Friday, June 4, 2010

Green Tea Ice Cream

I am going to let you all in on a little secret. I am going to tell you my all-time favorite ice cream flavor: green tea. My favorite place to eat it has always been Takashimaya, a Japanese department store with a basement restaurant on 5th Avenue in New York. When I'm in the city, I almost always try to make a stop for this perfect bowl of ice cream. It's creamy and calm, not too strong, but not too subtle. Unfortunately, I just learned that Takashimaya will be closing its doors forever tomorrow (June 5). Fortunately, I now have a recipe that rivals theirs.

There's a great little Japanese grocery in DC called Hana Market (2005 17th St., NW, on the corner of 17th and U). It's the only place in the city where I have been able to sushi grade fish and other Japanese specialty products. On a recent trip, I asked the owner, a very friendly old Japanese man, if he had any green tea powder that I could use to make ice cream. He found only one tiny jar that was very expensive on the shelf. Instead, he went in the back, poured a few spoonfuls (enough for several batches) of his own green tea powder into a little baggy and gave it to me. I love this man. 

If you can't find green tea powder in the store, there are many varieties available online:

Japanese Small Tin Green Tea Powder - 1.40 Oz. Itoen Tegaruni Matcha (Japanese Green Tea Powder 30 gram) Matcha Green Tea Powder 4 oz bag of loose tea    Maeda-En - Shiki Matcha (green tea powder) 1.0 Oz.

The powder gives the ice cream a much more concentrated flavor than steeping tea leaves in the milk. Plus, it's faster!

I added the powder after creating the custard. If it clumps, use a blender or electric mixer to smooth it out.


1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
5 egg yolks
2 teaspoons green tea powder.

Combine milk, cream, and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar. In a separate bowl, whip egg yolks. Just before the milk begins to simmer, add about half the mixture to the bowl of egg yolks half a cup at a time, stirring constantly. Slowly pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan, stirring constantly. Keep stirring until a thick custard forms, coating the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Stir in green tea powder. Chill using an ice bath or refrigeration. When cold, add ice cream mix into ice maker and churn.


  1. Felt the need to comment on this since I got the chance to taste it. This is DIVINE! Such a strong green tea flavor without being overpowering. I wish I could buy this by the gallon :)

  2. Takashimaya is closing?? Sadness! I hope not everywhere. i heart green tea ice cream!! we have a great local japanese market here called Fujiya where you can buy excellent matcha green tea powder.

    this one looks lovely!

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