When we go to Japan, our favorite treat is the matcha green tea ice cream. Here's my vegan version, which uses coconut milk in place of dairy.
Jack here, bringing you one of the many joys from our Japan travels – matcha ice cream. We had no idea, before going, that green tea ice cream was even a thing. But the minute you walk down the street in any touristy area, you’re guaranteed to see giant fake green soft-serve cones outside of ice cream shops. Seeing something so American and familiar as a giant fake soft-serve ice cream cone, but *green*, was, well, it made me want to eat some. Fast forward through the trip, and Jeanine and I must have eaten 1 cone each every other day. So enough about us, it’s time to share one of our favorites with all of you.
Of course, the “cream” in our ice cream continues to be coconut cream, and I have a dirty secret. I love dairy, I love dairy ice cream – but I like coconut ice cream better. There. I said it. Coconut ice cream is better than dairy ice cream. And this is coming from the guy that is sometimes happy his wife is lactose-intolerant so that he can have the cheese from her pizza.
Besides the coconut cream and matcha, the secret of this green tea ice cream recipe is that we add some maple syrup, vanilla, and a squeeze of lemon. All of these help to cut through the natural bitterness that matcha (or any tea) has, and gives you a sweet ice-cream-y dessert.
If you love this matcha green tea ice cream recipe…
Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 1 to 2 teaspoons matcha* (see note)
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- squeeze of lemon
- 1 tablespoon vodka (optional - to help texture once it’s frozen)
- pinch of salt
- Make sure the bowl of your ice cream maker has been in the freezer for at least 12 hours, 24 is best.
- Whisk together the matcha, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, lemon, salt and vodka, if using. (If your matcha is lumpy, you can strain the mixture before putting it into your ice cream maker). Pour into your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturers directions. Pour into a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 1-2 hours to firm up a bit.
- If your ice cream has frozen over night, let it sit at room temp for 15 minutes to soften again.
*the flavor of matcha can widely vary in bitterness, I suggest starting with less and adding more to taste (before churning the ice cream). I used AIYA Cooking Grade Matcha which is one of my favorites because the flavor is very nicely balanced.
I used this Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker, although if you have a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, I recommend getting the Ice Cream Attachment instead. (It works the same, it’s just easier to store).