53 deliciously Asian ice cream flavours

53 deliciously Asian ice cream flavours

Oh, and we've added some delicious popsicles, too!

Asian cuisine is nothing if not flavourful and exciting, and the soft serve culture is no exception. From Taiwanese snow ice and mochi balls to Thai ice cream rolls, the ice cream trend in Asia is ever evolving.

For us Asians, cold desserts aren't just an afterthought, they can make for the main attraction.

Here are our mouthwatering favourite Asian ice cream flavours!

53 Asian Ice Cream Flavours You Should Try!

1. Red Bean

The sweetness of red bean paste is a staple of East Asian cuisine, so it comes as no surprise that the same taste has found its way into an array of Asian desserts, like red bean ice cream and mochi balls.

asian ice cream flavours One of the most 'Asian' ice cream flavours out there is this delectable red bean soft serve. | image: shutterstock

2. Squid Ink

Though one of the weirder Asian ice cream flavours, squid ink can be quite a treat, if you like subtle creaminess.

Don't let the dark colour of this ice cream fool you, it does not taste bitter at all. In fact, some have likened it to chocolate and salted caramel.

Intrigued? Get your fix at food stalls across Japan or South Korea.

3. Black Sesame

You can find this flavourful soft serve in both Japan and China. It's creamy, nutty, and a great sweet treat after a hearty meal.

asian ice cream flavours Though not the most appetising in appearance, this dark-coloured soft serve is one the tastiest Asian ice cream flavours out there. | image: shutterstock

4. Sampaguita

Sampaguita ice cream, which is a tribute to the Philippines' national flower, is just as fragrant as the sweet-smelling bloom itself. A type of jasmine, this flower has been used in Asian cooking, mostly in salads. Now you can savour its floral flavour in soft serve form.

5. Queso Ice Cream

Also popular in the Philippines, this cheese-flavoured ice cream is creamy and sweet, with just the right amount of saltiness that truly hits the spot.

asian ice cream flavours One of the most popular Asian ice cream flavours, particularly in the Philippines, is this cheese-flavoured soft serve, often used as a topping to halo-halo. | image: shutterstock

6. Jackfruit

This flavourful fruit, which can thrive in most countries in Southeast Asia, has a pleasantly sharp aroma, chewy texture, and some even have said this fruit tastes like pork. As an ice cream, it's still just as flavourful, but creamier and simply unique.

7. Durian

One of the most divisive flavours in Asian cuisine is durian. You either love it or hate it, but durian ice cream will likely make anyone a fan!

asian ice cream flavours Much like the creamy, aromatic fruit it derives its flavour from, this soft serve is one of the staple Asian ice cream flavours that you have to try at least once. | image: shutterstock

8. Teh Tarik

Who says teh tarik only makes for a good early morning pick-me-up? Teh Tarik can also become a great after-meal palate cleanser, as a distinctly Asian ice cream flavour. Well, in Malaysia, at least.

9. Mango

This soft serve is truly a crowd pleaser, because the love for the sweetness (or sourness) and creaminess of mangoes is a universal feeling, even beyond Asia.

asian ice cream flavours Who doesn't love mangoes? Especially if they come in creamy soft-serve form! | image: shutterstock

10. Nasi lemak

This unusual and interesting flavour can be found in---where else, but---Malaysia. It has all the flavours of the popular dish that inspired it: the hints of coconut, anchovies, peanuts, and of course, chilli flakes! It's not as hot, though, but it's not without its spiciness.

11. Saffron

This earthy and creamy frozen treat is a concoction of both India and the middle east. If you're into subtle sweetness and fragrance, then saffron ice cream is worth a try.

asian ice cream flavours Yes, popsicles deserve a spot on the list of best Asian ice cream flavours, too! | image: shutterstock

12. Green Mango and Shrimp Paste

A popular snack in the Philippines, green mango with shrimp paste has also been reimagined as a dessert and the results are surprisingly delicious! Curious? Just imagine a cold, tangy ice cream tempered by some saltiness.

13. Matcha

Also known as green tea ice cream, matcha soft serve is a good choice if you're looking for a light, cold dessert that is not overly sweet or creamy. Some variations even leave a bitter aftertaste, if that's your thing.

asian ice cream flavours This flavour and soft serve are a match-a made in heaven! | image: shutterstock

14. Guava

This particular flavour, which has been likened to pears, strawberries or grapefruit depending on its ripeness, has been gaining popularity in India and beyond as an ice cream flavour. Much like the other Asian ice cream flavours, you can find a wealth of recipes to make your own online.

15. Ginger

This is one of the Asian ice cream flavours worth trying! It's a refreshing take on soft serve with a sharp, spicy flavour that's offset by just the right amount of creaminess.

Who says ginger is just meant to liven up broth and savoury dishes?

asian ice cream flavours Asian ice cream flavours truly draw from the most beloved traditional ingredients, like ginger. | image: shutterstock

16. Pomelo

Naturally sweet and citrusy, pomelo-flavoured sorbet is a must try for those looking to explore the most unforgettable Asian ice cream flavours. Top with mint leaves for added fragrance.

17. Lavender

Most of us think of lavender as more of a scent than a taste, but it's precisely its fragrance that boosts the flavour of Asian dishes, like savoury dishes and baked dishes, as well as ice cream.

Note though that culinary lavender has to be used in moderation due to its strong flavour. When used in ice cream, it's often paired with honey and even lemon.

asian ice cream flavours This aromatic, floral flavour lends itself well to cool soft serve. | image: shutterstock

18. Balsamic Vinegar

I've had the pleasure of trying this sour, sweet and creamy concoction at an Asian restaurant in the Philippines and though I was skeptical at first, it did not disappoint. It was served with a honey dew syrup to infuse sweetness, but the soft serve itself was a standalone winner.

19. Pineapple

This fun, tropical flavour is made more enjoyable in soft serve form. It's tangy and sweet and super refreshing.

And it's not just pineapple ice cream that's worth a try if you love this flavour, you can get your pineapple fix from an array of desserts across southeast Asia, like pineapple smoothies, sorbets, cakes, and tarts.

asian ice cream flavours What would a list of best Asian ice cream flavours be without pineapples? | image: shutterstock

20. Lemongrass

Though lemongrass is a familiar flavour to those who love Asian cuisine, not everyone realises that it also works as one of the most distinct and memorable Asian ice cream flavours. Lemongrass ice cream tastes a lot like lemon, but more subtle and herby than citrusy.

21. Coconut

Looking for a luscious and refreshing dessert? Then you would might like to try coconut ice cream, which you can get across Southeast Asia, for a way to cool down during a warm day. It's creamy and rich with just the right amount of sweetness. Think huge dollops of thick coconut milk. Sold yet?

asian ice cream flavours Coconuts abound in the region and so it makes perfect sense that Asian cuisine will use it to flavour their desserts, like soft serve. | image: shutterstock

22. Champorado

Also known as chocolate porridge in the Philippines, champorado ice cream topped with salty anchovies (dilis) is quite the revelation. I've had the pleasure of trying this rich, creamy treat in Manila and it became an instant favourite.

23. Wasabi

Anyone's who ever had Japanese food is familiar with the distinct texture and flavour of wasabi. Some would say it's like spicy mustard while others describe it as a a pungent spice.

When used in ice cream, wasabi retains that unique, sharp flavour but the heat of the spice is offset by the coolness and creaminess of soft serve.

asian ice cream flavours Wasabi doesn't just add heat to Japanese dishes, it can be a way to cool down, too! | image: shutterstock

24. Papaya

Papayas are packed with nutrients as well as flavour. So it makes sense that its subtle sweetness works for ice cream and sorbets as well.  Since papayas have a natural sweetness, they're a healthier ice cream ingredient option, as they do not require added sugar.

25. Sweet corn

For those who love tender and juicy corn, this flavour will surely be a hit. Imagine the sweetness of corn kernels infused into a luscious soft serve. Drooling yet?

asian ice cream flavours The distinct flavour of sweet corn lends itself well to soft serve. | image: shutterstock

26. Guyabano

Also known as soursop, guyabano boasts a lot of health benefits. It's not only packed with nutrients like fibre and vitamin C, it also has a distinct, citrusy flavour that's hard to miss.

