Penang Ice Dessert – ice kacang, cendul and ai yu bing jelly
A meal is always great complete with a bowl of local sweet treats. Wonderfully served in various ways including rich sugary sweet or sourish sweet, the ice desserts are fabulous treats for various occasions! Here are three of my favorite roadside and food court ice desserts which prove to be excellent refreshing choices without fail.
Ice Kacang is a colourful ice dessert that pleases both the old and young. Most versions are predominantly served with shaved ice drenched with sugar syrup and evaporated milk, along with a myriad of basic ingredients – sweet red beans, canned jagung (creamy corn), black jelly (leong fun) and canned attap chee (palm seed).
These days, Penang ice kacang are packed with an array of other toppings. Kek Seng Coffee Shop offers its ice kacang topped with its signature colourful homemade agar-agar jelly. Tony Ais Kacang’s version (in Hillside Food Court) comes with vanilla ice cream and thinly sliced strips of nutmeg. The New World Park Food Court stall even introduced pieces of freshly cut fruits – banana, jackfruit, mango and many others.
Ice Kacang at Kek Seng Coffee Shop with housemade jelly & ice cream
AI YU BING JELLY
Nothing beats a refreshing bowl of Ai Yu Bing Jelly: sourish-sweet icy treat with canned lychee and jelly. Prepared with a native type of fig, the wobbly translucent ai yu jelly is combined with coarsely shaved ice, fresh lemon and canned lychee in pandan flavoured sugar syrup. This thirst-quencher is particularly inviting with sourness, tartness and slight sweetness.
The stall located at the junction of Weld Quay and Gat Lebuh Acheh serves an almighty refreshing version.
Cendul, a very popular dessert in Penang gets its name for the soft green bean flour noodles flavoured by fragrant pandan juice. Essentially, this creamy sweet treat consists of finely shaved ice, boiled soft red beans, thick and rich coconut milk, swirled with aromatic dark pungent palm sugar (Gula Melaka). It is a simple dish with few simple ingredients but the result is lip-smacking.
In Seberang Jaya, the BM Best Cendol stall offers a variation of cendol that comes with steamed glutinous rice.
* This is a reproduction of my Penang Ice Dessert article published in Foodsion Magazine Issue No.53