Thai Iced Tea Ice Cream with Coconut Sticky Rice Recipe

Thai Iced Tea Ice Cream with Coconut Sticky Rice Recipe
Thai iced tea ice cream with coconut sticky rice and fried banana wrapped wontons.

Arthur Bovino

Thai iced tea ice cream with coconut sticky rice and fried banana wrapped wontons.

Thai iced tea has a deep, reddish, smoky flavor that when mixed with half-and-half and sweetened condensed milk makes perfect ice cream. Years ago for my final project at the French Culinary Institute I created this recipe by adapting one for tea ice cream from "The Ultimate Ice Cream Book" by Bruce Weinstein.

After a few tweaks involving strengthening the tea and substituting condensed milk for sugar, the end result was great. I served it with black coconut sticky rice and fried wonton wrapped bananas — deep, complex flavors with cool, sticky, and crispy textures. But it's tasty enough to stand on its own. The first step is finding the tea. You can score some at your local Asian market, but it's also readily available online.

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For the ice cream:

  • 1 cup milk
  • ¾ cup condensed milk
  • 6 heaping tablespoons loose tea leaves or 6 tea bags, preferably Thai tea
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup heavy cream

For the black coconut sticky rice:

  • 1 ½ cups black Thai sticky rice*
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the chocolate ganache:

  • 2 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons chocolate, chopped

For the fried wonton-wrapped bananas:

  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 bananas, sliced on a bias 
  • 3 wonton wrappers


  • Ice cream maker


For the ice cream:

Boil the milk and condensed milk in a saucepan, remove from heat. Stir in Thai tea leaves or tea bags, cover and steep for 15 minutes. In a mixing bowl, beat ¾ cup sugar into 6 egg yolks until thick and pale yellow. Beat in 2 teaspoons of flour and ¼ teaspoon salt. Set aside.

Strain leaves from milk, add half-and-half, and simmer. Slowly beat hot milk and half-and-half into egg yolks and sugar. Pour mixture back into pan on low heat. Whisk until custard thickens slightly don't boil or scramble! Remove from heat, strain into a bowl, and cool. Stir in the cream. Cover and refrigerate until cold or overnight. Stir the chilled custard, then freeze in your ice cream machine per manufacturer's instructions.

For the black coconut sticky rice:

Steam rice until tender about 30 minutes — then remove from heat. Mix coconut milk, sugar, salt and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar (about a minute). Pour mixture over rice, mix well, cover and set aside a half-hour so the liquid is absorbed.

For the ganache:

Boil heavy cream and pour it over chopped chocolate. Transfer to a squeeze bottle to later pipe the ganache on the bananas.

For the fried wonton-wrapped bananas:

Heat the vegetable oil in a fryer or a pot. Wrap the bananas in a piece of wonton wrapper. Seal with a touch of water. Fry the wrapped bananas until the wonton wrapper is crisp and then garnish with chocolate ganache.

To serve, warm the sticky rice, place in the center of bowl, and scoop out the Thai iced tea ice cream on top. Garnish with 3 fried wonton-wrapped bananas trimmed with ganache.

Thai Shopping Tip

To find the ingredients you need to cook Southeast Asian cuisine, try to find specialty grocery stores in the Asian neighborhoods in your town.

Thai Cooking Tip

Southeast Asian Cuisine is about the balance of flavors between sweet and sour; hot and mild. When working with Asian chiles, the smaller ones are usually spicier. Handle with caution and care.