How to make Taiwanese Taro Balls from scratch: 8 Steps (with Pictures)

Here are step-by-step instructions for making Taiwanese Taro Balls from scratch in 8 Steps (with Pictures). An easy-to-follow Taiwanese Taro Balls Recipe – soft, sweet, chewy with a shiny slippery surface. Taro balls also known as “Yu Yuan” in Chinese is one of the famous traditional Taiwanese sweet desserts. Mum and I fell deeply in love with these little cute chewy balls during our first trip to Taiwan few years ago. Taro balls can be found almost everywhere in Taiwan, but the most famous one is from Jiufen.

How to make Taiwanese Taro Balls

Servings:

6-8 persons

Ingredients:

1 taro (approximately 500g)
133g tapioca flour
66g potato starch
50g sugar
3-5tbsp sugar
Water

Method:

1. Peel the taro. Rub some salt on the taro and rinse with water.
2. Cut the taro into small pieces and steam until soft (about 30 minutes, can be broken easily with a fork).
3. Mash the taro with a fork. Add in sugar while the taro is still hot. Mix well.
4. Sift in tapioca flour and potato starch. Mix well.
5. Add adequate amount of water and knead until the right consistency. Make sure the dough is not too runny. If the dough is too dry, add more water, little by little.
6. Roll the dough using you palms into a long rope shape, about 1cm in diameter. Cut into 2cm thick pieces with a knife. Place them on a plate.
7. Boil a pot of water. Carefully put all the taro balls into boiling water. Stir immediately to prevent them sticking together. Cook until the taro balls float to the surface. It takes about 3 to 5 minutes to float.
8. Strain the cooked taro balls using a stainless steel strainer. Get ready a big bowl. Put the taro balls into the bowl and add 3 to 5 tablespoons of sugar immediately. Mix well. Enjoy hot in syrup or cold with shaved ice.

Taiwanese Taro Balls
Taiwanese Taro Balls
Tapioca Flour and Potato Starch
Tapioca Flour and Potato Starch
Taiwanese Taro Balls Ingredients
Taiwanese Taro Balls Ingredients
steam taro until soft
steam taro until soft
steamed taro
steamed taro
mash the taro
mash the taro
add in sugar while taro is hot
add in sugar while taro is hot
sift in tapioca flour and potato starch
sift in tapioca flour and potato starch
mix taro, sugar, tapioca flour and potato starch
mix taro, sugar, tapioca flour and potato starch
knead until the right consistency
knead until the right consistency
roll into a long rope shape
roll into a long rope shape
cut into 2cm pieces
cut into 2cm pieces
place taro balls on a plate
place taro balls on a plate
cook until the taro balls float to the surface
cook until the taro balls float to the surface
strain the cooked taro balls
strain the cooked taro balls
add 3 to 5 tablespoons of sugar immediately
add 3 to 5 tablespoons of sugar immediately

Note:

  • Taro:Sugar ratio 10:1 (10%)
  • Tapioca flour:Potato starch ratio 2:1 (50%)
  • Taro:Tapioca flour+potato starch 5:2 (40%)
  • Where to buy potato starch? Potato Starch can be found at Giant or AEON Supermarket. I am using the Windmill brand. Alternatively, use corn starch.
  • For Tapioca flour, I am using the Cap Kapal ABC Tapioca starch. Tapioca starch and tapioca flour are the same thing.
  • If you think the Taro balls are too much for you, place them on a tray and put in the freezer for a few hours to freeze. When they are frozen, put them in an airtight food storage bag and store in the freezer (can keep for up to a month). There is no need to defrost the frozen taro balls when you want to cook them.
  • Taro balls are not glutinous rice balls. There is no need to immerse them immediately into cold water after cooked to make them chewy. I learned the last step on a Taiwanese Youtube cooking channel hosted by a 5-star hotel chef. Very interesting.

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