Fresh Korean Banana Milk – 바나나맛 우유

Korean banana milk or ‘banana-uyu‘ (바나나맛 우유) is a popular Korean banana-flavored milk beverage that is sweet and creamy. It’s usually sold in the iconic yellow-colored carton or small plastic-shaped bottle at convenience stores in Korea.

I tried it for the first time the other day and didn’t like that it tasted so artificial! It reminded me of those banana candies from the 25-cent vending machines back in the day, and I just could not get with it.

So, I decided to try making it at home because I had some bananas with like 20 HP left and wanted to put them to good use. Let’s just say fresh banana milk tastes WAY BETTER than the ones in the carton!

If you’ve never tried Korean banana milk or you’re also with me on the artificial flavoring, give my recipe a try! 🙂

Why you’ll love this recipe

Whether you grew up having banana milk or not, this homemade recipe is a fresh, pure, and unadulterated version of banana milk.

While this might seem like a regular banana milkshake, the key difference here is that it’s lighter and thinner in consistency compared to a typical milkshake. This is done intentionally to replicate the consistency of the original Korean banana milk. 

The great about this is the convenience and ease of preparation. All you need is 10 minutes and 6 simple pantry-friendly ingredients. In my opinion, banana milk is best enjoyed chilled so I recommend popping it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. With that being said, you can make a batch in advance and store it in the fridge. Alternatively, you can freeze the bananas and toss them into the blender for an ice-cold refreshing drink!

How to get the right consistency

If you haven’t tried banana milk before and want to make your drink as authentic as possible, there are a few things to keep in mind. Korean banana milk has a thin consistency but makes up for it in its rich flavor. 

After several rounds of testing, I found that only using milk results in a thicker viscosity. To loosen it, I added ¼ cup of water per serving which resulted in the perfect consistency. Feel free to adjust the ratio of milk to water depending on how thick you want your banana milk to be. If using plant-based milk, keep in mind that some already have a thin consistency, so be sure to adjust the milk-to-water ratio depending on your preference. 

How do I prepare Fresh Korean Banana Milk?

This fresh banana milk recipe only takes 3 easy steps to make. To start, just follow the instructions below:

Step 1: Prepare the ingredients

Peel the bananas and place them into a blender with milk, water, honey, vanilla extract, and salt.

Step 2: Blend

Blend the mixture on high until it turns into a smooth consistency.

Step 3: Chill & serve!

Transfer the banana milk to a glass and chill for at least 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Preparation Tips for Fresh Korean Banana Milk

This fresh banana milk recipe is very straightforward but to make the most delicious banana milk every time, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Be sure to use ripe bananas – the ripe the bananas are, the sweeter it will be. Unripe bananas are usually not sweet and don’t have a strong natural banana flavor.
  • Adjust the amount of honey or sweetener added based on your preferences. Keep in mind that ripe bananas are sweet, so taste and adjust as you go.
  • I highly recommend using a high-powered blender to ensure the banana milk has the smoothest consistency 
  • For best results, be sure to use high-quality vanilla extract. Most low-quality vanilla extract taste artificial and can overpower the banana flavor. I strictly use Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract – it’s been my go-to since culinary school and I’ve never looked back. 
  • Feel free to adjust the consistency of the banana milk based on your preference. If you prefer a thicker consistency beverage, add more bananas or use milk only. If you prefer a thinner consistency beverage, add more water. 
  • For an extra cold and refreshing beverage, add frozen bananas or ice cubes when blending. 

Ingredients & Substitutions 

Ripe banana: bananas are the main ingredient for this recipe, so you want to use ripe bananas. The riper the banana, the sweeter it will be!

Milk: I used whole milk for this recipe however, you can substitute it with any type of milk you prefer, including plant-based milk like almond milk, oat milk, and cashew milk. 

Water: water is used to thin out the consistency of the drink. Add small amounts at a time until you get your preferred consistency.

Honey: the honey not only sweetens the banana milk but adds a layer of complexity to the beverage. Feel free to substitute it with maple syrup, white, or brown sugar.

Vanilla extract: the vanilla extract will elevate the flavors of the banana milk. You can also use vanilla bean paste as a substitute.

Salt: adding salt is completely optional, but it will balance out the sweetness of the drink. A pinch is all you need!

