Taro is a purple root vegetable, like a sweet potato, that is used in Asian recipes. Taro, tapioca and rock sugar can be found in most Chinese grocery stores. This recipe comes from the mom of one of my best friends, and I've loved it for years. It's a traditional Asian dessert, and like most, it is like a sweet soup. It can be served hot or cold. I have it hot the first night and refrigerate the rest for seconds the next day! When served cold, it will seem a little thicker.

Advertisement

Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a saucepan with a lid, bring 4 cups of water to a boil, and stir in the tapioca pearls (pearls will swell in size). Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook the tapioca until pearls begin to soften, about 7 minutes. Cover the pan, and let the tapioca pearls stand for 10 to 15 minutes, until the centers are clear. Gently drain the excess water, and set the pearls aside.

    Advertisement
  • Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan and stir in the taro root. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer the taro until soft, about 10 minutes. Add coconut milk and rock sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar, and simmer for 20 more minutes to blend the coconut milk and taro. Gently stir in the soft tapioca pearls until well combined. Let cool to room temperature, or serve chilled.

Editor's Note

Raw taro root can be irritating to the skin or throat, so it's best to peel using rubber gloves. Peel thoroughly with a knife (skin is tough), and don't taste the taro until it's cooked through and soft.

Nutrition Facts

147.4 calories; 0.9 g protein; 22.1 g carbohydrates; 0 mg cholesterol; 10.7 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (17)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
05/28/2011
I'm from Hong Kong this is what we call tong shui(sweet water). This is a good recipe to follow. I used to do it all by taste a lot more work. I used sweet potato instead of taro(it's interchangeable but sweet potato has some natural sweetness). My advice is cook the tapioca by itself as the recipe says you don't want the starchy water. In a different pot cook the taro and sugar. Add sugar till it suits your taste(it's not suppose to be too sweet) then add the tapioca and coconut milk. Read More
(46)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
04/20/2011
It was average tasting. It wasn't what I was looking for. I had to strain the tapioca with running warm water to get rid of the starchy sticky gel. Then I added the milk/sugar mixture. Also I boiled the taro seperately and added that at the end. My daughter liked it with whipped cream stirred in. Read More
(5)
22 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 14
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 3
Rating: 4 stars
05/28/2011
I'm from Hong Kong this is what we call tong shui(sweet water). This is a good recipe to follow. I used to do it all by taste a lot more work. I used sweet potato instead of taro(it's interchangeable but sweet potato has some natural sweetness). My advice is cook the tapioca by itself as the recipe says you don't want the starchy water. In a different pot cook the taro and sugar. Add sugar till it suits your taste(it's not suppose to be too sweet) then add the tapioca and coconut milk. Read More
(46)
Rating: 4 stars
05/28/2011
I'm from Hong Kong this is what we call tong shui(sweet water). This is a good recipe to follow. I used to do it all by taste a lot more work. I used sweet potato instead of taro(it's interchangeable but sweet potato has some natural sweetness). My advice is cook the tapioca by itself as the recipe says you don't want the starchy water. In a different pot cook the taro and sugar. Add sugar till it suits your taste(it's not suppose to be too sweet) then add the tapioca and coconut milk. Read More
(46)
Rating: 5 stars
04/07/2011
I like this easy and tasty recipe. The first time I made it we didn't eat it until 3 hours later the tapioca soaked up the liquid the dessert became very thick mixture. I adjust the procedure the second time I made it: I boiled the taro for 15 mins then added uncook tapioca in the same pot to cook for another 7 mins then added coconut milk cook until boil last step I added brown raw sugar for another 2 mins or so until sugar dissolve. I serve it 1 hour later this time tapiocas didn't have that much time to soak up all the liquid and the flavor is still there without all that simmering. Read More
(29)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
04/18/2011
This is a very popular recipe in southeast asia. You can also use sweet rice in place of the tapioca pearls. I serve this to my six month old baby and she loveees it so much. Coconut milk is high in saturated fat which is very good for you as oppose to the poly saturated fat. So don't be afraid of this recipe because of the coco milk. I also sub. rock sugar for palm sugar. Read More
(28)
Rating: 5 stars
03/30/2010
This is one of my favorite desserts and it came out wonderful! I added more sugar than was on the receipe but other than that it came out great. Thanks! Read More
(6)
Rating: 3 stars
04/20/2011
It was average tasting. It wasn't what I was looking for. I had to strain the tapioca with running warm water to get rid of the starchy sticky gel. Then I added the milk/sugar mixture. Also I boiled the taro seperately and added that at the end. My daughter liked it with whipped cream stirred in. Read More
(5)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
01/18/2011
This is so good. I used a little less sugar and it tastes perfect. Read More
(4)
Rating: 1 stars
02/20/2012
Not good at all! just ruined my root and waisted my time. Lacking flavor and too thin. This has too much water. Read More
(2)
Rating: 1 stars
11/28/2011
Wow did not care for this! It's too liquidy and the potato didn't work well with the other textures. Never again. Read More
(2)
Rating: 4 stars
02/03/2017
I made this recipe but had to make a major modification. Like the other 1 star reviews said it is way too much water with the taro when you add in the coconut milk. I drained much of the water out of the taro. I saved about 1 cups worth of taro-water and then poured in the coconut milk. You need to dilute the coconut milk with something and other recipes dilute it with milk. The taro-water is a good substitute and will help thicken the soup once it cools. I wouldn't put more than a cup. Since there is so much moisture in the taro you could drain out all the water. There will be some residual water in the pot (maybe 1/4-1/2 cup) that you could use to dilute the coconut milk. If its too thick once you're done you can add back in some water or m ilk. The key is to cut the taro into larger pieces (maybe 1-inch pieces) not overboil the taro. Stick to 10 minutes before adding in the coconut milk since you will need to continue to boil it to incorporate the coconut milk. Once you make these changes it comes out very nicely. I didn't put in the small tapioca pearls but I would make sure to cook the pearls then cool them with lots of cold water. Add in the tapioca pearls once the soup cools so it doesn't further cook the pearls. Read More
(2)