Mochi ice cream! Clearly, this does not in any way resemble a fruit or a vegetable, but stick with us; we promise they’re in there somewhere. The rotating vegan mochi ice cream flavors at Frozen Rickshaw are all homemade with real fruit, and are the perfect light and refreshing complement to just about any meal. We know that’s a bit of a stretch, but who doesn’t love eating their fruit in ice cream form?
In case you’re not familiar with mochi, it’s an Asian staple which gets its name from the type of rice it is made from, known in Japanese as mochigome. This versatile concoction is pliable and chewy, and it works with just about any flavor you can throw at it. Wrap some mochi around a ball of ice cream / sorbet, and you have yourselves a mochi ice cream. Skewer it with a stick, or pick it up with your fingers — it’s delicious any way you decide to eat it.
Mochi is used in a wide variety of sweet and savory treats throughout East and Southeast Asia, many of which are accidentally vegan. Mochi ice cream is one of the most popular ways to enjoy mochi in Japan and elsewhere, but unfortunately it’s rarely vegan. Frozen Rickshaw is one of the only places we’ve known to take on vegan mochi ice cream, and we’re so happy that they did. The vegan options at Frozen Rickshaw are listed as sorbets with fruit or coconut bases (coconut sorbet, a.k.a. vegan ice cream). There are always several vegan flavors available on the menu, and on our most recent visit, they were Lychee Coconut, Strawberry Passionfruit, and Blueberry Thai Basil. All three were amazing, and each did an excellent job of showcasing the beautiful natural colors and flavors of its ingredients.
In addition to delicious mochi treats, Frozen Rickshaw offers several beverage options which are usually either vegan or veganizable. Our favorite is the veganized tong sui, made with coconut milk and fresh taro, and served with little tapioca pearls. Depending on the season, they offer either a hot or a cold version, both with a rich taro flavor and just the right hint of sweetness. You can also get vegan sorbet by the scoop, if mochi isn’t your thing. But seriously, if mochi isn’t your thing, you either haven’t tried it, or there’s something seriously wrong with you. (JK, we love you Brittany!)
You can find Frozen Rickshaw on 30th Street just east of Guadalupe: within easy walking distance from Wheatsville Coop or Spider House. The trailer is open seasonally, so make sure to check social media or give them a call before you head over. The flavors are rotating, and new flavors pop up all the time, so we’re always excited to find out what’s new. We’ve been blown away by the level of creativity that goes into these seemingly simple little morsels. Give them a try, and you too will want to keep coming back to see what they think up next.
Disclaimer: This Top 20 series, presented in no particular order, is formed from the personal opinions of Marie and Daniel (that’s us!), for whom vegetables are not an area of expertise. We scoured Austin to find veggie-ful options for those like us, who’d probably rather be eating corn dogs, but are also happy to eat a salad if it’s tasty and filling. When not eating our veggies, we hone our skills at finding great oily, sugary, calorie-dense vegan foods, so if you’re into that too, check out last year’s Top 20 series. Happy eating!