan, with variations in the mixture of ingredients and the syrups involved.

all the flavors just somehow work, for my boy at least. he orders this every chance he gets (which is not that often, since the nearest Pinoy restaurants are 4 & a half hours drive away). we love the one at Ihawan in Woodside, NY, and i can’t wait to try the one at Chowking (various locations, but not anywhere near here) which i’ve seen and heard so much about.

this is pretty much a please-yourself kind of concoction. color is key, but it’s important you have something coconut (fresh young buko would be ideal! but frozen would do, and bottled macapuno coconut sport strings are a good stand-in), something gel-ly (nata de coco pandan flavor in our version, plus kaong–palm fruit), something crunchy(i used roasted pinipig! yesss, lucky there was a bounty at the freezer case section, but even peanuts, or rice krispies? might work), sweetened fruits (bottled sweetened saba bananas!!! and jackfruit) and beans(sweetened garbanzos, red beans, mung beans).

halo halo ingredientsroasted pinipig

in every Asian Grocery i go to, there is ample shelf space at the Filipino aisle devoted to halo halo…feel free to experiment with what you like the most. i imagine, even fresh fruits like pineapple or strawberries would do as well.)

i boiled some mini sago pearls and reduced palm sugar syrup in water until it caramelized, then added water again to dissolve (because i was ehem multi tasking and let it boil too long).

layer the ingredients, top with shaved ice, pour the syrup (banana extract flavor or pandan flavor would work too, or even evaporated milk or heavy/double cream). in an homage to Little Quiapo near where i used to live and where i spent many a hot afternoon with family and classmates–i topped our halo halo with leche flan and ice cream, just the way i remember it….

8 thoughts on “halo halo please?

  1. MasPinaSarap

    lol, Great Post!
    mmm, add a scoop of ube and langka ice cream together, and you’ll be in heaven!
    BTW, I’ve seen Ihawan, it’s only a train ride away, the little corner of the street has the unofficial reputation of being a “Little Manila”
    Are you really that far away from a proper turo-turo? Yikes
    If you’re ever in San Diego, I’ve heard there’s a Chowking there, that’s probably your best bet unless you go back home :yes:
    p.s. pinipig is so yummy

  2. drstel

    there’s just something so soothing about halo halo, Lani…hot or cold weather!

    P, i hope h-h is still on their menu! i had great sisig and lots of other homey style dishes there. we hope to make another trip before kids start school. it’s funny, i just saw BEP’s video Generation 1 version of APl de Ap’s Bebot shot in Stockton, Ca, the first “Little Manila”. I think Woodside is the most thriving one???:drive:

  3. Woman of Feathers

    Ces sent me here cause she said you had a great Halo-Halo recipe! The problem is … I live in a small town in NE Texas … with the closest Asian Store being in Dallas. Do you know what I might find in a regular store to substitute? I will also be using regular fruit, because I can’t use sugar (diabetic).

    It’s been 27 years since I left the Philippines … but Halo-Halo was one of my favorites … :goodvibes

  4. drstel

    hello Woman of Feathers welcome to my crazy spot…i sympathize w/ you i am also diabetic(!!!) so i don’t eat much of what i have here :drunk::brokenheart::uhoh:i would recommend canned diced fruit in natural juices like peaches, papaya, pears and mangoes. i thought yams might be good too if you cook them in fruit juice??? and coconut ice cream? if only you could get to an Asian store and get frozen grated young coconut (buko) . rice krispies for the pinipig would be a good substitute.good luck!

  5. Mae

    Look at that ube ice cream sitting so nicely on top! I bet this tasted so good.

    Not much Filipino food here in my local shop so no halo-halo. But i found some pinipig. I don’t quite know what to do with it though so i didn’t buy it!

  6. drstel

    hallo Mae…you could Anglicize the ingredients yes? and add toasted shredded coconut or something like that…
    when i was a kid i remember having a lovely pinipig bibingka…may i research this some more…(calling Ma:chat) have a wonderful weekend…:lei:

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