The other night, I decided I’d stop by the grocery store and pick up some condensed milk for the Vietnamese avocado shake recipe I’d read about, as that is doable even without specialty ingredients. As I began making the shake, I wasn’t sure what to expect—I remembered really enjoying it before, but I didn’t remember the taste and just how good this shake is.
I used this recipe from Viet World Kitchen. Andrea has a really thorough site with great recipes, and she even gives some historical background to the recipe—like many Vietnamese recipes, the avocado shake came into being after French colonization. The word they took for butter in their pidgin was bơ, so the literal translation of sinh tố bơ actually is “fruit butter.”
I’d had a version of the avocado shake before at Pho Pasteur in Boston’s Chinatown and had loved it, but it had been years. I’d also never tried the original recipe. I’d gone with Gabby, a fellow educator, and Grace, a fellow food blogger. Grace and I are both sensitive to milk, so we asked if the shakes could be made without milk and just avocado. The waitress said it would be very thick, but we agreed that would be okay. We ended up loving the simple, thick, creamy goodness that was blended avocado with ice.
At home I use almond milk, so I just replaced the milk in the recipe for almond milk instead. I used 1/4 cup of the condensed milk for flavor—and I think I could use even less last time, as it was really sweet. Maybe just a tablespoon or even less would also be just right.
I was blown away. My first thought was, “this tastes like pavlova!” Since discovering pavlova, it’s become one of my favorite desserts, so this was an extraordinary compliment. The taste starts off sweet and creamy and then gradually builds to a more mellow, nutty, avocado flavor.
Best of all, these shakes are so easy to make, and avocado is much healthier than ice cream. I’d take this over ice cream any day, actually. There will be many more of these in my future!