3 Yummy Recipes with Ice as a Major Ingredient

If so far you have considered ice only to add to your drinks to make them cool, you haven’t made full use of those shiny cubes for cooking. What? Ice for cooking? You may ask. But, it’s true. Any chef will tell you that ice is not just for adding to cocktails.

You’ll find an ice machine in the kitchen of almost every restaurant and its contents are essential all through the cooking process from cooling faded vegetables to storing fish. Thus, while you may know that a highball is impossible to make without ice, you may hardly stop and think of so many other uses of those frozen blocks in your kitchen. Ice can maintain the snap of green bean, aerate your coffee, protect the texture of a sauce, and of course, crystallize into any number of refreshments to crush the heat wave! Moreover, it’s essentially free. So, why shouldn’t we take full advantage of these magic crystals? Here are tips.

Make Crunchiest Vegetable Salad with Ice

Bathing your vegetables in ice makes two things. Firstly it helps restore water content of the cells of the vegetables. And plunging in ice water after blanching quickly stops the cooking process, maintaining color and texture.

Crunchiest Vegetable Salad with Ice

Add a Creamy Froth to Your Espresso with Ice

When you shake your espresso with plenty of ice and a dash of sweetener, it forms a creamy froth on its top and turns into an incredibly more fascinating drink.

Creamy Froth to Your Espresso with Ice

Emulsify with Ice

If you believe oil and water don’t mix, you haven’t made true use of ice. Here’s a bit of scientific information: colder temperatures help emulsions take place. Next time, while making a vinaigrette, mix all ingredients in a jar and add an ice cube and shake vigorously. Or try the aioli given below in which ice is mixed in the dressing to create a sauce that will not separate.

Emulsify with Ice

Make the Coolest Desserts with Ice

Make halo-halo, the Filipino dessert having a base of fluffy shaved ice. You can add the store-bought toppings like gummies and coconut flakes. See the recipe below.

Coolest Desserts with Ice

And now, here are a few recipes that will convince you that an ice machine is a must in your kitchen.

1. Crunchy Vegetable Salad


  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 4 small radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • ½ English hothouse cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces sugar snap peas
  • 1 pound mixed snap beans (like wax, green and/or Romano)
  • Kosher salt

For Dressing

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Kosher salt


Place scallions, radishes and cucumber in a colander and place the colander inside a bowl of ice water. Press vegetables to submerge. Let them soak, stirring from time to time, till they become very crunchy and firm. Keep for at least 15 minutes to 1 hour. Drain and pat dry.

In the meantime, take generously salted water in a large pot and cook beans in it for a minute or until their color intensifies and they are barely soft. Immediately transfer to a large bowl of salted ice water (around 1 tbsp salt for every 2 quarts of water) using a slotted spoon.

Bring water in the pot to a boil and repeat the cooking process with sugar snap peas. Add to the bowl of ice water with beans. Set aside vegetables to cool and then drain and pat dry. Remove strings from sugar snap peas and trim beans. Make large pieces on a steep diagonal.


Whisk oil, lime juice, sesame seeds, sugar and soy sauce together in a large bowl; season dressing with pepper and salt. Add peas and beans and toss to coat. Adjust seasoning if needed. Add scallions, radishes and cucumber and toss to mix. Take into a platter.

Crunchy Vegetable Salad

2. Garlicky Blender Aioli

You might have come across a number of aioli recipes. The one given here uses a coddled egg rather than raw and a successful emulsion is achieved due to the blender method.


  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup blanched almonds
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Kosher salt


Boil water in a small saucepan and cook egg in it for 4 minutes. Transfer immediately to a bowl of ice water and stir till the egg becomes cool to touch i.e. for around a minute. Peel it carefully (the yolk will be runny). Take it in a blender, along with almonds, oil, garlic and lemon juice and puree till the mixture becomes very smooth. Now add 2 large ice cubes and puree again, scraping down sides as required, till a thick, foamy, emulsified white sauce is formed, i.e. around a minute. Season with salt and pepper. If required, blend in another ice cube to thin the sauce. Aioli will become slightly firm if chilled.

Garlicky Blender Aioli

3. Icy Cool Version of Halo Halo

This version of the Filipino dessert, halo halo, is topped with gummies and coconut flakes as mentioned earlier and it has been saturated with fruits which makes it extra juicy and saucy too. The real fun with this dessert is its great blend of textures: creamy, crunchy, chewy and icy!


  • 2 very ripe bananas made into 1/4-inch slices
  • 6 ounces fresh blackberries, cut in halves if large
  • 6 ounces fresh blueberries
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
  • ¾ cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • ½ pint coconut or vanilla ice cream
  • 4 cups shaved ice
  • Kosher salt
  • Gummi bears, toasted unsweetened coconut flakes and/or popcorn


Mix bananas, vanilla, brown sugar, 2 tbsp water and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Set aside but keep stirring occasionally, till bananas become jammy and liquid becomes a bit thick; this will take around 20-30 minutes.

In the meantime, mix lime juice, berries, granulated sugar and a pinch of salt in another bowl. Crush berries lightly till they start releasing juices. Set aside, stirring occasionally, till juices become a bit thick, i.e. for 15-20 minutes.

Stir condensed milk and coconut milk together in a third bowl. Form halo-halo in two small pint glasses or bowls by alternating layers of shaved ice, bananas, coconut milk-condensed milk mixture and ice cream. Top as you want.

Icy Cool Version of Halo Halo

So, what do you think of ice now? Now, as you’ve found its yummy uses, get an ice machine right away and start making the treats!