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Hawaii shave ice: Our guide to favorite toppings

Hawaii_shave_ice_extrasSweetened condensed milk

One of our personal favorite shave ice toppings is a finishing layer of sweetened condensed milk over the ice dome after flavored syrups are poured. The thick blanket of decadently rich sweetness the condensed milk creates upon settling is often called a “snow cap” because of its resemblance to a fresh dusting of powder on especially mountainous servings of shave ice. Once you've had it on shave ice, resistance is futile the next time you order.

Hawaii_shave_ice_extrasMochi balls

Mochi balls—small, rounded pieces of the sweet Japanese rice cake—are a fairly recent favorite on the Hawaii shave ice toppings menu. For shave ice bowls, white mochi balls are softened in sweetened syrup and the whole concoction ladled over the top of the finished mound of ice. For shave ice cones, the concoction is scooped into the center or bottom of the cone as it is being shaped. Shave ice aficionados on Team Mochi Ball rave about the added sweetness and soft, round texture.

Hawaii_shave_ice_extrasLi hing powder

A dusting of this red powder used in Chinese style preserved fruit and candies on a finished shave ice cone imparts a sweet, sour and salty flavor some might consider an acquired taste. Our advice? Tread lightly here unless you’ve had anything with li hing powder before and liked it.

Did we miss any extras toppings you love on your shave ice? Leave us a comment here or on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Pique our interest with one of your extras, and we’ll add them to our list above (and credit you, of course).

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