Kakigori, Shaved Ice

Posted on Aug 15, 2012 in Hiroko's Blog

Kakigori is a flavored shaved ice served in a glass cup with a stand. During unbearably hot and humid summer in Japan kakigori is the answer to cool off our body. The kakigori dish which you see here is called uji kintoki and my favorite. It is shaved ice flavored with matcha green tea syrup and topped with sweet azuki beans. A couple of small tender and gooey shiratama mochi dumplings also accompany. Among many tea shops where they serve uji kintoki, 103 years old Naniwaya in Azabu Juban, Tokyo, does the best. Naniwaya does everything correct. Shaved ice is as fine as powder snow. The quality matcha powder speaks its own and its syrup is mellow sweet. Moderately sweetened, tender cooked azuki beans are home-made using domestic azuki beans grown in Hokkaido, the northern most large island of Japan

In the second photo you see a commercial ice shaving machine whose predecessor was invented in 1887. You can purchase this industrial type for your business (means real business) at Kappabashi Cooking Equipment District. Now it comes in manual and electrical form. The price ranges from $650 to $1500. Do you want to own a simple home-use ice shaver? Go to the department store or supermarket (pre- and during hot summer season). You will find a large variety of machines from inexpensive manual one to sophisticated electric operated type. The price ranges from $25 to $100. When I was small my family owned a simple one. The use of the ice shaver was hefty, so my mother replaced it with a new one every year. (The third photo is kakigori with molasses and roasted soybean powder.)