With October typically comes the demise of New York’s ice cream season -- but according to famed NYC ice cream chain OddFellows, ice cream is best enjoyed year-round. This October, to kick-start a rotating five-month series of cultural, limited-edition flavors, the place is serving an ice cream treat that can only be consumed with chop sticks: ice cream mochi dumplings. “We decided to collaborate with Mimi Cheng's on this because we love their dumplings,” OddFellows head chef Sam Mason told Thrillist. “We thought it’d be interesting to do an ice cream version -- and mochi just became the liaison.”
To create the dumpling treats, Mason and his team steam a mixture of rice flour, sugar, and water to form the mochi, before cooling the dough and dusting it with corn starch. Next, they fold scoops of this month’s limited-edition Asian-inspired ice cream flavors (think coconut sticky rice and miso cherry) into handmade dumpling mochi shells, all of which are garnished with matcha powder and black sesame seeds. Each dumping order is served in a traditional white cardboard take-out box, with a pair of chopsticks, and a packet of salted coconut dipping sauce.
The specialty ice cream creation is all a part of OddFellows new Passport Program. For the next five months, any customer who samples the delicacy will receive an impressively realistic paper passport -- and for every cultural OddFellows purchase they make, they’ll be rewarded with a new stamp. “Every month during the Passport Program, we’ll try to collaborate with a new chef or restaurant,” Mason explained, “And every month is a new continent or region. It kind of takes us out of our comfort zone. We play with things we wouldn’t normally play with.”
At the end of the five-month period, ice cream fans can redeem their stamp-filled passports for OddFellows swag, including, of course, ample free ice cream. “The ultimate grand prize for eating a disgusting amount of ice cream is getting more ice cream,” Mason reported. “You’ll get free ice cream for life, which is a long time. I think it actually cuts down on your life span, so it’s a win-win.”
Watch the video above to learn more about how the specialty ice cream dumplings come together.