After the wedding, Alex and I embarked on a two week trip to China and Japan. I don’t think I’ll talk much about China, as that was mostly a visit to see relatives rather than sightseeing. We traveled all around the JiangSu region, starting in Shanghai then going on to Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou, and Nanjing. We did a lot of large banquets with family, so on our spare time we stuffed ourselves with pork buns, shaomai, and xiaolongbao :). And milk tea.
Japan served as our mini-moon. We decided not to go on our real honeymoon until next spring, and we’re going to New Zealand!! For now, after traipsing around China, we flew to Japan to truly vacation.
In Japan, we met up with my best friend R, and she opened our worlds to the wonderful foods of Japan. One of my favorites was matcha ice cream, made with real matcha, the powdered green tea of Japan. Let’s back track and I’ll explain why this is important. I’ve been looking for and trying matcha ice cream in the US, but there’s always been something wrong. Honestly, the green tea ice cream I’ve had in the States taste like vanilla ice cream with just a touch of green tea for color. I did not taste matcha green tea at all. When R brought us to a cute ice cream shop, I immediately knew which flavor I was going to get (I also chose peach and red bean. Incidentally, I also tasted pumpkin and tomato flavored ice cream. They were truly delicious, so watch out for a recipe once I hash that out!) The matcha ice cream in Japan is divine!! It’s a deep green and is a tad bittersweet, if you can imagine that. I could taste the matcha from the start, and there was no overpowering sweetness to mask the flavor of the tea.
I had received an ice cream maker as a gift, and I had to try and recreate matcha green tea. I’m very happy with the results. I love how the honey compliments the bittersweet matcha without overpowering its taste. Use quality matcha and don’t be shy in heaping that in! I’m already excited to re-make this!!!!
RECIPE: Honey matcha green tea ice cream
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons matcha (green tea powder)
1 pinch sea salt
1| Prepare: Place freezer bowl from ice cream machine in freezer (at the very back, where it’s coldest) for 24 hours.
2| Whisk sugar, honey, salt, cream, and milk together in a saucepan. Heat up mixture, and add green tea powder.
3| Mix constantly and heat until mixture starts to froth. Tiny bubbles will start to appear, creating a paler green film at the top. Remove from heat before it can boil.
4| Pour mixture into another bowl. Let it cool to room temperature.
5| Once cooled, cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
6| Transfer mixture to pre-frozen freezer bowl and use ice cream machine to churn for 25 minutes. Transfer to airtight container and freeze for 3 hours to overnight.