27. Ube

Otherwise known as yam or sweet potato, ube is a popular ice cream flavour in the Philippines, but it has recently gained popularity in the international food scene, where purple yam flavour is used in cakes, cookies, chips, and jams.

asian ice cream flavours Though a staple of Filipino cuisine for decades, ube is now only recently rising in popularity worldwide...and with good reason! | image: shutterstock

28. Milo Dinosaur

Milo dinosaur is a popular drink across Asia, specifically in Singapore, so it's pretty exciting that the beloved milky and chocolatey flavours have been translated into ice cream form. Have your fill in Malaysia, Singapore, or even the Philippines.

29. Tofu

Tofu is an indispensible part of Asian, particularly Chinese and Thai cuisine. Depending on how it's cooked, tofu (or bean curd) can be enjoyed soft or chewy and even crispy. But there is one other way to enjoy tofu, and that's as a tasty kind of soft serve!

asian ice cream flavours Tofu has been a staple of Asian cooking for generations. So it makes sense that its flavour would find its way to Asian desserts. | image: shutterstock

30. Kaya

For ice cream lovers in Singapore, kaya is not just a sweet, nutty jam that goes well with toast. It also works as a creamy soft serve topped with toasted bread, of course!

31. Salted Egg

The salted egg trend---chips, cakes, etc.---shows no signs of slowing down, so it's no surprise that this beloved flavour has been infused into soft serve. The coolness of ice cream makes it even more flavourful, if you can believe it!

asian ice cream flavours Everything salted egg is sure to be a hit with Asian cuisine fans and ice cream is no exception! | image: shutterstock

32. Taho

Just like the beloved Filipino street food, taho ice cream is similarly soy-based and just as tasty. When drizzled with sugary, coconut syrup and topped with tapioca, it becomes an even more refreshing treat. Though instead of the texture silken tofu, expect a creamier, less chewy bite.

33. Tamarind

Sweetness isn't the only flavour ice cream lovers crave in Asia, because flavours that are sour are a hit, too! Like Tamarind ice cream, which is popular in Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines. There is even a tamarind chilli variation, which makes the tanginess even sharper.

asian ice cream flavours The sourness of tamarind infused into a cool batch of ice cream is a winner! | image: shutterstock

34. Calamansi

Also known as calamondin or the Philippine lime, the calamansi fruit is citrusy and sour. A popular ingredient locally, calamansi is used in both savoury dishes, baked goods, and healthy smoothies, now it's been made even more refreshing as a soft serve dessert.

35. Taro

Though not exclusively used in Asian cooking, Taro is a starchy, edible root that's an integral part of our food culture. Though its meaty flavour is used in savoury dishes, it's also been used to make ice cream. The results? A velvety and nutty soft serve that's not overly rich.

asian ice cream flavours Looking for a nutty, subtly sweet dessert fix? Taro popsicles will hit the spot. | image: shutterstock

36. Pandan

The fragrant flavours of pandan is a staple of Asian cooking, from adding a pleasant aroma to rice to flavouring curries, it's one of the most easily recognisable herbs.

In the Philippines, pandan is combined with coconut for a pleasantly creamy and tasty dessert.

37. Santol

Also known as lolly fruit, santol is a seasonal, nutritious fruit beloved in the Philippines. When made into ice cream, the results are a velvety dessert that's both sweet and sour. Santol sorbet can be found in Davao and other regions in the Philippines , when in season, of course.

asian ice cream flavours Looking for ice cream that's both sweet and sour? This local Filipino favourite checks all the boxes. | image: shutterstock

38. Indian Curry

If you're looking for a spicy but sweet ice cream fix and you've had your fill of wasabi, why not try curry ice cream, which is often sold in Japan. When made at home, some like adding mint or coconut to their curry ice cream to offset the spiciness.

39. Dragonfruit

Dragonfruit is one of the more popular ice cream flavour in Malaysia. This refreshing and brightly coloured fruit is often enjoyed in popsicle form. It's naturally sweet and delectable. Some even drizzle it with lime, when prepared in soft serve form, for a tangy boost!

asian ice cream flavours Tangy, sweet, and creamy, dragonfruit ice cream will surely be an instant fave! | image: shutterstock

40. Lychee

Lychee ice cream is just as juicy and delectable as the flavourful fruit it's derived from. Since lychees are naturally sweet, they make for the perfect soft serve ingredient. When combined with coconut or matcha, for instance, lychee becomes even more delicious.

