Ice kacang (Ais Kacang) is a Malaysian dessert. It is also loved in other South East Asian countries such as Brunei and Singapore. Traditionally this dessert only consisted of the two core ingredients: red beans and ice. Its name literally translates as bean ice.
Today there are several ingredients used in this sweet dish. It is not just the ingredients that have changed over time. The method of churning out the ice has also developed. Traditionally, it relied on the strength of the human arm to crank out the ice on a non-motorised machine. However, nowadays most ice shaving machines are powered electrically.
Ice Kacang Variations
Ice Kacang differs across regions and outlets. Nevertheless, all the variants in Malaysia have core ingredients. Fundamentally these are sweet corns, roasted peanuts, red beans, cubes of agar agar (a jelly-like substance, derived from red algae), and grass jelly. Variations of Ais Kecang might also add cendol, aloe vera, ice cream, and nata de coco (a coconut gel). In turn these can be topped with condensed milk, evaporated milk, or coconut milk. Rose syrup might also be an accompaniment. In truth, the variations of this flavoursome dessert are almost endless. Chocolate syrup, palm syrup and even durian syrup have also become popular additions to this ice dessert in recent times.
Ice Kecang in Ipoh
Ais Kacang is easily and widely available in Ipoh. There is no problem locating both the traditional version as well as the array of modern types of this popular sweet dish.
Some of the luscious toppings make Ice Kacang look like a piece of art, especially those fashioning neon-colored syrups. But you can also enjoy your Ais Kacang adorned with real fruit or a tasty ice cream that harmonises the body with the hot weather in this Malaysia’s cleanest city.