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Filipino Halo-Halo Recipe

Filipino Halo-Halo Recipe

Halo-halo is a traditional Filipino cold dessert prepared using crushed ice, evaporated milk or condensed milk, and many other optional ingredients depending on taste.

Common additional ingredients include: ube, sweetened beans, coconut strips, sago, gulaman (agar), pinipig rice, boiled taro or soft yams in cubes, slices or portions of fruit preserves and other root crop preserves, and flan. It is often topped with a scoop of ube ice cream.

The fruits and all other ingredients are added to a tall glass (generally a spoonful of all ingredients) in no specific order, and they are topped with plenty of shaved ice. The next step is to dribble some evaporated milk over the shaved ice. It is then topped with a scoop of ube ice cream and other toppings are also added.

The texture of halo-halo is on the creamier side (due to the presence of ube ice cream and milk), but the inclusion of shaved ice also provides the dessert with its fair share of crunch.

Halo-halo is believed to be the unofficial national dessert of the Philippines. Although, there is no fixed set of ingredients used to prepare the dish, there are common ones such as jellies, flan, macapuno, palm seeds, sweetened red beans, shaved ice, ube ice cream, fresh fruit, toasted coconut flakes and pinipig.

Origin & Cultural Significance

The word ‘halo-halo’ in Tagalog literally translates to mix-mix in English.

The origin of halo-halo dates back to the Japanese kakigōri class of desserts that was introduced to the Philippines by a Japanese diaspora living in the Philippines. One of the initial types of dish was a dessert locally called monggo con hielo or mongo-ya, and was comprised of only boiled mung beans in syrup (minatamis na monggo) served on top of crushed ice with milk and sugar.

With time, variations of the dish began to emerge as people started started using more innate ingredients, which eventually led to the creation of the modern halo-halo. The main thing that differentiates halo-halo and its Japanese ancestor is the positioning of the ingredients (typically underneath the ice instead of over it).

Halo-halo is also popular in neighboring Palau.

How is Halo-Halo Eaten?

People generally consume halo-halo like an ice cream sundae, instead of drinking it using a straw (like a juice). This dish is usually served in a tall glass instead of a bowl. As far as the volume of the dessert is considered, it is believed that the mix-ins only occupy 1/3 of the dish, and the rest is just shaved ice.

As the name itself suggests, all the ingredients of halo-halo are supposed to be combined properly before eating. Because the majority of the ingredients will be resting at the bottom of the glass, mixing is important to relish all the blends of flavors present in the dish. This differentiates halo-halo from all the other desserts.

Generally consumed during the summers, this dessert is considered to be a refreshing treat packed with complex flavours.


Filipino Halo-Halo Recipe

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Halo-halo is a traditional Filipino cold dessert prepared using crushed ice, evaporated milk or condensed milk, and many other optional ingredients depending on taste.


  • Shaved Ice - 2 Cups
  • Mangoes (ripe) - 2
  • Bananas (large and ripe) - 1
  • Jackfruit (ripe) - 1 cup
  • Fresh or Bottled Young Shredded Coconut - 1 cup
  • Sweet Corn or Chickpeas (garbanzos) - 1/2 cup
  • Firm Gelatin, Gelled and Cut into 1/2-inch cubes - 1 cup
  • Rice Pop - 1/2 cup
  • Cooked Sweet Yams or (Ube halaya) - 1 Cup
  • Your Preferred Ice cream - 4 scoops
  • Evaporated Milk - 2 Cups


  1. Begin by peeling mangoes and cutting them into half-inch cubes.
  2. Now, divide every ingredient into 4 equal portions. Take 4 tall glasses and, in layers, place all the ingredients in the glasses.
  3. Add one-half cup of shaved ice to every single glass.
  4. Next, add a quarter of milk on top of shaved ice to every glass.
  5. Place one scoop of your preferred ice cream on top.
  6. In the end, add a few nuts or rice crispies over the ice cream and voila! Your halo halo is ready to be eaten!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 3573Total Fat: 102gSaturated Fat: 65gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 262mgSodium: 1263mgCarbohydrates: 519gFiber: 47gSugar: 334gProtein: 175g

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