South Korea's pure ice treats

July 31, 2009 1:00:23 PM PDT
Asia has some truly unique cool treats, including patbingsu, which is South Korea's take on ice cream.Ethan's, a pan-Asian restaurant on DePaul's Lincoln Park campus keeps customers cool all summer long with pure ice.

The owner's Korean heritage seeps through the massive, creamy, icy desserts.

"Pat is a red bean and bingsu is frozen water," said Ethan Sim, owner of Ethan's.

Those two elements meld together rather well. They start by pouring milk into a glass bowl - either regular or soy - depending on your preference. Then freshly-shaved ice is mounded on top, followed by sweetened red beans that have been cooked down for hours, concentrating their flavor. Finally, some type of grain is added, either tiny rice cakes, or some grain powder.

"Basically it is a milk and a shaved ice. So, Koreans wanted to add a mineral. But it's a mixed grains powder, which is, they think it is more nutritious," Sim said.

Fresh fruit is generously mounded over the ice and milk - it could be strawberries, watermelon or blueberries - and finally, a scoop of ice cream. You could also opt for some sweet sauce on top, but the red beans and ice cream are really sweet enough. Either way, Sim says it's a summertime dessert with universal appeal.

"I think everyone will enjoy it. Because there is Italian ice. It is just an ice and a syrup," said Sim.

Unlike ice cream cones and paletas, the patbingsu is not a portable summertime dessert since crushed ice melts pretty quickly.

Ethan's Restaurant & Café (Patbingsu)
2201 N. Sheffield


Isla Pilipina (Halo Halo)
2501 W. Lawrence Ave.


Previously featured this month:

Andy's Frozen Custard
260 S. Weber Rd., Bolingbrook


Greg's Frozen Custard
1490 S. Lake St., Mundelein


Scooter's Frozen Custard
1658 W. Belmont


Paciugo (Gelato)
7510 W. Madison St., Forest Park


Freddy's Pizza (Gelato)
1600 S. 61st Ave., Cicero


Paleteria La Monarca (Paletas)
6955 N. Clark Street


Paleteria Poncho
2513 S. Pulaski


Tropical Sno (Shave Ice)
8695 Archer Ave., Willow Springs


Ice Cream Scoop Event

In honor of National Ice Cream month, the Atwood Café is celebrating with its 10th Annual Ice Cream Scoop Event.

Friday, July 31st from 12:00pm- 3:00pm on the State Street patio

$2 ice cream cones or cups. All of the proceeds will be donated to Lakeview Pantry, an organization that fights hunger throughout the Chicago area through food distribution and home delivery. Ice cream and sorbet donated by Ciao Bella Gelato.

Atwood Café
1 West Washington St., Chicago, IL 60602