Japonica Ice Cream Sundaes

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Karen Shinto

For this gorgeous combination of green tea ice cream and ripe red plums poached in sweet sake, be sure to use fresh matcha (Japanese powdered green tea) and keep it tightly covered in the fridge--it oxidizes very quickly.

Yield: Serves 4
Recipe from Sunset

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Recipe Time

Prep Time:
Freeze: 3 Hours

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 580
  • Calories from fat: 37%
  • Protein: 10g
  • Fat: 24g
  • Saturated fat: 13g
  • Carbohydrate: 76g
  • Fiber: 6.8g
  • Sodium: 127mg
  • Cholesterol: 79mg


  • 4 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
  • 2 tablespoons matcha*
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup nigori sake*
  • 3 quarter-size slices fresh ginger, lightly crushed
  • 4 ripe red plums, pitted and cut into 1-in.-thick chunks
  • 1/4 cup cold whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped candied ginger
  • 1 cup crushed sesame candy, such as Loucks Sesame Snaps


  1. 1. Stir ice cream and matcha together in a bowl. Freeze until firm, 3 to 4 hours.
  2. 2. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, the sake, ginger, and 1/3 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Add plums and simmer over medium heat, covered, until fruit begins to soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. 3. Transfer plums with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Discard skins and ginger. Return liquid to stove; boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, 7 to 10 minutes. Pour over plums and chill until cool, about 20 minutes.
  4. 4. Whisk cream with remaining sugar in a bowl. Fold in candied ginger.
  5. 5. Spoon a third of plums and sesame snaps into 4 sundae glasses. Top with a scoop of ice cream. Repeat layering and top with remaining plums. Dollop with whipped cream and sprinkle with remaining sesame snaps.
  6. *Find matcha at well-stocked grocery stores and at breakawaymatcha.com; find fruity nigori sake at liquor stores.
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