halo halo filipino shaved ice ube ice cream

Halo Halo (Filipino Shaved Ice)

Sharing a more personal story today –  sadly, my grandfather (Angkong in Chinese) on my dad’s side recently passed away, which has been hard for the family. 

Whenever we visited the Philippines growing up, we loved staying at my grandparent’s house  – my dad came from a big family, which meant lots of cousins to play with. The house was huge, and when there were big events like weddings and milestone anniversaries, all the USA cousins/aunts/uncles would all stay there like one giant sleepover.

My dad’s side of the family can be summed up as lively, loud, and constantly eating. B always says he gains 10 lbs when he’s within a 10 mile radius of an Uy.

halo halo filipino shaved ice ube ice cream

I had a lot of great family memories in that house – from dance performances to mahjong / board games / video games to delicious banquets.

Angkong absolutely loved watching his grandchildren (there was quite a lot of us!) getting married and having great grandchildren.

Unfortunately, Angkong’s health started declining after he got Alzheimer’s dementia several years ago. My aunts and uncles would ask my dad for help every time he got sick, as he was the only doctor in the family. When I became a doctor too, my dad would ask me my thoughts too.

While my parents were visiting us after Isabelle was born, Angkong got sick again with another infection. Because of coronavirus overwhelming the hospitals in the Philippines, his hospitalization was even tougher. While I was up with Isabelle at night, I could hear a lot of family meetings, and they made the difficult decision to transition to comfort care.

halo halo filipino shaved ice ube ice cream

He passed away in the hospital – it was hard because no one could him visit due to COVID19, and the memorial services had to be conducted through Zoom videocalls.

Angkong went through a lot, and I’m glad he’s at peace now, watching over the family. There was even a rainbow at his memorial service.

Halo halo is Filipino shaved ice – one of my favorite things to eat when we visited the Philippines and one of the most iconic Filipino foods. We ate so much ube cream at my grandparent’s house. I wanted to recreate halo halo for my family. Flan recipe adapted from Allrecipes

Halo Halo

1/2 cup sweet red bean / munggo **
1/2 cup fresh coconut meat or macupuno from a jar **
2 mango, cubed
1/2 cup boba (I like this brand) **
shaved ice
evaporated milk
2 scoops ube ice cream **
flan, recipe below

1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 of 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 of 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

** These ingredients can be found in Asian supermarkets

In a serving glass, layer sweet red bean, fresh coconut or coconut macapuno, mango, boba, and shaved ice. Pour milk over shaved ice. Top with a scoop of ube ice cream and flan. Enjoy!

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt sugar until golden. Pour into a small baking dish, turning the dish to evenly coat the bottom and sides. Set aside.

In a bowl, beat eggs, condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla. Pour egg mixture into baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven 40 minutes, until firm. Let cool completely.

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  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. 🙁 I hope you and your family are doing okay. <3

    (P.S. I've still yet to have halo halo but would love to try it someday–this recipe looks amazing!)

  2. Sunita, so sorry to hear about your loss. It is never easy. However, this delicious Filipino shaved ice might quiet your mind for a moment. This is one of our favorite summertime desserts. Gorgeous!

  3. I'm a Fookienese living in the Philippines. Halo halo is our go-to dessert for hot summer days. You can find it in almost every street corner (okay, I'm exaggerating), but seriously, almost every small community has someone who sells these on the streets as well as in Filipino restaurants.

    On a more serious note, so sorry for your loss. Losing a loved one is never easy.