The Best Asian Desserts

Mar 22, 2023 ByClaire Miles

Asian desserts are much different than you may think of when it comes to desserts. Unlike the traditional desserts that we have come to know and love, Asian dessert brings a unique flavor and texture unlike anything else in the world. Whether served chilled or warm, these are some of the sweetest dishes around the globe. Here are some Asian desserts worth trying. Sticky rice balls, also known as tangyuan, are a popular winter snack. This dish kneads glutinous rice flour and water into small balls. These rice balls can be served with or without decoration. Popular filling options include crushed peanuts, red bean paste, custard, or black sesame seeds. These balls are then boiled and served in warm sugar water soup. Sticky rice balls symbolize happiness and reunion, so traditionally this dessert is eaten at extended family gatherings or important holidays.

Japanese desserts are known for their chewy, gooey texture, and Mitarashi Dango is no exception. Dango is a traditional Japanese rice cake made from water and glutinous paste. Mitarashi Dango is served on skewers, depending on the region, and topped with sugar and soy sauce. This dessert is eaten all year round and is often eaten with tea. Mitarashi Dango has many regional variations. In Nara Prefecture, Dango is not round but disk-shaped. The dough is made from high-quality rice flour and brown sugar syrup in the Toyama region.

Mitarashi Dango, Traditional Japanese Rice Dumplings

Getty Images/Moment/Masahiro Makino

One of Thailand’s most famous desserts enjoyed throughout Southeast Asia, sticky mango rice is often available from street vendors. The dessert is served warm and consists of mango topped with sticky rice and coconut milk. This dessert is served hot but can be enjoyed any time of the year. However, many locals recommend eating them during peak mango season as they are the sweetest. Halo Halo is one of the best-selling Filipino dishes in the country. The name means “mixed together” and is an apt description of the dish. It consists of ice cubes, sweet beans, coconut, sago, agar jelly, and tropical fruits, topped with condensed milk. Modern versions of this dessert include ice cream and leche flan.