Green tea ice cream originated in Japan and is made with matcha, or green tea powder, which gives it its distinct color and flavor.
Interest in this delicious, refreshing ice cream is continuing to grow in the Western world, but it has long been a popular ice cream flavor in Japan and East Asia.
In Japan, matcha ice cream is typically served with tsubu anko (sweet azuki bean paste) and dango (Japanese rice flour dumplings). Matcha ice cream is the perfect dessert to serve after a Japanese meal.
You can make matcha ice cream at home, or you can purchase it from one of many vendors.
In the past, it was difficult to find matcha ice cream outside of Japanese and other Asian supermarkets, but now major ice cream vendors, including Baskin Robbins and Haagen-Dazs, are selling this exotic ice cream flavor.
Stores that are known to carry green tea-flavored ice cream in the US include Wild Oats, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and even Walmart.
Making Green Tea Ice Cream at Home
Like other types of ice cream, matcha ice cream contains sugar, egg yolks, milk, and cream. For those accustomed to making ice cream at home, making matcha ice cream would likely be a simple process.
You could even make a lazy version of homemade matcha ice cream by mixing some matcha powder with store-bought vanilla ice cream. Most would agree, however, that matcha ice cream made from scratch has the best flavor.
To make your own matcha ice cream, bring milk, cream, and salt to a boil in a heavy saucepan and then remove it from the heat.
In a separate bowl, mix eggs, sugar, and matcha. Gradually pour the warm cream mixture into the bowl with the egg mixture while whisking.
Heat the mixture over the stove on low heat while stirring constantly. When the mixture thickens, pour it through a sieve and into a metal bowl.
Once the mixture reaches room temperature, cover it and let it chill in the fridge. If you’re using an ice cream maker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions in order to freeze the mixture.
You can make matcha ice cream with or without an ice cream maker, but it’s a lot easier to do it with an ice cream maker.
If you make it without an ice cream maker, you have to take the ice cream out of the freezer every couple of hours to break up the ice crystals that form before returning it to the freezer. This will make the ice cream’s consistency creamier.