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Apr 17, 2010 04:13 AM

ingredients/recipe for making ice kechang at home??

When I first went to Singapore, my favorite dish was the ice kechang desert. (There are similar versions in the Phillipines, Thailand, Malaysia etc., but Singapore's is by far my favorite.)

I live in Los Angeles, and I've never seen it anywhere. Again, pale copies at a few Indonesian places, but nothing approaching the sublime tastes like I found in Singapore.

I'd love to try making it at home, unless the ingredients are too difficult to get/make. If I can get even close to the recipe, I'd even buy a snow-cone machine, just to get the finely-shaved ice that is necessary.

Help! :-)


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  1. I don't think I've seen an ice kachang recipe in any of the Singaporean cookbooks I own - maybe because you don't really need a "recipe" for it: you merely put together the ingredients to suit your taste, and many of them are actually canned items.

    Getting a snow-cone machine is a good start. Main flavor ingredients are bottled rose-syrup/cordial (available in bottles - F&N brand is popular in Singapore), Sarsi (a sarsaparilla-flavored syrup) and canned evaporated milk. You'd probably find there in Oriental or Chinese grocery stores.

    You can add boiled red beans/kidney beans, canned creamed corn, canned palm seeds in syrup, fruit cocktail, etc.

    The Filipino version (halo-halo) will also include leche flan (a sweeter version of creme caramel), topped by ube (purple/Asian yam) ice-cream, etc.

    Thai "nam kang sai" has coconut milk & coconut shreds, besides the other ingredients you'd find in S'pore ice-kachang.

    4 Replies
    1. re: klyeoh


      Thanks so much for this breakdown of ingredients.

      I too returned from Singapore recently bewitched by Ice Kachang.

      The sarsaparilla syrup tasted vaguely like molasses to me. Didn't realize it was sarsaparilla.

      Thank you!

      1. re: chloehk

        chloehk, if you tasted something similar to molasses, it may not be sarsaparilla syrup - the version you tried probably had "gula Melaka" or brown/palm sugar syrup added to it. Almost all "ice kachang" vendors in Singapore also offer "chendol", another shaved ice dessert which uses "gula Melaka" and coconut milk for dressing. Inadvertently, some vendors will inter-mix the ingredients for ice-kachang and chendol to come up with their own concoctions. NOT traditional, but in this day & age whence most food purveyors in Singapore (and elsewhere) don't really respect food traditions anymore, who's to say it's wrong?

        1. re: klyeoh


          I actually prefer the gula melaka flavour to the sarsi or rose syrup variants.

          Most places in Malaysia are either gula melaka or rose syrup. Sarsi is very Penang

          1. re: klyeoh

            Hi klyeoh,

            Thanks for the information. I really liked the gula Melaka -- it brings another universe of flavor to the dessert.

            Do you happen to know of any places that serve a traditional Ice Kachang in HK?