Chef Pichet Ong, of Spot Dessert Bar in New York City, gave us this recipe for pok pok, an ice cream sandwich based on those he ate as a child in Bangkok. See the recipe for Pok Pok »
. Todd Coleman
Cool and creamy, icy and refreshing—there’s no better way to cool off in the summer than a frozen dessert. Every culture seems to have its specialty: bright and fruity Mexican paletas, dense, luscious kulfi from India, the Thai-style coconut ice cream served on a hot dog bun that’s known as pok pok. There’s a cool treat for every palate and these eight recipes, many of which don’t need an ice cream maker, are some of our favorite picks from around the world.
You’re probably familiar with ice cream sandwiches, but not like they make them in Thailand. Thai ice cream sandwiches often start with an ice cream flavored with coconut and nutty pandan leaves. It’s scooped on a hot dog bun and covered with toppings like canned sweet corn, gingko nuts, and nata de coco—gelatinized coconut water.
Paletas are Mexican ice pops popular as a summer snack. Many are light and fruity, with flavors like pineapple or tamarind or mango kicked up with chile powder. Others can be dairy-based. Try our cinnamon-flecked rice pudding paleta, or channel a classic strawberries and cream dessert with and ice pop made with fresh strawberries, sugar, cream, and a little lemon juice for brightness.
Kulfi is a dense ice cream popsicle from India. A whole milk base is enriched with flavors like cardamom, saffron, and pistachio. A special mold will get you the perfect shape, but it’ll taste just as good made in a Dixie cup.
Find all of these desserts and more in our collection of global ice cream recipes.
Made in flavors like saffron, pistachio, cardamom, and rose water, kulfi has a dense, creamy texture and a rich taste that come from the traditional way of preparing it. What makes kulfi so thick and luscious, and what makes it slower to melt than most styles of ice cream, is that it isn’t churned to incorporate air; instead, milk is slowly simmered until it reduces to become as thick as heavy cream. Get the recipe for Kulfi »
Ice Cream Loti—Singapore
Sold as a street snack in Singapore, this ice cream sandwich comes in an array of bright colors and flavors. Author Chris Tan advises using bleached all-purpose flour to produce a soft, Wonder Bread-like crumb.
This Thai-style ice cream sandwich encases homemade coconut ice cream in a hotdog bun. The diverse toppings range from familiar ingredients like canned corn and chocolate chip cookies, to specialty products like gingko nuts and nata de coco. This recipe comes from Chef Pichet Ong, of Spot Dessert Bar in New York City, who based the sandwich on those he ate as a child in Bangkok.
Paletas are a favorite frozen treat made in an assortment of unusual flavors throughout Mexico. This pop offers a unique blend of mango, lemon juice, and ancho chile powder.
This refreshing frozen dessert is a water-based ice sweetened with sugar and flavored with everything from fruit to coffee.
Lavender Honey Ice Cream—France
This ice cream is best when made with true miel de lavande, French lavender honey from Provence, which is produced by bees that feed primarily on lavender blossoms, imparting a creamy texture and distinctive flavor and scent.