5 Chinese Desserts That Trump Ice Cream

Posted on: 27 August 2015

When you eat out at a Chinese restaurant do you tend to finish off your meal with a less than authentic dessert such as ice cream? It's a real shame to enjoy traditional Chinese food and not explore the range of delicious desserts available. Here's an overview of five Chinese desserts that trump ice cream:

Mango Pudding

This cold, refreshing dessert is ideal when you want to cool off on a warm day. It's made with fresh pureed mango, sugar, evaporated milk, and agar, which is a gelling agent that's derived from seaweed and is suitable for vegetarians. Mango pudding is a creamy dish that's typically served with fresh seasonal fruits.

Year Cake

If you have an especially sweet tooth, this is the dessert for you. It's a staple during Chinese New Year celebrations, but it's also eaten year-round. Year cake is made by slowly steaming coconut milk, glutinous rice and sugar until the mixture is thick like porridge. It's then cooled, sliced and drizzled with rosewater syrup before being served. This dessert is considered a symbol of prosperity and luck and it's delicious with a cup of black tea.

Red Bean Cake

This dessert is gluten-free and is made with dark brown sugar, rice flour and red bean paste, which is a popular ingredient in Chinese sweets. Red bean paste is made by passing cooked aduki beans through a fine sieve to create a smooth paste that's often sweetened with honey. The cake is steamed and can be eaten hot or cold.

Banana Rolls

You'd be forgiven for thinking this dish contains banana, but the name is in reference to the shape of the pastry used in this dessert. The banana-shaped pastry is made with rice flour and gently steamed, so it's quite gelatinous and satisfying. Popular fillings include a sweet red bean paste and warming cinnamon sugar.


This traditional dessert is not for the fainthearted, but it's worth trying if you have respiratory problems, as it's considered an effective treatment in traditional Chinese medicine. Hasma consists of a sweet broth made with ripe fruit and fatty tissue from frogs. The fatty tissue gives the dish a chewy texture, but it's relatively tasteless so try not to let it put you off ordering this unique dessert.

As you can see, there are a wide range of traditional Chinese desserts available. So, next time you visit Chinese restaurant like Sun Wah Restaurant & Function Centre, skip the ice cream and give one of these dishes a go.