One of the most intriguing and delicious desserts I came across in Taipei was the ice cream burrito. This amazing dessert originates from Yilan, the east coast of Taiwan. It involves a paper-thin skin (or what we call, popiah skin: Popiah is a spring roll/vegetable burrito that’s common in Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia) that wraps around crisp shavings of peanut brittle, ice cream, and cilantro.
Seriously? But hey, believe it or not, cilantro complements the ice cream incredibly well.
Keep a lookout for the elderly folk with their little push-cart stall. Pay them around NT40 and watch them make your burrito. They shave your peanut brittle on the spot with this huge old-school shaver (see picture below). It’s made out of peanuts and malt sugar, which makes it extra fragrant. I wish I had asked how it was made exactly because I have no idea on how to turn malt sugar solid. It’s mind boggling. Hence, mine was done with white sugar and pecans. However, use peanuts instead for more flavor. As for the ice cream, I decided to make it fruity and tropical. I couldn’t imagine chocolate and cilantro hand in hand. I’d try to be more adventurous in the future, but for now, it is strawberry and here goes… coconut-pineapple-orange ice cream!
I bought the popiah skin instead of making it. I’m not sure if it is sold in the Chinatowns in the USA, but I found a recipe online by another food blogger. You could either try it (warning: lots of patience needed) or simply use crepes/anything else that’s similar.
800 g All-Purpose Flour, sifted
1 ½ tsp Sea Salt
800 ml Water
Combine all the ingredients in a stand mixer bowl. Stir the batter with a wooden spatula, wrap with a cling film and let it rest for at least 3 hours.
Beat the batter for about 15 minutes, or until the batter is smooth and elastic.
Place the griddle or a flat cast-iron pan on a medium heat. Once the pan is hot, lower the heat slightly. Using one hand, coat with batter and rub onto the pan. Then use the other hand to peel off the wrapper when it is cooked.