Kakigōri is one of the great shaved-ice desserts of the world. Unlike the coarser texture of snow cones, kakigōri is fine and fluffy like soft snow, which lets the toppings diffuse throughout the dessert like a sunset casting its glow across the sky. Look for a machine that shaves thin, rather than crushes, the ice.
While kakigōri is often gilded with sweetened condensed milk, Tonchin, a New York restaurant with its roots in Tokyo, uses a honey cream, which is less sticky and more complex. It’s a beautiful complement to the bright strawberry flavor. Frozen berries are preferred here since they’re packed at peak ripeness and exude a strawberry syrup as they thaw, but feel free to use very ripe—even overripe— fresh strawberries.
This article originally appeared in the February/March 2023 issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine. Click here to subscribe today!
Strawberry Honey Milk Kakigōri
Courtesy Tonchin New York, by Creative Director Kiyotaka Shinoki, Instagram @tonchinnewyork
Place sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan or skillet over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Transfer to a blender with the strawberries and purée until smooth. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.
In a large bowl, whisk cream until it thickens slightly. Whisk in honey until smooth. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Shave ice according to the instructions of your shaved-ice machine. Scoop tall servings of shaved ice into four individual goblets or small bowls. Pour strawberry sauce over to taste, then drizzle with honey cream to taste. Garnish with strawberries and mint and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Kato Sake Works Bubbly Nigori
“This sake has the perfect balance to accompany this dessert,” says Tonchin General Manager and Sake Curator Dylan Capello. “It’s lightly effervescent, and boasts notes of honey and coconut, with the creamy texture of an amazing ambrosia salad.”