Remember when one magazine tried to come up with a halu-halo recipe with popcorn and gummi bears and the whole Filipino community went berserk? It's a dangerous ground to tread. If you're unfamiliar with the dish, you may think of this traditional Filipino dessert as a shaved-ice sundae. “In any city on or around the equator, you find easy and cheap desserts like halu-halo,” says chef Dale Talde of Talde in Brooklyn. “It’s a matter of using what you have, in this case ice, and condensed milk, and making your own version of ice cream to enjoy in the heat.” And what about Talde's signature Cap' n Crunch topping? "It's about making it yours," he says. "My family used rice cereal. I figured if I was going to top mine with a cereal it would be a dope one like Cap n' Crunch."
Here's how to construct your own halu-halo with green tea matcha, strawberries, and basil—and plenty of other toppings.
Green Tea Ice
4 c. water
1 tbsp. green tea matcha
1 c. condensed milk
1 c. strawberries, cleaned and halved
1/4 c. sugar
1 pinch salt
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
1 tbsp. lime juice
4 large leaves basil, torn
nata de coco
2 c. Mixed Berry Cap'n Crunch
Mix green tea ice ingredients and freeze until completely hard.
Mix strawberry basil ingredients together and let marinate for 2 hours.
Assemble the halo-halo. Shave the green tea ice (ideally with an ice shaver) into a bowl, then top with strawberry basil, nata de coco, macapuno, and Cap'n Crunch.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.