Every summer, the young and old alike find kiosks that sell halo-halo or “mix-mix.” The dessert is a concoction of beans, nata de coco, corn, gelatin, bananas, macapuno, ube, pinipig and leche flan. Apart from a perfect cooler and drink, the ingredients reflect the indigenization of the original “kakigori” from Japan.
The origin of halo-halo can be linked to the pre-war Japanese who preserved beans like mongo, garbanzos, and kidney beans in thick syrup served on crushed ice— thus, the original ingredients of “kakigori.” It is similar to a snow cone in that it is sweetened with condensed milk, syrup and sweetener but is eaten with a spoon just like the Filipino version.
As for my personal attempt to infuse an herb in this halo-halo recipe, I have tried adding star anise to the milk mixture because star anise is known to be good with milk and other beverages, including hot chocolate.
To share with you what I did, here is the recipe:
2 pieces star anise
3 tbsp of sweetened plantains (saba)
3 tbsp of sweetened macapuno (sweetened coconut strips)
3 tbsp of leche flan (crème caramel custard)
2 cups of shaved or crushed ice
¼ cup evaporated milk
2 tbsp of brown or white sugar
Warm milk and infuse star anise. Caramelize the saba with sugar. Take a glass, then put sugar, the caramelized saba, macapuno, then add the crushed ice. Top it with leche flan (crème caramel custard) then pour the infused milk.