Toppings & Variations

Like most of my recipes, you can customize it based on your preferences, and this one is no exception! If you want to explore and experiment with ingredients and flavors using fresh banana milk as a base, here are some ideas that you can try out!

1. Crushed peanuts – garnishing with some crushed peanuts on top can add some additional texture to your drink. Nuts and bananas are a popular combination so feel free to use any nut you prefer, such as peanuts, almonds, or walnuts.

2. Ice cream – one quick way to turn banana milk into a milkshake is by adding a scoop or two of ice cream! Vanilla ice cream is a safe choice, but you can also experiment with other flavors.

3. Berries – if you want to turn this into a fruity banana milk, berries would be a great addition to strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Fresh berries would be ideal, but you can also use frozen ones.

4. Cinnamon & nutmeg – if you want to turn your banana milk into a comforting drink, try adding a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. The spices also make its aroma sweeter and remind you of the fall and winter seasons!

5. Peanut butter – peanut butter and bananas go hand in hand, even in milk form! Note that peanut butter will make the consistency thicker, so add more milk or water to achieve a thinner consistency.

6. Chocolate syrup – this is for all my chocolate lovers out there. Similar to peanut butter, chocolate, and banana is a popular combination. You can pour the syrup on the sides of the glass before adding your banana milk so it resembles a banana float!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do overripe bananas taste sweeter?

Overripe bananas taste sweeter because their ripening process breaks down their starch and turns them into sugars like fructose, glucose, and sucrose. Overripe bananas also have a more intense banana flavor compared to unripe bananas. 

Why do you add salt to the mixture?

Adding salt to your banana milk mixture will balance out the sweetness and also bring out the natural sweetness of the bananas. But be careful to only add small amounts at a time, or you’ll end up with a salty drink!

Can you store banana milk?

Yes, you can store the banana milk in an airtight container in the fridge. But because this recipe doesn’t use any preservatives, it will only last up to 3 days. The mixture may separate after a few days, but you can fix this by giving it a good shake before drinking.

How do you keep banana milk from turning brown?

Similar to fresh bananas, banana milk can turn brown the longer you store it in the fridge. That’s because it contains compounds that create melanin when exposed to the air. If you want to prevent your banana milk from discoloring, you can add a bit of lemon juice to the mixture. Add small amounts at a time so it won’t affect the taste of the banana milk. 

How do you know banana milk has gone bad?

You’ll know the banana milk has spoiled when it turns into a dark brown color and has an acidic taste and smell. If you spot any of this on your mixture, make sure to throw it out immediately and make a fresh batch instead.

Looking for more Korean-inspired recipes? Give these ones a try!

1. Cold Soba Noodlesif you’re looking for a cold and refreshing noodle dish, I highly recommend this recipe. The nutty flavor of the soba noodles pairs deliciously well with the homemade mentsuyu sauce, making it the perfect light meal.

2. Dduk Gukthis Korean rice cake soup may be a New Year’s Day staple, but you don’t have to wait until the beginning of the year to make it. I’ve made the traditional recipe more approachable, so it’s quick and easy to prepare any time of the week!

3. Beef Enoki Rollsthis one-pan meal is one of my favorite dishes to make. It’s filling and flavorful, and the best part is it only takes 25 minutes to prepare.

4. Kimchi Soondubu Jjigae – for a spicy and hearty stew, this recipe is hard to beat. It’s packed with bold flavors made of kimchi, pork, and soft tofu. It’s also easily customizable by swapping the vegetables with whatever you have on hand!

5. Korean Seafood Pancake (Haemul Pajeon)you can now recreate this popular Korean appetizer at home with this recipe. It’s packed with scallions and seafood, making it the perfect pair or ‘anju’ for makgeolli or soju.

6. Spicy Tuna Kimbapthis spicy, savory, and creamy tuna kimbap recipe is as tasty as it sounds. It’s also easy to make and the perfect quick lunch or on-the-go meal. 

Korean Banana Milk

Servings 2 people
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 2 ripe banana
  • 1 1/2 cups milk your choice of milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp honey or your choice of sweetener, adjust to your liking
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt optional


  • Peel banana and place into a blender with milk, water, honey, vanilla extract and salt.
  • Blend on high until smooth.
  • Serve & enjoy!
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Korean

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