It seems that everywhere I turned in Japan, there appeared another food made with matcha to try. Matcha lattes, matcha biscuits, matcha rice cakes, matcha noodles, and, of course, matcha ice cream. When I arrived back in Korea, I decided to make my own version of the ice cream that still had my heart in Japan, a fitting conclusion to my Japanese Progressive Dinner.
Whoever realized that you could freeze chunks of banana and then blend them to make a delicious vegan soft serve should have a holiday named after them. Since discovering this creation, our freezer has been steadily stocked with sliced bananas. When my husband gets a craving for ice cream (this happens quite often), I can simply take out the frozen bananas, add a little peanut butter and cinnamon or a few dark chocolate chips and blend them into the consistency of soft serve. An excellent way to satisfy his overgrown sweet tooth!
Note: I learned in Taro’s class that many items labeled “matcha” (a very high quality green tea that undergoes different preparation) are simply made with lower quality green tea or green tea flavoring, as true matcha is too expensive to be used in most mass-produced snacks. However, that didn’t stop me from trying as many matcha/green tea items as I could.
Ingredients (yields 3-4 servings)
4 ripe bananas
1 tablespoon green tea powder (unsweetened)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2-3 tablespoons honey
Extra green tea powder for garnish
First, peel the bananas and slice them into rounds. Place in a freezer proof bag and freeze until completely solid, at least 5 hours or overnight is best.
When the craving for ice cream strikes, place the frozen banana slices in a food processor, along with the green tea powder, vanilla, and honey. Pulse just until a soft serve consistency appears (it will look like stretched taffy), pausing to scrape down the sides of the processor.
Divide into bowls, and serve immediately with a sprinkle of green tea powder on top.
This recipe concludes my Japanese Progressive Dinner series. Check out my other recipes to make a complete Japanese dinner, served alongside rice and soup: