Wooly's Ice's Green Tea Ice from 'New York a la Cart'

Wooly's Ice's Green Tea Ice from 'New York a la Cart'

[Photograph: Donny Tsang]

Cold icy desserts are probably the most refreshing snack you can get out of a street cart. Wooly's Ice's Green Tea Ice recipe in Alexandra Penfold and Siobhan Wallace's new cookbook, New York a la Cart, is a perfect example. While the guys behind the cart make their ices with a heavy-duty ice shaver, it's easy to replicate the process by freezing green tea and condensed milk granita-style. Simply pour your base into a large baking dish, and stir with a fork every 30 minutes or so until every bit has frozen into fluffy bits.

Why I picked this recipe: I've recently tried a green tea ice dessert at a local Tawainese dessert place, and it was far too sweet for my taste. I was excited to try making my own and sweetening it as I saw fit.

What worked: Cool, earthy, and just sweet enough, this makes for a delightful afternoon treat.

What didn't: It took a long time for the mixture to freeze in an 8-inch baking dish (pretty much all day). To freeze faster, I'd pour this into a 9x13.

Suggested tweaks: I used Chinese green tea in this recipe, but you could use any of your favorite green teas (matcha would be particularly good). Wooly's serves this with chopped mango and mochi pieces in addition to the sea salt leche. Both of these options are great, but you don't need to stop there. Most fruit would taste great here, as well as more Asian ingredients like agar jellies, red beans, and chopped nuts.

Reprinted with permission from New York a la Cart: Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple's Best Food Trucks by Alexandra Penfold and Siobhan Wallace. Copyright 2013. Published by Running Press, an imprint of The Perseus Books Group. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.

  • Yield:serves 6
  • Active time: 15 minutes
  • Total time:3 hours


  • 6 green tea bags
  • 6 tablespoons to 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • Sea Salt Leche, for serving


  1. 1.

    In a large bowl, brew 6 cups of your favorite green tea. If you are using tea leaves, be sure to strain out all tea leaves after brewing.

  2. 2.

    Stir in the desired amount of sweetened condensed milk. Stir to blend mixture well.

  3. 3.

    Pour into a 8 x 8 glass baking dish, cover and let freeze for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the freezer and use your fork to breakup any ice that has formed and stir it back in. Continue this process every 20 minutes for about 2 to 3 hours or until all of the liquid has crystalized—the more frequently you scrape and stir the ice, the finer your crystals will be. Just before serving vigorously scrape the ice and serve topped with Sea Salt Leche.