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In South Korea, people love drinking flavored milk drinks. Of these drinks, some popular flavors include banana, melon, and strawberry. While you can find the processed versions of flavored milks in convenience and grocery stores across the nation, people now enjoy the freshly made alternatives in boutique cafes and at home. So, with strawberry season just around the corner, why not try making this easy and popular Korean strawberry milk recipe?
What is Korean Strawberry Milk?
Typically, fresh Korean strawberry milk (생딸기우유) is made of three ingredients– strawberries, sugar, and milk. Unlike processed versions that use artificial flavorings, this fresh strawberry milk uses real strawberries. While strawberry milk does contain sugar, it is much healthier than the processed alternatives that have long shelf lives and contain artificial flavors and preservatives.
During the warmer months, I enjoy sitting on my porch and sipping on this flavorful and refreshing drink. Also, I enjoy this drink as a light dessert after a heavy or fatty meal such as samgyeopsal.
Korean Strawberry Milk vs Korean Strawberry Latte
In South Korea, people have started distinguishing the difference between strawberry milk and a strawberry latte. On one hand, you make strawberry milk by pureeing the strawberries before adding them to the milk. On the other hand, you make a strawberry latte by adding large chunks of strawberries to sweetened milk.
I rather just combine the two. Wouldn’t you? For my recipe, you make the strawberry milk by stirring in the pureed fresh strawberry mixture. Then, you top and garnish the drink with some chunks of strawberries.
How Do You Make Strawberry Milk?
Our Korean strawberry milk is incredibly easy to make! Below, we list out all of the necessary ingredients. Then, we will discuss how to make strawberry milk!
Strawberry Milk Ingredients
- Fresh Strawberries: When picking out your fresh strawberries, look for ones that are bright red. Strawberries with a yellow or green section next to the leaves are underripe and won’t taste as sweet. If the strawberries are deep dark red, they may be getting to the end of their shelf life. Remember, with strawberries, if you see one moldy strawberry in the pack, the rest will soon follow. If you do not have access to beautiful fresh strawberries, you can substitute for frozen strawberries instead!
- Sugar: For the classic Korean strawberry milk recipe, you use a 1:1 ratio (by weight) of strawberries to sugar. For those who want your drink to be less sweet, you can reduce the sugar by half!
- Your Preferred Milk: For this recipe, you can use regular dairy milk or a non-dairy alternative.
- Non-Dairy Alternatives: Typically, for specialty drinks, I like to use more neutral-flavored milk alternatives such as almond, oat, and soy milk. I avoid milk alternatives that will overpower the drink such as coconut.
Garnish and Topping Ingredients
- Fresh Strawberry Garnish: For many versions of this Korean strawberry milk, the strawberries are pureed. I enjoy adding in slices or chunks of strawberry into the drink as well. This way, you can enjoy bites of the fresh fruit!
- Whipped Cream: To me, nothing tastes better than strawberries with fresh homemade whipped cream. So, why not top the drink with it? To make whipped cream, you need heavy cream and sugar. If you do not wish to make it, you can buy a premade can. Whipped cream is a delicious optional topping!
Now, let’s learn how to make strawberry milk below!
How Do You Make Strawberry Milk?
First, Sterilize Jars if You Are Making a Large Batch.
If you are making a lot of the strawberry and sugar mixture and plan to have leftovers, you need to sterilize the container so it doesn’t contain any bacteria. To do so, boil your glass container or jar in water for 10 minutes. Then, set on a clean towel and let it cool. Sterilizing will keep your strawberry mixture safe in the refrigerator for a few days.
Second, You Need to Mash Your Strawberries.
Start by washing your strawberries. Then, using a hand masher, press on the fresh strawberries until you smash them into tiny pieces.
For frozen strawberries, either let them fully defrost before mashing or use a blender to break up the strawberries into little tiny pieces. When blending, use the lowest setting and constantly check your strawberries for the desired texture. If you want lots of chunks in your drink, blend for a short amount of time. On the other hand, if you do not want any chunks, blend until smooth.
Third, Make the Strawberry Syrup.
Transfer the mashed strawberries over to a pot. Then, add the sugar. Cook the mixture on medium heat until the sugar melts and the mixture comes to a boil. Then, turn off the stove and remove it from the heat. If you made a large batch that you plan to keep in the refrigerator, you can transfer the strawberry syrup into your sterilized jars at this point. Finally, you need to let the mixture cool completely before adding it to your drink. If you don’t, your hot strawberry mixture will cause the milk to curdle.
Cooking Alternative: If you do not want to cook the strawberries and sugar, you can place the sugar and strawberries in a bowl together. Then, mix the two, cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. The sugar will naturally dissolve. In other words, you are macerating the strawberries in sugar.
Finally, Combine Milk and Strawberry Syrup!
Before drinking, we recommend stirring the milk and strawberry syrup together to fully incorporate. At this point, if you want a strawberry garnish and whipped cream, you can add it to the top!
Helpful Straw Hint: If you cut chunks of strawberries and plan to drink the milk with a straw, make sure your chunks are small enough to fit into the straw.
Typically, Koreans serve the strawberry milk with a 2:1 ratio. The milk will takes up 2/3 of the mixture while the strawberry syrup will take up 1/3 of the glass. If you find the strawberry syrup to be too strong for your taste, you can reduce the amount you put into your cup.
Korean Strawberry Milk Recipe Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some frequently asked questions regarding how to make strawberry milk. If you have further questions, message us on Instagram or leave a comment below!
Can I Use Frozen Strawberries?
Yes! You can use frozen strawberries to make this Korean strawberry milk recipe. When using frozen strawberries, you can let them defrost beforehand mashing them or you can use a blender.
Can I Make This Korean Strawberry Milk Recipe in Advance?
Once again, yes! You can make a large batch of strawberry syrup. If you do, store your strawberry syrup in a sterilized container for approximately 5 days. You can also freeze the strawberry syrup for 3 months. Once mixed in with the milk, it will keep for 2-3 days.
I recommend mixing your desired milk and strawberry syrup serving the day before you plan to drink it. The flavors incorporate and become stronger if they sit overnight. Otherwise, keep your strawberry syrup separate so it lasts longer in the refrigerator.
Note: If you need instructions on how to properly sterilize containers, I recommend checking out my ‘Southern Hot Pepper Jelly’ blog post. I describe in-depth the sterilizing process of jars and other glass containers.
What if I Don’t Want the Seeds?
If you do not like the seeds, I recommend blending the strawberries and then pressing them through a fine-mesh sleeve. Personally, I find this to be a lot of extra work for little gain. The seeds do not change the flavor of the strawberry milk and do not seem to have much effect on the texture as well.
Can I Substitute the Sugar?
Yes! If you do not want to use white sugar, I recommend using honey. With honey, there will be an added natural floral note to the drink.
Did You Enjoy Learning How to Make Strawberry Milk?
Do you like our Korean strawberry milk recipe? If so, we would love to hear about it in the comment section below! Also, please let us know if you have other flavored milk recipes you enjoy!
For Further Korean Drink Recipes Try:
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