Saturday, August 20, 2011

Taro Tapioca Pearl Dessert

In elementary school, Friday nights were Chinese school nights for my sister and I. It was also choir practice nights for my dad, leaving my mom home alone. Often, we'd all come home to Chinese desserts. This was one of my favourites because I loved the little tapioca pearls.

The only problem was that sometimes when my mom made it, the pearls would all melt away by the time I got around to eating it. So I promised myself that one day I would make it myself and I'd be sure to find a way to preserve the tapioca pearls.

When we moved to Australia, this must have sparked up some deep-seated need to preserve my heritage because that's when I started wanting to cook more Asian food. Months ago, I bought a bag of frozen taro and it sat in our freezer until a couple nights ago when I decided it was time to finally make this dessert, before my mom leaves.

So I searched for a simple recipe and found one on this awesome site called Christine's Recipes.

300g taro, diced (I used pre-cut frozen stuff)
1/2 cup tapioca pearls
400mL coconut milk
rock sugar, to taste (I used about 2 chunks)
1L water

1. Soak tapioca pearls for at least 3 hours. Add to boiling water on medium heat and stir frequently to ensure they don't stick. Once they become mostly translucent, remove pot from heat and cover. Let sit for another 30 minutes - tapioca pearls should be completely translucent.
2. Drain tapioca pearls and rinse under cold water. Pearls should be cool to the touch.
3. Boil water with coconut milk and add taro. When taro is cooked half through, add rock sugar and cook until melted.
4. Add tapioca pearls and mix together.

The tapioca pearls started sticking together soon after being added to the boiling water. I had to stir constantly to ensure they didn't stick together and I only had to cook it for about 5 minutes (instead of the 20 suggested in the original recipe). Also, it took a little while for my taro to melt down, probably because they were frozen. Some people like larger chunks of taro in their dessert. I prefer less chunks so I cooked it for a bit longer and smushed them to break it down.

I think it turned out alright. I'll have to wait for my mom to try it out, and let her be the judge.


  1. That looks amazing! I miss having this dessert!

  2. she said it was better than hers :)

  3. Jas, you should make it! It's so incredibly easy :)

    Thanks for that, Andrew.



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