Li Hing Mui Tropical Fruit Granita

Summer is heating up!  It feels like the trade winds have been sucked out of the islands this past week, so to keep cool in this humid weather I’m making this frozen treat at home . . . granita!  To my eyes, granita is best described as an Italian version of shave ice.  And since I don’t have a shave ice maker, I opted to make granita.  Granita is simple to make at home because all that is required is freezing whatever liquid mixture you make, and using a little manual labor to scrape the frozen mixture every half hour until it’s frozen into small, fluffy, crystallized flakes.

granita 3

The recipe for this granita was inspired by flavors from my childhood:  ripe mangos from the neighbor’s yard, husking and cracking open coconuts to drink the water, juicy pineapple at luaus, and li hing mui on everything (if you don’t know what li hing mui is read more about it here.  It’s salty, sweet, sour, tangy and delicious).  But since I’m an adult now I added a splash of rum on the finished product, just for fun.  Bon appetit and cheers!


  • 1/2 pineapple, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium mango, peeled and chopped
  • 4 ounces coconut water
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 teaspoon li hing mui powder
  •  1/4 cup simple syrup (bring 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and voila, simple syrup)


  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Pour mixture into large baking dish.  Place in freezer.
  3. Every 30 minutes use a fork to scrape the granita mixture and return to the freezer, repeating until it is uniformly frozen into small, fluffy, crystallized flakes.  3-4 hours should do it.  Serve in bowls, cocktail glasses, or in a halved pineapple if you’re like me 🙂  Enjoy!

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