8 of the best desserts from around Asia

Kevin Farrell

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After finishing up a satisfying meal at home, you might reach for a cookie and the remote control. After paying the bill on a dinner date that you don’t want to end, you might suggest a leisurely stroll and an ice cream cone. But across the Pacific, the post-dinner sweet tooth options are mostly foods you've never heard of – and they're practically limitless. Here are eight of our favorite Asian desserts absolutely worth giving a try.


Shibuya Honey Toast

Where to find it: Japan

First birthed into sweet existence in Tokyo’s Shibuya Station shopping district, this architectural wonder is finally beginning to pop up on dessert menus stateside. Essentially a honey-soaked tower of toasted bread, each piece is drizzled with condensed milk or ice cream and then sprinkled with candies and further tiny pieces of toast.

Buko Pie

Where to find it: Philippines

The pride and joy of the island of Luzon, this coconut custard pie contains both young coconut meat and sweetened condensed milk, giving each slice its trademark dense texture. Modern interpretations often incorporate almond or vanilla extracts into the recipe, but for purists, it’s all coconut all the way.


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Halo Halo for meryenda? Eat or Pass? One of the Filipino Classics that we keep coming back for more, our refreshing Halo-Halo. Check us out at! ��:@whattoeatph ---------- Follow us and drool as we feature the yummiest food in the Philippines! Follow our travel features @traversephilippines! Contact us for collabs, products reviews and special features! ---------- #whattoeatph #traversephilippines #wheretogoph #itsmorefuninthephilippines #wowphilippines #pinoyfood #filipinofood #foodph #yummyph #zomatoph #wheninmanila #pepperph #foodporn #filipinofoodmovement #bookymanila #spotph #foodpanda #discovermnl #gourmanila #foodgrammerph #loolooapp #zomatoph #thefoodiestation #halohalo #kuyajresto

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Where to find it: Philippines

Looks can be deceiving here. Halo-Halo may present itself as a bold-hued ice cream sundae, but tastes nothing like one. Instead, shaved ice, ube (purple yam), beans and chickpeas come together to form the base, before being topped with any number of toppings like fresh fruit, jelly candies and toasted rice. It’s like nothing you’ve ever tasted before, and absolutely worth saving room for when dining at a Filipino restaurant.

Khanom Khrok

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. [ ข น ม ค ร ก ] . #ThaiSweetmeat

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Where to find it: Thailand

These simple coconut treats can be cooked up to resemble either tiny cakes or pancakes. Though they have the appearance of simplicity, each tiny wafer is actually prepared by cooking two separate batters – one sweet and one salty – into the same finished pastry.

Shwe Yin Aye

Where to find it: Myanmar

Sometimes called The King of Desserts, this national delicacy may read a bit bizarre to untrained Western eyes and palettes. Essentially a coconut cream soup, each bowl can be filled with any combination of cendol (iced green rice flour jelly), seaweed, glutinous rice, seaweed agar agar, and even banana. The one thing all recipes have in common? A slice of white bread to soak up all that coconut goodness.

Pisang Goreng

Where to find it: Indonesia

Banana lovers, rejoice! This versatile snack is prepared countless ways across Indonesia. Sometimes battered, sometimes spiced, sometimes drizzled in dark chocolate or green tea cream; the only thing all variations of Pisang Goreng have in common is that they are made from fried banana or plantain.

Ichigo Daifuku

Where to find it: Japan

I won’t insult your intelligence by including mochi – the Japanese glutinous rice “cakes” – on this list. Instead, consider seeking out a more advanced version of the sweet treat that manages to incorporate a whole fresh strawberry at the height of their harvest season. Finishing the dessert off: red bean paste. Be on the lookout for both variations of the dish – one that looks like Pacman is about to swallow a ghost, and one that has already managed to gulp it down whole.


Where to find it: China

Traditionally prepared and eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival, gobbling one of these small cakes down is seen as an act of reverence toward the moon. As important in China at this time of year as turkeys are to Americans on Thanksgiving, traditional mooncakes usually incorporate a lotus seed or red bean paste around a salted duck yolk. Though tiny, each mooncake is incredibly dense, making this a dish meant to be savored just once a year.


Kevin Farrell

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