Sweet tooths visiting Sabah will not be disappointed with ABC!
Looking for a refreshing dessert in Sabah Malaysia? ABC might do the trick for you. Though, I will be the first to admit it’s not always for me.
ABC means Ais Batu Campur or literally Mixed Stone Ice. The ingredients? Now it gets interesting.
What are the ingredients of Sabahan ABC?
Shaved ice is the main ingredient for ABC, after that everything else becomes a mix depending on who is making it. And, it is made right in front of you everytime. Here’s a typical sample.
Shaved ice, red beans, sweet corn, grass jelly (of all colors), and evaporated milk.
That’s quite a selection! Still, I can’t get my head around eating red beans in a dessert, and I’m not a fan of eating shaved ice.
That said, many, many people are. And, it’s certainly worth a try at least once on your trip to Malaysia.
Making ABC in Sabah Malaysia
One of the things you will like about ABC is watching it being made in Kota Kinabalu’s night market.
Old iron ice shavers are used to grind up blocks of ice. Repainted, these large heavy metal machines date back quite a few years. A joy to watch as a person loads up a block of ice, then spins a short side handle that turns and pushes the ice block down over a grater. The ice shaving then drop into a bowl beneath it.
Next up comes a myriad of jellies, beans, canned fruits (lychee), sweetcorn, and natas de coco. After that each vendor will add in some of their own speciality’s. From large beans, flavored syrups, to fresh fruit. Then a dash more of condensed milk is added on top.
Eat ABC like a local
I’ve seen tourists dig into ABC with reckless abandon and treat it like ice cream. Big mistake. It’s not like ice cream at all. Watch how the local Malaysians eat ABC. They let it settle and melt a little first. Then, they mix up all the ingredients into an iced soup of amazing flavors.
It’s a great thing to eat on a really hot day in Sabah!
There is also another variation of ABC called Halo Halo in The Philippines. I imagine there could be more variations throughout Asia!
This is an additional post and one of a series highlighting Food in Sabah Malaysia