This is literally the simplest recipe I have put up in a while. Mostly because it was inspired by several aspects of my earlier childhood, better known as a time before I got into cooking(I literally only started to cook/bake when I was 15 onwards). I have a lot of fond memories drinking Calpico water at my local Izakaya in Torrance(it was called Musha but it has since closed). Calpico(also called Calpico water or Calpis) is a popular drink in Japan that tastes like citrus-y yogurt. It’s super refreshing and honestly one of my all-time favorite things to drink, next to Japanese grape juice. I also grew up on shaved ice, being both a popular thing to eat in Taiwan, and something my sister and I made all the time growing up. Depending on the country, you’d call it something different. In Taiwan, it was chuabing, in Korean, bingsu, in Italy, granita, and in Japan, kakigoori. A lot of these variations come with different garnishes, so there are some aspects to each that differentiate them from one another, though I will say that chuabing and kakigoori do have several similarities, while bingsu is not too far behind either. I wanted to do a shaved ice here using the Calpico to tie those memories together, however, not everyone has a shaved ice machine. So that’s when I got the idea to use a fork and scrape the ice, similar to Italian granita. It gives the ice a similar enough texture, and using something a lot more accessible. I went with the kakigoori route, since Calpico is Japanese, and I wanted to garnish it with some youkan(Japanese bean jelly) and dango(poached mochi balls). You can really serve this recipe with anything you want, but I included the recipe for the dango specifically for this post!
For the shaved ice:
2 cups Calpico water
a pinch of salt
Mix together and pour into a shallow pan. Freeze for an hour. After an hour, scrape with a fork. Re-freeze again for another 20 minutes minimum.
For the dango:
1/2 cup shiratamako
1/4 cup water
a pinch of salt
Mix together to form your dough. Divide into 8 small balls and poke holes into each of them – this will help the dango cook faster. Poach the dango in boiling water until they begin to float, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer into an airtight container with cold water and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Red bean paste(koshian), white bean paste(shiro-an), or youkan
Spoon on the Calpico shaved ice, and alternate with layers of the dango and the red bean paste or youkan. Serve immediately, or wait and you’ll still have Calpico water to drink!