International Recipes

Thai Ice Cream with Candied Ginger Topping

Ice cream is clearly not 'authentically Thai' in the sense that it has been served for hundreds of years (Thailand is a tropical country and without modern refrigerators it is very difficult to make ice cream), but it is now widely available and very popular. However two things are uniquely Thai: firstly it isn't made with animal milk, but with coconut milk, and secondly it is not usually flavored with fruit, but rather with savories such as corn, sweet potato, or herbs.

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Candied Ginger

  • 1 cup sliced ginger
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups palm sugar
  • Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
  • Lime juice

Ice Cream

  • 1 pineapple
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup corn kernels, pureed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or rosewater (optional)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons shredded coconut
  • 1/2 to 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 pineapple


Candied Ginger

  1. If you are using tender young ginger you may leave the skin on. Older ginger should be peeled. This may be easier after it has been sliced.
  2. Slice the ginger into uniform roundels about an 1/8 inch thick, and then roll them until they are half the original thickness.
  3. Dust the ginger lightly with the baking soda, and leave to stand for about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the baking soda by vigorously brushing with a stiff bristled brush to produce a slightly matte texture to the surface, and then immerse in lime juice for an hour. This has the effect of heightening the flavor, and also giving the ginger a delicate pink color.
  5. Bring the water to a boil, and stirring continuously add the sugar a little at a time until all is dissolved and forms a sticky, syrupy consistency. If necessary add a touch more water to ensure all the sugar is dissolved. Reduce the heat to very low and add the ginger slices and simmer, very gently, for 10 minutes, then turn off the stove and allow the ginger to cool naturally.
  6. Remove the ginger from the liquid and drain it (you don't have to be overly enthusiastic about this, but it shouldn't be too wet either), and put it in a sterile preserving jar, and keep in the refrigerator for at least a week before use.
  7. Reserve the ginger syrup in another sterilized jar, to pour over the ice cream.

Ice Cream

  1. In a dry wok or skillet, over medium heat, toast the coconut 'meat' until golden brown, and set aside to cool.
  2. Split pineapple in half lengthwise, and scoop out the woody heart of the fruit and then place the two halves in the refrigerator to cool.
  3. Combine the coconut milk and water, and warm it, then stir in the sugar, and stir until dissolved.
  4. In a liquidizer/blender, purée the corn kernels (or use a can of creamed corn), and then stir it into the coconut milk, combining thoroughly. Add the rosewater if you are using it, and a dash of salt and taste for flavor balance. Transfer to a mixing bowl and, with a hand beater, whisk to thoroughly to incorporate air. Pour the mixture into the two hollows in the pineapples and transfer to the ice box, and chill until set. Any extra ice cream can be cooled in ramekin dishes or similar.
  5. Slice the pineapple into horizontal slices, and serve to the diners with any excess ice cream also shared out, decorating each slice with pieces of candied ginger. Fold the fried coconut into the reserved ginger syrup, and pour over the slices of ice cream, decorate with mint and lime leaves.


In order to get the correct effect in the ginger it is 'distressed' a little first. We do this by rolling it through a heavy roller designed to tenderize dried squid. However you should be able to get a similar effect with a pasta roller or even a rolling pin. The slices should be of uniform thickness so I suggest a sharp kitchen slicer rather than a hand held knife.

For restaurant presentation the slices of ginger are cut to uniform pretty shapes using small confectioners' biscuit cutters, or the type used to cut out cake decorations.


Posted by WingsFan91 at Recipe Goldmine 11/15/2001 5:16 pm.

Colonel Ian F. Khuntilanont-Philpott

Special thanks to Muoi Khuntilanont.

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