Distinctly Halo-halo with a Twang!

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

I have always thought that halo-halo – a popular dessert that is a mixture of shaved ice, fruits and what-nots – is something that only Filipinos have. But traveling through Asian countries, even living in one situated in the southeast and one in northern Asia, I have found out that mixing fruits and anything sweet with shaved ice definitely appeals to the Asian palate.

Halo-halo means ‘mix’. The usual ingredients or at least those that I like to get into my glass of halo-halo include mung beans, minatamis na saging na saba, nata de coco, kaong, macapuno, pinipig and sago, topped with ube and leche flan. Love it with lots of milk.

Then, there is air batu campur (pronounced ayir-batu-champur) or simply called ABC in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei. Guess what air batu campur means? Air batu literally means ‘stone water’ or ice and campur means… ‘mix’! Coincidence? It is also known as ais kacangais for ‘ice’ and kacang (pronounced ka-chang) meaning ‘beans’. Mung bean is a main ingredient, and so it is in our very own halo-halo. I tell you it’s very much similar to our famous dessert but with ingredients native to these countries and more to their palate.



For La.Pi.S.02, I share these dessert photos taken during my Christmas holiday in Beijing. It’s a melange of seasonal fruits (cantaloupe, cherries, grapes, watermelon and dragon fruit), beans, cherry tomatoes, gelatin and shaved ice with syrup and milk. Does it qualify as a twisted version of halo-halo?

In Beijing, they eat it bit by bit. A Chinese friend once asked me with a horrified look on her face why I mix my bowl of yummy goodness hahahaha! Told her that’s how we Filipinos eat it. Kaya nga halo-halo eh. There should be no boring bits.


Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page
I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

10 thoughts on “Distinctly Halo-halo with a Twang!

  1. Iska, I love halo-halo. I also noticed that other neighboring Asian countries have similar desserts like the one you showed above. They all look so good. Medyo mas healthy (kuno) lang yung sa kanila because it is made out of fresh fruits.

    Clicking Aways last blog post..LaPiS 002 – Dessert

  2. ay iska! uwi ka dali! hahaha! if it wasn’t for the air batu, this could also pass as a salad fusion right? parang ang sarap ng dragon fruit! hey, when you see me online sa ym or gmail[well, i am always online:)]…buzz me naman if you have time…have a question….:)
    thanks for the entry!

    cess last blog post..La.Pi.S. Week2 : Dessert and LP on TV?

  3. Oh, your food photos come out SO ALIVE!!! I’m always hungry when I check out your post. The photos are such feast to the eyes! I’m so glad you blog. Next year, definitely, you should be nominated to the Blogger’s Choice Awards under the Best Food Blog, or Best Photography Blog.

    yarn hungry hogs last blog post..Sheep Agathering + A Few Alpacas

  4. oh my, naglaway ako! your photos are droolicious :) and something cool and sweet would be perfect just about now. It’s almost 100 degrees and humid here in N.C.

  5. Thanks for dropping by :-) Bejing halu-halo is truly yum. You may also say more healthy with fresh fruits. Hindi naman sasakit tyan hehehe pareho lang naman din yun ng concept ng halo-halo natin kung tutuusin…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge