Aug 4

Ichigo Condensed Milk Kakigori—Strawberry Condensed Milk Japanese Shaved Ice

in Dessert, Fruits & Vegetables, Japan, Japanese, Oyatsu/Snack

Kakigori (Japanese shaved ice) is a popular summer treat that we looked forward to eating when we lived in Japan.

Ichigo Condensed Milk Kakigori (Strawberry & Sweetened Condensed Milk Japanese Shaved Ice) 3

When we were in Tokyo last month we spent a day in the Azabu Juban area visiting some of our favorite spots.  After we had been out for several hours, the hot humidity of the Tokyo summer afternoon started to take its toll.  We were both hot and tired and ready for a break.  So we stopped by a little cafe above Naniwaya Sohonten, a famous 101-year old taiyaki shop, and ordered some dessert to help us cool off.

Naniwaya Sohonten, Taiyaki-ya, in Azabu Juban

One of the things we ordered was an Ichigo Milk Kakigori, Japanese shaved ice served drizzled with strawberry syrup and milk.  The cold icy treat instantly improved our heat-induced sour expressions.

Ichigo Milk Kakigori

I’ve been wishing for more kakigori every since.  This past Sunday we went to my parents’ house to visit with family that was in town.  My mom told me that she was planning on continuing the sweetened condensed milk theme with a variety of treats all made with sweetened condensed milk for dessert.

Sweetened Condensed Milk Treats

I decided to contribute to the lineup with a treat of my own.  I brought all of the ingredients to make ichigo condensed milk kakigori, Japanese shaved ice with strawberry syrup and sweetened condensed milk.

Shaved ice, sweetened condensed milk, strawberry syrup

This kakigori was inspired by the kakigori we ate last month in Tokyo, and also by the combination of strawberries and sweetened condensed milk.  During strawberry season in Japan, squeeze tubes of sweetened condensed milk are displayed alongside cartons of strawberries in the produce section.

Fresh ripe California strawberries

It wasn’t hard to convince me that squeezing a dollop of sweetened condensed milk onto a juicy ripe red strawberry was a genius idea, and now I miss seeing those convenient squeeze tubes every summer here in the US.  Sweetened condensed milk is also actually a popular topping for kakigori, so this wasn’t a big jump to make.  The strawberry syrup is super easy to make, with delicious results.  All you have to do is stew some cut up strawberries in simple syrup.  The natural red dye in the strawberries bleeds out into the syrup, making it a beautiful red color, while giving it a fabulous fresh strawberry flavor.

Making strawberry syrupFresh strawberry syrup

To increase the strawberry flavor, I also ladled some of the stewed strawberries, leftover from making the strawberry syrup, on top of the kakigori.

Ichigo Condensed Milk Kakigori (Strawberry & Sweetened Condensed Milk Japanese Shaved Ice)

For the ice, I used a Japanese hand-crank ice shaver (you can buy them online, or at many Asian markets during the summer).

Kakigori GirlsMaking shaved ice

The kakigori was delicious and a nice light addition to the heavier sweetened condensed milk treat lineup.  It also took care of my craving for kakigori.  The combination of the fresh homemade strawberry syrup, stewed strawberries, and sweetened condensed milk was even better than the strawberry milk combo that we enjoyed in Tokyo.

Ichigo Condensed Milk Kakigori (Strawberry & Sweetened Condensed Milk Japanese Shaved Ice) 2

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Ichigo Condensed Milk Kakigori—Strawberry Condensed Milk Japanese Shaved Ice

For the Stewed Strawberries and Strawberry Syrup (Makes about 3 1/2 cups syrup and 3/4 cup stewed strawberries)
2 cups water
2 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 pound strawberries, chopped into large pieces

shaved ice

sweetened condensed milk

1. Make the strawberry syrup:In a large, nonreactive saucepan* combine the water and the sugar and heat over medium-high heat until the sugar has dissolved completely.

2. Add the strawberries and reduce the heat to medium-low heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Taste the syrup.  If you desire a stronger strawberry flavor, continue simmering the syrup for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Strain the stewed strawberries out of the syrup and then put the strawberries and syrup in separate containers in the refrigerator to cool.

4. Assemble the kakigori: Shave the desired amount of ice.  Drizzle strawberry syrup over the shaved ice.  Add a spoonful of stewed strawberries, then drizzle some sweetened condensed milk over the top of the strawberries and shaved ice, and serve.  The stewed strawberries should be frozen if not used within 24 hours of making them.  The syrup will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.

* Nonreactive saucepan: stainless steel, glass, or ceramic materials.  They are called nonreactive because these materials do not react with acidic ingredients the way copper and aluminum do.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Ken August 4, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Yum and extra yum. I could eat this all day long. Rich yet refreshingly light.


Kelly Azuma August 4, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Yum…last time we went to Japan we bought a Hello Kitty ice shaver and Japanese tubes of condensed milk and the bottles of syrup back. Our house has been a hit with all our Japanese friends since then… haha. I’m looking forward to this summer making more kakigori!! Yours looks good! :) My favourite is uji kintoku.


Bonnie August 4, 2010 at 9:51 pm

You’re making me drool! I was just in LA for 5-1/2 weeks and had as much as my frozen brain could handle. Just got back home the other day and tomorrow I’m making a trip to Mitsuwa to pick up an ice shaver and condensed milk!

By the way, there’s a Taiwanese place in Rowland Heights called Class 302 with shaved snow. Completely different texture but equally delicious.


Noriko August 4, 2010 at 11:44 pm

Not only are you making me crave shaved ice, but now I can’t stop thinking about Taiyaki from Naniwaya!!


RavieNomNoms August 5, 2010 at 5:42 am

Great pictures!


Joy August 5, 2010 at 10:04 am

Perfect for a summer day!


Rasa Malaysia August 5, 2010 at 10:14 am

Condensed milk + shaved ice are the perfect combination. OMG, I want your shaved ice tool now, so cute. I used Ninja and thought the ice was still rough.


Paula - bell'alimento August 5, 2010 at 11:53 am

Okay that’s it I’m coming OVER! How cute is that ice shaver, now if it just had hello kitty on it LOL ; )


damaris August 5, 2010 at 1:00 pm

you have an ice shaver? you’re the coolest. and you need to stop using sweetened condensed milk so much, it’s making me fat just from reading your titles. kidding. don’t stop.


Gail August 5, 2010 at 7:17 pm

You’re making me fall in love with Japan.

And, of course I want that ice shaver now.


elicia August 12, 2010 at 7:32 pm

I’ve had my childhood ice shaver in my possession for years and you inspired me to take it out. Now, my arms are sore and my tastebuds are insanely happy!


[email protected] August 16, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Fabulous pictures Rachael. I *love* shaved ice….


Hana August 28, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Such great timing! We had just finished our Japanese curry on rice and I felt like something sweet. I looked at your blog and found this recipe – I had 1/3 of a tin of strawberries in syrup, which I simply blended into a sauce, a spare can of condensed milk, and luckily – a kakigori ice maker!! My son and I enjoyed putting together our desert and it tasted FANTASTIC! The canned strawberries made it incredibly easy. Yum!
Now I’m off to make some Russian fudge with the rest of the condensed milk.
Thanks FM!


Justin January 7, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Looks great, kakigori was the only thing that used to get me through hot sweaty summers spent in Japan as a kid.


vicky j September 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm


i’ve really loved japan and the culture since i discovered anime…
and this! this is… awesome! no, seriously, i’m not joking! when i saw what machine you use on amazon and converted it to British pounds… Wow, bargirn for us! £14 at least!!

Arigato!!! soooooo much!!
i’m getting it for christmas! thank yoooooooooooou!

Age: 15! XD


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