41. Pears

Mildly sweet with a light citrusy flavour is the best way to describe pears. When infused in ice cream, it results in a fresh, delicate soft serve that's as refreshing as it is flavourful.

asian ice cream flavours Pear ice cream is a light treat and it also works well in popsicle form! When looking for the best Asian ice cream flavours, this is one that can't be missed! | image: shutterstock

42. Crab

Crab ice cream isn't for everybody, but it's worth a shot, particularly for the more adventurous. From chilli crab ice cream in Singapore and Kani aisu in Japan, crab ice cream is described as having a sweet, umami taste, while other say it has a bisque-like flavour.

43. Longan

Similar to the lychee, as it has white flesh with a big seed, longans differ in that it has a more tart flavour, while lychees balance tartness with natural sweetness. But they both make great ice cream flavours!

asian ice cream flavours This tart-filled flavour will win your heart! Longan ice cream, anyone? | image: shutterstock

44. Rambutan

In the same family as lychees and longans is the rambutan fruit. Though it has the same white flesh within, it differs in its spiky outer layer as well as rich, sweet flavour.

45. Plum

Plums have been an integral part of east Asian cooking for centuries. So it's natural for this popular fruit to be used in a beloved dessert like ice creams and sorbets. If you stumble upon plum ice cream on your travels, expect a sweet, tangy, and tart taste as well as a dessert experience you won't soon forget.

asian ice cream flavours Plum is a familiar flavour for Asian foodies, but plum ice cream just takes it to a whole new level. | image: shutterstock

46. Milk Tea

The beloved boba has been taken one step in the right direction with this dessert. Milk tea ice cream, which I had the pleasure of trying in Manila, can range from being toffee to caramel flavoured, with just the right amount of sweetness from brown sugar.

47. Avocado

The healthy fats in avocado make for a rich ice cream experience. Just like the other Asian ice cream flavours on this list, recipes of how to make this abound online. But you can get your fix when travelling across Asia, particularly in the Philippines and Malaysia.

asian ice cream flavours The richness and creaminess of avocado is truly refreshing! | image: shutterstock

48. Mangosteen

This mild-tasting creamy fruit has been one of my favourites since childhood. It is believed to have originated in Indonesia, where it is fondly known as the 'queen of fruits.' Though the store-bought kind is available in certain parts of Asia, you can easily make your own at home.

49. Passion Fruit

Much like plums, passion fruits have a naturally tart flavour and appetising fragrance. Some liken it to a more sour orange or mango. As such, it's often paired with something sweet or creamy, which makes it an ideal candidate for luscious ice cream.

asian ice cream flavours Though more sour than sweet, passion fruit still earns a spot on the list of best Asian ice cream flavours. | image: shutterstock

50. Turon

Another Filipino snack food that's been turned into a dessert is turon. The flavour of turon ice cream lies in both its caramelized cone, that recreates the taste of fried turon wrappers, and banana ice cream.

51. Banana

You can probably get this elsewhere, but it deserves a spot on this list because it is undeniably one of the best Asian ice cream flavours. It lends itself well to variety of dishes, like crepes, and as mentioned earlier, Philippine turon ice cream.

52. Cardamom

An indispensable spice in Asian cooking, cardamom also makes for one of the most enticing Asian ice cream flavours. Much like cardamom pods, the ice cream form is herby, fragrant, and minty.

asian ice cream flavours Cardamom isn't just a flavour to spice up Asian dishes, it can also tickle the palate as a creamy dessert. | image: shutterstock

53. Moringa

Aside from being one of the healthiest vegetables around, moringa can be a delicious, guilt-free ice cream flavour. It can be combined with a variety of flavours, too, like vanilla, chocolate, and mint for added richness. You can get this across southeast Asia, in Indonesia and the Philippines, but you can also whip up your own at home.

Did we miss out on your favourite Asian ice cream flavours? Let us know in the comments!

Written by

Bianchi Mendoza