web analytics

Ju-Mui Li Hing Ice Pops

Randal Yee, owner of Ju-Mui Frozen Hawaiian Pops recently contacted me to bring awareness of their unique frozen pop product line you see here.

Specifically, an ice pop that’s hand-made in Honolulu at a commercial kitchen in Kalihi. More specifically, one that has the unique distinction of not just being frozen, “natural” and artificially-flavored sugar water (like Shave Ice), but one that also has evaporated milk (canned cream), along with a whole Li Hing Mui seed (with seed) in each pop. And of course laced with just the right amount of Li Hing powder for that “POW!” effect.

The name might across as some anti-semitic slur, however it’s simply the combination of “Juice” and “Li Hing Mui”, which for those of you don’t know, is a VERY POPULAR Chinese preserved plum eaten like candy here in the islands. I actually prefer calling them JU-MUI Li Hing Ice Pops, as I think that’s a more accurate description of what it is, hence the title of this post.

They’re currently available at all 7-Eleven stores in Hawaii or by phone or eMail for fundraisers and parties.

Each Ju-Mui Ice Pop costs $1.99, retail price at 7-Eleven, however they’re about $1 each if you order by bulk for fundraisers and parties. The Waikiki 7-Eleven where I bought these from only had Pineapple-Mui, Green River-Mui and Vanilla-Mui flavors in stock, however other flavors available included Strawberry-Mui and Orange-Mui. There’s also a Lychee-Mui flavor, however that’s only available by special order, as they actually make that syrup themselves from scratch, not from Malolo where the other syrups come from.

I opted for the Pineapple and Green River-Mui flavors to try.

I confessed to Jan, wife of Randal, that $2 each is a little steep — especially for kids on a budget — for essentially 4.6 oz. of  ‘kicked-up” frozen sugar water. And she agreed, however that’s just where the price point must stand in order for both them and the retailer to be profitable.

I must note though, each Ju-Mui Ice Pop is pretty huge, compared to say an Otterpop, measuring 9″ long x 1¾” wide x about 3/4″ at its thickest point of girth in the center.

The single Li Hing Mui seed that’s carefully hand-packed in each one, is placed right about where the center label begins.

And how does it taste? ONO! Oh yeah, Ju-Mui Ice Pops are definitely a “keeper” in my freezer. You totally taste the Li Hing powder that’s mixed in the artificially flavored “Green River-Mui” and “Pineapple-Mui” pop. Then get a nibble of the rather sweet Li Hing Mui Seed (with seed) itself, and it hits you like a freight train. Simply a total explosion of salty, sweet and tangy, artificially-flavored, somewhat creamy, rock-hard frozen goodness. Perhaps kinda’ like Tasaka Guri Guri on steroids if you will. lol

The evaporated milk really is the key, as the creamy element helps to temper down the otherwise hard hit of the salty-tangy-sweet factor. Jan said they tried making them without the cream and it wasn’t nearly as good for that very notion.

I will say the prominent Li Hing taste is definitely a mood thing, as your palate needs to be craving that. Otherwise that extra salty-tangy-sweet “kick” may be overbearing.

If there’s any improvement on Ju-Mui Li Hing Ice Pops, if they perhaps added at least 20-50% truly natural fruit juice over what currently tastes like artificial shave ice stuff, that would be excellent. Of course it would cost more, yet the ROI for quality and flavor would increase exponentially. Also, find a way for it to be shelf-stable at room temperature, being the evaporated milk takes away that convenience, requiring the product to be frozen. As currently is, you can’t simply pack the thawed-out pops at room temp’ and toss em in an omiyage care package, as you could say, Otterpops.

Also, their logo needs some help.

At least for that part, I (Adobe) illustrated a draft of a JU-MUI logo for them…

Not bad for a first attempt. I should add some semi-frozen packed ice dripping off “Ju-Mui’s” head and the top of the bar on bottom. I’m not really hot about some of the “strokes”, and the blue Li Hing Pop needs A few strokes of its own to give it more dimension. Yet hey, I think it’s an improvement to create an identity for the JU-MUI Li-Hing Ice Pops brand.

Ju-Mui Frozen Hawaiian Pops
Available at all 7-Eleven stores of Hawaii and by phone or eMail for fundraisers and parties.
Tel. (808) 265-5480 or (808) 265-5482
www.Ju-Mui.com
www.yelp.com/biz/ju-mui-frozen-hawaiian-pops-honolulu

The Tasty Island rating:

(3) Very Good. Considerable of another visit or purchase. (Supah’ Ono!)

Related Tasty Island links:

Li Hing Pickled Mango

Li Hing Everything

16 thoughts on “Ju-Mui Li Hing Ice Pops

  • March 22, 2014 at 10:12 am
    Permalink

    Funny I am Chinese yet as a child my grandmother use to work for Crackseed Center. Try li hung mui and never like it due taste was too strong for me . Many years now I yet to have any things with li hung mui in it. All is not loss for I begining to decide to give it a try again. Who know I might like it this time. Taste change as we get older.

    Reply
  • March 22, 2014 at 10:38 am
    Permalink

    Sounds interesting but the price point would push me away from buying it, especially if there’s Melona in the same case. And they might want to see if they can get 7-11 to put the pops in the closest bin in the case, so it’s the easiest to grab.

    When I was living on Oahu, I’d go to the Crack Seed Center at Ala Moana and get the Li Hing Mui slush! The first sip always gave me “sour face” but after that it tasted so good, especially on a hot day!

    Reply
  • March 22, 2014 at 11:18 am
    Permalink

    @ David – Actually, that ice cream chest at 7-Eleven is accessible from two sides, so was easy to grab. According to Jan, the manager of each store has discretion on which flavors they order, based on demand. The Waikiki location only had Pineapple, Green River and Vanilla at the time of my visit. I’d like to try the strawberry flavor to see how the Li Hing works with that. For the pineapple flavor, it’d be AWESOME if they put real chunks of pineapple fruit in it! Do that for all the flavors!

    I never was into crack seed stores. Something about seeing the product fermenting in large jars used to bother me as kid. I still miss Yick Lung, mainly for the nostalgia of the packaging, and how that was staple at all the local stores’ checkout stands back the 70’s when I was a keiki.

    @ Kelike – you one funny ‘kine Pake. lol

    Reply
  • March 22, 2014 at 11:22 am
    Permalink

    When I was a kid, I lived in Trinidad and Tobago and went to junior high school there. Every day at lunch, a bunch of us guys (an all boys school) would walk up to Mr. Wang’s grocery. It was a VERY crude convenience store with a garage door on front that would open to a counter. Mr. Wang stood behind the counter, and the kids would yell out their orders. Mr. Wang would get the treats from behind the counter for us. Probably the biggest sellers were “salt prunes” and “sweetened salt prunes.” At first, I didn’t much like them, but I stayed with it, mostly just to fit in. (I was one of just a few white boys in a mostly all black and east indian school). Anyway, I learned to really enjoy the little dried prunes.

    Low and behold, when I went to Hawaii for the first time after living in Port of Spain, there they were… Salt Prunes! Only they were called Li Hing Mui. So now they’re right on the top of things to get when I get off the plane in Honolulu. And I also love lemon ginger, honey lemon, dry mango with chili, fresh pineapple with Li Hing powder, etc. I love going to Lin’s at the swap meet and stocking up for home. I also order online sometimes. They instantly remind me of two off my favorite places in the world.

    Reply
    • March 22, 2014 at 2:54 pm
      Permalink

      BigBoyChan,

      Ha! You’re a white boy. All this time I thought you were a “Katonk”, which is a local slang for Japanese who live on the mainland.

      So that means your favorite places in the world are Hawaii and Trinidad and Tobago. How often do you fly to Hawaii? Sounds like quite often.

      You know, I’m not really sure if “Li Hing” is a term used only in Hawaii, as if you google it, most references to it root to Hawaii. We have quite a few Chinese dishes that are unique here, including “cake noodle” and our version of dim sum steamed bun known here as “Manapua”. From what I understand, the steamed bun made elsewhere is somewhat different than our Manapua, depending what region.

      Similar to Lin’s, we have a snack shop called Wholesale Unlimited that specializes in ALL things Li Hing, plus other local goodies. There’s a location conveniently located near Waikiki on “Koreamoku” street, right across Walmart…

      http://www.yelp.com/biz/wholesale-unlimited-express-honolulu-7

      You should try doing a Li Hing marinade with your smoked meat recipes. Just a little bit, and see how that turns out.

      Reply
      • March 23, 2014 at 7:43 am
        Permalink

        Oh yeah, white assed haole boy. Bend Oregon, born and raised. BigBoyChan is a play on words with my name. But from my Long’s Drugs slippahs to my T&C t-shirt, I’m pure kamaaina on the inside Brah. I try to get over there 2-3 times a year… when I can afford it. Been visiting since1968. I lived in Moiliili for a year in 1982-83. I’ve lived all over the place, but I truly love Hawaii, and especially Oahu. I love the culture, the family values, the first birthdays, the hula, slack key guitar. I love how cosmopolitan it is over there, and I love the weather and the beaches, and I really love the FOOD.

        Give me some manapua , oxtail soup, boiled peanuts, kalbi, Spam musubi, adobo, huli huli chicken, lomi salmon, malasadas, potagee sausage and soup, squid luau, saimin, all kine poke… I love it all. I’ve been all over the damn place, and I think the food in Hawaii is better, and more diverse than anyplace I’ve ever been. We come over for Thanksgiving every year, and I gain 5-10 lbs. every time.

        I go to Alicia’s, Queen’s Super Market, DQ, Foodland, Marukai, Shirokiya, Palama Super Market, Waiola shave ice, Waiahole Poi Factory, Ono Seafood. I go to the divey little shops and restaurants and my family goes right along with me. I used to love Chicken Alice’s, Patti’s, Byron’s Drive-in, The Third Floor (took my wife there on our honeymoon). I love all things Hawaiian so much, I even read Hawaiian food blogs (well, just one really). Oh, and my two favorite places; Central Oregon and Oahu.
        By the way, I’ve never even heard of “cake noodle” and never been to Wholesale Unlimited. But that will change! And “Koreamoku” street… that’s a good one. Keep up the good work, my friend. Your blog really brightens up my day!

        Reply
        • March 23, 2014 at 9:35 am
          Permalink

          BigBoyChan,

          Can we call you “BigWhite@ssBoyChan”? LOL! J/K.

          Dang, you sure are well versed in Hawaii’s food and culture, even with the relatively short time you’ve lived (and visited) here. It’s great to hear how highly you think of it here, especially after living and traveling to so many places around the world to compare it to. Even when I travel, I still look forward to coming home. Hawaii really is a special place to live, and I appreciate it every single day, never taking it for granted.

          Here’s what Chinese Cake Noodle looks like…

          chinese cake noodle

          It’s basically Chow Mein Noodles that are cooked “glued” together like a “pancake”, giving it a unique texture, along with a deep flavor from whatever it’s served with, which is typically beef broccoli, however it could be any kind of stir fry.

          Reply
          • March 23, 2014 at 1:43 pm
            Permalink

            You can call me whatever you want. ;^) Cake noodle looks good, now I have something new to try. That’s Hawaiian cuisine in a nutshell to me. Always something new to try. I’ve always wanted to go to Little Village Noodle house, now I’ll know what to order there!

            It’s nice to apprectiate home. As much as I love Hawaii, I’m always glad to get back to Central Oregon. Here’s a short vid on where I live. The clip is kind of an ad, but you’ll get the idea. I live in Sisters. It’s about 20 minutes from Bend, where I was born and grew up.

            Keep up the great work.

          • March 24, 2014 at 3:54 am
            Permalink

            Make sure you try gau gee with the cake noodles! Imagine jumbo won tons!

          • March 24, 2014 at 4:47 am
            Permalink

            @ Keith-San,

            Crispy Gau Gee indeed!…

            Crispy Gau Gee

            Gotta’ stay get da’ Colemans Mustard and Shoyu… das’ da’ winnah’ dipping sauce for Crispy Gau Gee, baby!

          • March 24, 2014 at 4:58 am
            Permalink

            BigWhite@ssBoyChan,

            Great video. Reminds me of Napa Valley. I know Oregon is big (no pun intended) on microbreweries. I met Jack Joyce, one of the founders of Rogue Beer, who has a home here in Hawaii Kai. Super cool cat.

  • March 24, 2014 at 5:00 am
    Permalink

    Mmmm, Gau Gee. Gotta try that!

    Reply
    • March 24, 2014 at 5:18 am
      Permalink

      BBC,

      Crispy Gau Gee is basically ground pork and minced vegetables (usually green onions and carrots) wrapped in wonton wrappers and deep-fried to a crispy, golden finish. The better Chinese restaurants know how to cook it without being greasy. As said, the KEY to Crispy Gau Gee (along with lots of meaty filling) is THE SAUCE. Which is simply Shoyu mixed with “choke” (plenty) Colemans Mustard. So ono when you get hit with the “burn” from the mustard!


      Chun Wah Kam Crispy Gau Gee


      Colemans Mustard, to be mixed with Shoyu for Crispy Gau Gee

      Reply
      • March 24, 2014 at 5:24 am
        Permalink

        Yeah, sort of a variation on the classic eggroll, like a lot of stuff in Hawaii, more is bettah, so why roll it up when you just pack more stuff inside, fold it over and fry’um! Some places I think put the gau gee on/with the cake noodle dish as “crispy gau gee min”…. I like ‘um both ways! mmmmmm

        Reply
      • March 24, 2014 at 8:38 am
        Permalink

        I looked up Gau Gee on YouTube and found that Foodland has a pretty good looking clip on making it. Come to find out, they have a lot of clips, and recipes too! It looks pretty darn easy to make; I’m going to give it a try sometime.

        Just put about 6 lbs. of flanken cut ribs in my secret Kalbi marinade. That’s going to go along with some homemade kimchi, some mac salad, some steamed rice, a little homemade Sukju Namul and some Gochujang on the side (I love in with the rice). That’s what I get for reading this blog before I go grocery shopping!

        Reply
      • March 24, 2014 at 9:38 am
        Permalink

        Pomai:

        The shoyu mixed into the mustard must be a Hawaii thing… I remember a few years back I made my own mix at a Chinese Restaurant in Fayetteville, NC and the waitress said “You must be from Hawaii”. When I saked her how she knew, she said that only people from Hawaii mixed shoyu into the hot mustard…was she right? Come to think of it, I’ve never seen anyone here on the Mainland do that…

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *