Azuki & Matcha Shaved Ice (Uji Kintoki)

By happy coincidence, this month’s Sweet Adventures Blog Hop (themed License to Chill and hosted by The Kitchen Crusader) was announced just as I was considering taking a wee break from gluten free baking to blog about a favourite Japanese summer dessert of mine. As I’m writing this however, I just realised that my dessert is gluten free anyway so all the better!

Uji Kintoki

This summer, the kids and I have been enjoying shaved ice treats courtesy of my Thermomix which turns a tray full of ice cubes into fluffy ice within seconds. Enthused and inspired, I ordered a very cool book from Japan about different shaved ice recipes of which one was for the classic Uji Kintoki, or Red Bean & Green Tea Shaved Ice. Uji refers to a famous green tea producing region in Japan, and Kintoki is another term for red beans (azuki). These two things are often paired up in Japanese recipes and the flavours are definitely a marriage made in sweets heaven!


Before I go on, I should mention that shaved ice desserts (kakigori) in Japan (and variants elsewhere in Asia) are on a completely different level to anything comparable elsewhere. In Australia, we do have snow cones and slushies but neither have the fluffy snow-like consistency which is an absolute requirement of a good kakigori, nor the delectable range of flavours and syrups that differentiates between a good shaved ice cafe and an average one in Japan.

You’d be forgiven thinking that the process of shaving ice is simple but I’ve discovered that the actual ice block itself has to be prepared correctly (clear ice, not cloudy) and shaved by an old-school, hand-cranked machine. My Thermomix isn’t quite as efficient in getting that snowy flakes happening but it doesn’t do a bad job at all either.

Uji Kintoki

For my Uji Kintoki shaved ice, I prepared my own azuki beans, the recipe for which I’ll post separately later. I also made my own matcha syrup which could do with some improvements but the summer’s not over yet! As little accompaniments, I prepared some shiratama mochi balls which are wonderfully chewy and goes nicely with the sweet matcha syrup and red beans. Can’t wait to have another serve this afternoon :)

The Sweet Adventures Blog Hop is brought to you by The Capers of the Kitchen Crusader,  84th & 3rd, The Hungry Australian, and Dining With a Stud. This blog hop is open to all food (and lifestyle) bloggers so join in and post your recipe or creation by Monday the 25th of February.


  1. Celine

    February 21, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Great looking dessert! Haven’t found anything that matches the hand cranked ice shavers which uses big ice blocks. They are the best :)

    • Monica

      February 21, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      Thanks Celine :) I’m tempted to see if I can bring one home from Tokyo but I’m fairly sure my husband will discourage me :| Maybe a mochi maker instead? :D

  2. Christina @ The Hungry Australian

    February 24, 2013 at 4:42 am

    I love Asian desserts and red beans are my favourite. Lucky you – being able to use your Thermomix for making shaved ice desserts so quickly and easily.

    • Monica

      February 26, 2013 at 11:59 am

      I love sweet beans! So many people found the sweet beans that were served on arrival at the Hilton dinner for EDB3 too sweet but I couldn’t get enough of it :| I must say I do love my Thermomix as the azuki was a breeze to make in it also :D Thanks for visiting!

  3. JJ - 84thand3rd

    February 24, 2013 at 7:40 am

    such a tease to show us this lovely creation with no recipes ;) Looks like such a fun dessert!

    • Monica

      February 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm

      Doh! I knew I should have invested more time but last week was crazy! I’ll update with recipes soon but I’m fairly sure the components will make a reappearance here some time :D

  4. the kitchen crusader

    February 24, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    as always your twist on the hop is so much delicious fun. Thanks Moni!

    • Monica

      February 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm

      Oh thank you! I was hoping for a hop that involved frozen desserts :D

  5. Nic@diningwithastud

    February 25, 2013 at 6:33 am

    I have never had shaved ice like this. By the sounds of it, snow cones dont count ;) love your flavours!

    • Monica

      February 26, 2013 at 12:02 pm

      Thanks Nic :) I didn’t think there was so much to shaved ice either until I bought a book on it. I guess the fact that there are books on the subject says it all! :)

  6. Colin

    April 6, 2014 at 1:27 am

    Hi have you got the recipe please? :)