One sip of this easy 3-ingredient Korean Strawberry Milk will have you craving this recipe all the time! It’s an easy way to enjoy fresh strawberries, plus the nutrition benefits of whole milk. Stir up some delicious color and flavor in an ice-cold glass!
Do you ever remember drinking strawberry milk as a kid? Don’t get me wrong, the store-bought strawberry milk in a bottle or carton is nostalgic to the max. But for this easy recipe we’re making a grown-up version. It takes just three ingredients and a few minutes on your stove. That’s it!
Well…you might also need a little bit of patience while it cools down in the fridge. But I promise, it’s worth the wait!
Here’s Why You’ll Love Korean Strawberry Milk
- It’s gorgeous. Right?! I mean, look at those lovely swirls of vibrant color…it’s creamy and dreamy and everything you could want in a refreshing summer drink!
- Korean Strawberry Milk traditionally uses just a few ingredients and I’m not changing that. All you need is fresh strawberries, a little sugar (dealer’s choice), and Hiland Dairy Whole Milk
- Using whole milk ups the satisfaction factor thanks to the creaminess of full-fat dairy. More on that below!
Homemade strawberry milk is a popular drink in Korea. You can also find it in Korean cafes year-round. And just like here in the United States, people go strawberry picking to enjoy fresh berries at home. Their strawberry season is longer than ours (running from December or January through the summer) thanks to greenhouses vs. growing the strawberries outdoors. Although I haven’t visited (yet!) to verify if this recipe captures the authentic Korean strawberry milk flavor, it’s still packed with fresh strawberry flavor and just the right amount of sweetness!
Ingredients You’ll Need
As the recipe says, you only need three ingredients to make this homemade Korean strawberry milk:
- Fresh strawberries. Frozen is also an option, but the strawberry chunks might end up more like the texture of pureed strawberries.
- Sugar. Dealer’s choice here, although there will be slight difference if you use white sugar vs. brown sugar. I’ve tried both in the strawberry mixture, and while brown sugar has a little more depth of flavor, they are both delicious. And the best part about this homemade version is that you can easily adjust the amount of sugar for the sweet taste you like the most.
- Whole milk (see my notes below)
These simple ingredients are easy to find at nearly any grocery store, but if you’re short on time, try a grocery delivery! Instacart is a convenient option and you can click HERE to get an order going in just a few clicks.
Street Smart Nutrition Tip: If you need or want a non-dairy option, make a switch to a milk of your choice based on personal preference or need. Obviously, whole milk is out if you have a dairy allergy or sensitivity. But note that this Korean style Strawberry Milk recipe was not tested with soy milk, oat milk, almond milk, or other non-dairy milk alternatives. Flavor notes, texture, and color may vary.
Benefits of Whole Milk Nutrition
As a registered dietitian, I remember learning about the key differences between each kind of milk. And today, years after I finished school, it seems like there’s still some misconceptions about milk! This is a great time to clear up confusion. Because even though you can use any variety of milk for this Korean Strawberry Milk recipe, I think it tastes the best using Hiland Dairy Whole Milk.
Here are a few fast facts about whole milk nutrition:
- Whole milk is “full fat” at 3.5%. The other varieties include reduced-fat 2% milk, reduced-fat 1% milk, and skim milk which contains virtually no fat at all.
- All of these milk varieties are in the dairy category. They’re an animal-sourced dairy product (unlike non-dairy milk alternatives sourced from plants).
- Whole milk has more protein and essential nutrients than most plant-based drinks. Although whole milk has more calories and fat per serving (more on that below) it also provides:
- 25% of your daily calcium, for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth
- 15% of your vitamin D needs, which can help support a healthy immune system
- 60% Daily Value (DV) of iodine, which regulates hormones and metabolism
- Plus other essential nutrients including phosphorus, vitamin A, riboflavin, niacin, vitamins B6 and B12, zinc, selenium, and potassium
Whole milk tastes much more rich and creamy than other milk varieties. It’s all thanks to that yummy fat content! It has a thicker texture than lower fat varieties, which really shines when you use it in drinks like this Korean Strawberry Milk recipe.
A Note About Full Fat Dairy
Fat isn’t a bad thing anymore! I know that’s all we heard for over a decade, but the tides are really changing in recent years and there’s no reason to avoid fat in your milk. While older recommendations said to stick with skim milk, recent research makes a compelling argument for a return to whole milk. A one-cup serving (8 oz) of whole milk provides about 4.5 grams of saturated fat. That’s only about 20% of the daily recommended intake according to the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This modest amount of saturated fat isn’t strongly linked to heart disease or other negative health outcomes, especially when eaten with a variety of other nourishing foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
Another bonus when you reach for whle milk: better nutrient absorption! Some vitamins are fat-soluble, meaning they are better absorbed and digested when a fat source is present. These vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K) play important roles for overall health. But I personally prefer to focus on the flavor benefits: it just tastes so much better to me! There’s always room for personal preferences, though. So if you prefer other varieties of dairy, go for it. This Korean Strawberry Milk recipe is very forgiving so serve it the way you like it.
The Bottom Line: You can rest assured that using whole milk in recipes or drinking it with meals provides valuable nutrition without increasing risk of chronic disease.
How to Make Korean Strawberry Milk
You’re going to love this super simple recipe! You will basically make a sped-up version of macerated strawberries using a little bit of heat. It’s stirred into creamy milk and served ice-cold. So dang good on a hot summer day!
Maceration is the process of mixing fresh fruits with sugar to draw out more of their natural sweetness. I use this technique for my Balsamic Macerated Strawberries and Cream, which is a great recipe to try if you have any leftover strawberries!
Here’s my step-by-step guide:
- First, start with fresh strawberries. Why fresh? Well, using frozen strawberries could still work. But when I was testing this recipe for Korean Strawberry Milk, the frozen berries released more liquid as they cooked down. The puree didn’t get nearly as syrupy or sticky, which is helpful if you want that colorful glass when you serve it. If that’s not important to you, or you just don’t have time or fresh berries, just smash frozen berries together with the sugar. It’s no problem!
- If you are cooking down fresh strawberries, remove the stems after washing and drying the strawberries. Give them a rough chop so they look similar to the photo below. Aim for small pieces because I think this sweet strawberry milk is best enjoyed through a straw. There’s nothing worse than trying to suck something through a straw and getting it stuck halfway up!
- Heat the strawberries with the sugar in a skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally, especially once the mixture starts to bubble. After about 10 minutes, it should start to thicken and get sticky. It will get a little thicker as it cools in the fridge, so it’s ideal to do this the day before. But again, it won’t impact the flavor so do whatever works best for you!
When you’re ready to serve, grab your serving glass. Spoon some of the fresh strawberry puree in to the bottom of the glass. Use the back of your spoon to swirl a little more around the sides. Drop in a few ice cubes if you’re like me and want it as cold as you can possibly get it.
Then just pour the whole milk over the top. I love watching the swirls of red and white mixing together. And as soon as you use a straw to mix it up, it turns a really pretty shade of light pink!
Keep any leftover strawberry puree in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. This helps it stay thick, unlike at room temperature. It lasts up to one week and can be used for more delicious strawberry recipes! Try it in a strawberry smoothie, strawberry latte, or serve over yogurt, toast, pancakes, or waffles.
When it comes to individual servings, however, I recommend making just the amount of milk you plan to drink. Serve it fresh to get the most out of this Korean-style strawberry milk, as it just doesn’t hold well after it’s mixed.
Here’s my easy 3-ingredient Korean Strawberry Milk recipe!
Korean Strawberry Milk
- nonstick or stainless steel skillet
- Soft Spatula
- cutting board and sharpened knife
- Measuring Cups
- 1 lb fresh strawberries, 16 oz. container
- 1/3 cup sugar, raw (turbinado), brown, or white granulated
- 32 oz Hiland Dairy Whole Milk
- ice cubes, optional
- Begin the strawberry puree by washing and drying the fresh strawberries. Remove the stems and slice, then roughly chop.
- Place the skillet on the stovetop over medium heat. Add the sugar, folding it into the chopped strawberries. Cook down until the consistency becomes syrupy, with softened chunks of strawberries remaining.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a storage container. Seal, then place in the fridge to chill for at least two hours.
- When ready to serve, use a spoon to scoop the strawberry puree into your glass. Use the back of the spoon to swirl the puree around the inside of the glass, then add ice cubes (if using). Pour the whole milk on top, and enjoy immediately.
I hope you enjoy this easy homemade recipe for a popular Korean drink! If you’re looking for more facts about whole milk nutrition, click HERE to learn more. You can also find more delicious recipes using whole milk HERE. If you give this recipe a try, be sure to leave a rating or comment and let me know what you think!
And as always, thanks for stopping by the Street Smart Nutrition blog! You can find more and follow along on Instagram and YouTube, and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter so you never miss a new post. Cheers to more fearlessly nourishing meals!
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Hiland Dairy Foods. I was compensated for my time when it was originally published in August 2022. It has since been updated to improve the overall quality of the information and/or images. As always, thank you for supporting the brands who support Street Smart Nutrition!