18 Jan2011


Stewed sweetened fruit, beans and jam swimming in crushed ice, milk and melting ice cream doesn’t sound like a particularly appetizing snack, but for many Filipinos, it spells the ultimate comfort snack. Comfort from the heat, comfort from a mid-afternoon hunger pang, or just comfort from the warm fuzzy feelings that result after consuming a bowl of halo-halo. :) From the lobby of the Peninsula Hotel Makati to the corner sari-sari store in some far-flung provincial idyll, halo-halo is a national favorite. I read somewhere that the history of a halo-halo doesn’t actually go back too far, maybe a hundred years at most, so this is a relatively recent (in the historical scheme of things) addition to the list of favorite filipino dishes or snacks.


While I do like the convenience of opening a bunch of store-bought ingredients for an “instant” halo-halo, there’s nothing like a simple homemade version. In this case, we had an abundance of saba bananas (we buy entire bunches on drives back from Batangas for 1/4th the price they sell for in Manila) which were turned into minatamis na saging, and stored in the fridge. On another day, some excess ripe langka fruit was also preserved simply in sugar syrup and stored in the fridge. So when the time was right, and a cool snack was desired, we simply crushed up some ice (we have a shaver, but didn’t have a block of ice in the freezer) added them to bowls filled with as much banana and langka as you like, and added a large scoop of ube ice cream over top and drizzled in some milk. Yum. :)


The taste of the home made bananas and langka definitely beat the bottled versions… and the simplicity of just a few ingredients was a welcome change from the truly over-the-top halo-halo versions even we at home make on occasion…


To make this halo-halo please refer to these previous posts:

Minatamis na saba
Preserved fresh langka

And if curious, here are other previous posts on halo-halo:

Halo-halo and a View
Halo-halo at home
Playing host for the day with Chef Bobby Chinn of “World Cafe Asia” — and a halo-halo buffet and merienda spread



  1. chreylle says:

    m craving for halohalo now,.. miss the little quiapo version of halo halo

    Jan 18, 2011 | 12:09 pm


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  3. Jenny says:

    To save time, buying halo halo from Banang’s (San Juan Manila) is a treat. At P50 only, you got one with one scoop of ube ice cream. yummy. yummy yummy

    Jan 18, 2011 | 12:18 pm

  4. millet says:

    was about to ask for the recipe for the preserved langka since i don’t like the overly-sweetened lancka with vdery stringly fibers, and then i saw the link to an earlier post which i may have missed. thanks, MM!

    Jan 18, 2011 | 1:20 pm

  5. jannah says:

    I like!

    Jan 18, 2011 | 1:46 pm

  6. Duke says:


    Jan 18, 2011 | 2:43 pm

  7. maron says:

    MM, you try the halo-halo sold in Tiwi, Albay

    the name of the restaurant is “DJC Halo-Halo”

    better than the ones sold by chowking and other restos

    it’s really a must-try, many balikbayans flock the store.

    you can google it for more info.

    Jan 18, 2011 | 3:31 pm

  8. gob41 says:

    kahit malamig sa gabi ngayon.. basta ganyang Halo-Halo.. delicious!

    Jan 18, 2011 | 4:11 pm

  9. Bubut says:

    Bobby Chinn mentions that halo halo and showed a portion of it in his show at TLC, saying that its the Spaniards where we get our sweet tooth.

    Jan 18, 2011 | 4:12 pm

  10. Virgie says:


    Jan 18, 2011 | 4:27 pm

  11. Peach says:

    Sarap! :-) Would’ve been even better with some of the homemade leche flan that you previously blogged about plus some fresh carabao’s milk. Sigh…

    Jan 18, 2011 | 4:47 pm

  12. Ms. Food Adventurer says:

    I love halo halo…I just had one via room service while staying at the Manila Peninsula last week. Their halo halo is to die for, with that perfect scoop of ube ice cream, that creamy block of leche flan, the red beans, kaong, langka, banana and crushed ice. Perfect!!! A balikbayan’s dream!

    Jan 18, 2011 | 5:08 pm

  13. barang says:

    With all the snow we have been having, that’s what I’ve been thinking too – halohalo!

    Jan 18, 2011 | 7:34 pm

  14. marilen says:

    Thank you for your tastebuds, MM. Truly catholic in its taste – high end, low brow – manamit tanan!!

    Jan 18, 2011 | 8:57 pm

  15. anna says:

    when home made halo-halo is not available, try razon’s. super yummy!!!!!

    Jan 18, 2011 | 9:12 pm

  16. Leah says:

    Even with the snowfall last night, I think today’s mission is to go find halo-halo :D

    Jan 18, 2011 | 9:41 pm

  17. Mimi says:

    Today I simply fried sliced saba with freshly torn langka strips in oil, quickly drained on paper towels then slathered with butter and sugar. Halo-halo sounds great, but it has been cool rainy weather here of late. Will make halo-halo when when it turns hot, gotta break-in the new pangkaskas my sister gave me.

    Jan 18, 2011 | 9:53 pm

  18. chreylle says:

    i agree with jenny and maron , we always have halo halo fr banang since its near in the office, and DJC was served a very good halo halo too ( i really look for it when we went to legazpi)

    Jan 18, 2011 | 10:01 pm

  19. thelma says:

    it may be cold now where i am, but i can have halohalo anytime….

    Jan 19, 2011 | 12:24 am

  20. jack says:

    first picture pa lang already made me crave for halohalo, actually title pa lang oks na!

    Jan 19, 2011 | 12:40 am

  21. Menchie says:

    OMG!! How I miss Halo-Halo so much!! what a mouth-watering photos you have there Market Man!. : ) thanks for sharing. Here in the Caribbean we don’t have “saba” so I just gonna cook plantain as an options. Thanks for sharing.

    Jan 19, 2011 | 3:50 am

  22. jane says:

    hay everytime ma miss ko ang halo halo omo order lang ako dito sa chowking sharja branch 18dirhams lang grabe ng sarrraappppp gustong gusto ng mga anak ko kahit mga arabo sila sobrang paborito nila ang halo halo

    Jan 19, 2011 | 5:41 am

  23. junb says:

    I’ve got old style Ice crasher (kudkuran) here in Singapore and we do stack up ICE block in our freezer. It’s a good satisfying merienda. I still remember during my childhood in Manila that almost all street has a table of halo-halo in at least one of the house :)

    Jan 19, 2011 | 8:19 am

  24. NYCMama says:

    Hey DJC fans, you forgot to mention what makes that halo halo unique: it has cheese! Quite unusual I think. A few years ago while visiting home I went on a halo halo taste test (binge, really!) The Razon’s in Manila (Market Market) tastes a little different from the Guagua (?) Razon’s. I liked the Guagua better. Somehow, I don’t enjoy Chowking while my sister LOVES it. My favorite halo halo of all is Milky Way! I love halo halo so much, one time my friends threw a halo halo buffet party for me on my rooftop in New York City! Nowadays, I get my halo halo fix from Engeline’s in Woodside, Queens. I still think of my childhood halo halo adventures (from the sari sari stores near our house, from the neighbors who would put up instant summer stands, to my dad leaving the slow moving PNR train we took (Naga City to Manila, circa 1974) somewhere in Lucena, because he spied a roadside halo halo stand along the “riles”. In the middle of indulging, the train started moving and all of us cousins started yelling at him “hurry, hurry, the train will leave you!” Such wonderful halo halo childhood memories! Thanks for this post!

    Jan 19, 2011 | 10:16 am

  25. Teresa says:

    aaayayayyy…signs of summer on its way :-)). Yum!!

    Jan 19, 2011 | 12:26 pm

  26. teth says:

    yes, DJC HAlOHALO FROM TIWI, ALBAY is the best for me… Try nyo!

    Jan 19, 2011 | 1:26 pm

  27. tonceq says:

    I LOOOOVE HALO-HALO! but like you MM, i prefer a halo-halo of less and choice ingredients… For example, i usually prefer a halo-halo without the beans (varies from kidney beans or garbanzos i believe) but besides that all other ingredients are welcome!

    haha, ang tapang mo naman MM, eating Halo-halo in the midst of the still cold weather! i can’t even take a bath without bracing myself before the first splash of cold water! :)

    Jan 19, 2011 | 8:36 pm

  28. Amee says:

    Man, now I’m craving halo halo and it’s nearly 3 a.m. where I am.

    Jan 20, 2011 | 3:21 am

  29. Quinny A says:

    can you really use ‘plantains’ as a substitute for ‘saba’?wala kasi nyan dito sa states,tapos ang hirap din hanapin yung perfect mix ng halohalo na nasa bote na mismo!pls. help,i really really miss eating halohalo….maybe i can make my own from scratch!thanks!

    Jan 20, 2011 | 7:19 am

  30. APM says:

    Hi Marketman,

    Halo halo is probably the only contribution of the Japanese occupation to Philippine cuisine. You will note that most countries that were occupied by Japan have similar shaved ice desserts. While the original dessert probably was some form of beans in syrup on shaved ice, the different variants of Halo halo are examples of Filipinos taking something foreign and making it into something distinctly Filipino.

    Jan 20, 2011 | 12:41 pm

  31. Marketman says:

    APM, from what I understand, halo-halo may hark back to a few years BEFORE the Japanese occupation, when a few “soda bars” were opened by Japanese nationals here ostensibly to do business, but were apparently already early planted “spies” for the motherland… if that is true, it’s one notch cooler don’t you think? But yes, the Japanese are to thank for the iced desserts… though we were brining back ice in big blocks from the Americas before WWII, which is equally fascinating for me… weeks of travel on giant freighters and the ice blocks still survived!

    Plantains seem to be a reasonable substitute for fried bananas, but I haven’t tried them in “minatamis” form where I suspect they would get too mushy and fall apart… But I don’t know that for sure…

    Jan 20, 2011 | 1:05 pm

  32. betty q. says:

    On the other hand, MM..plantains hold their shape well. I just don’t go for the burro type of saba here…to me they are tasteless. What I do though is make sure the plantains are really, really ripe almost blackish….then I boil them first though before adding caramel orbrown sugar syrup. Of course, nothing beats our saba but at 8 bananas for $10?!? at the Pinoy stores, very ripe plantains will do!

    Jan 21, 2011 | 12:15 pm

  33. Heidi says:

    I also love the sweet-sour taste of minatamis na pinya. There was even one summer where I didn’t get a chance to eat halo-halo. Yep, one whole summer. The season where people dive in to beaches and drink a load of really refreshing palamig. I was like, why the heck did I not eat even a single halo-halo? What a shame! BTW, I’m new here and guess what? This post was the first I read. And I say, I like your blog. Oh, I saw you featured in Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho. :)

    Jan 23, 2011 | 11:54 pm

  34. albert says:

    Singapore’s ice kachang looks suspiciously like halo-halo, but I much prefer halo-halo.

    Jan 25, 2011 | 1:04 am

  35. adrian says:

    try freezing coconut water then grinding/blending it until it is realllllly smooth??? well anyway point is, try substituting the ice made with water to ice made with coconut water :)

    Jan 26, 2011 | 11:30 pm

  36. t2marc says:

    i love the halo halo in DJC, tiwi, albay . . it’s the best halo halo in bicol

    Feb 26, 2011 | 10:35 pm


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