Friday, August 8, 2014

Taro Balls 芋圆 - Taiwan AFF Chewies #2

I can frankly tell you, I'm not a fan of these things.

I ate them at Blackball before and didn't fall in love with it, but I won't say I hate them. I will still eat them, but not looking forward to them .

My husband's family makes a savoury version with leeks and crab, as a traditional dish every second day of the Chinese New Year. My husband do not look forward to that too, although he has been eating them since he was a kid.

Taiwanese recipes are a bit hard for me to find, as my written Chinese language proficiency is kind of low... I just went ahead with what I have eaten before and did my search with that.

To make this, you have to use quite a lot of gauging. I can only roughly tell you the recipe, the final amount is your decision. I made mistakes earlier with the sweet potatoes and finally got it right with the taro. My advice will be use as little water as you can, no water if possible.

I thought I made only a using 80gm of taro and 60gm of other potatoes... but it turned out I can feed 4 with this. So, please decide properly on the amount of people you will feed.
I'm left with 3 more portions and I don't know how to finish them up. Sigh.......

I served mine with dark molasses syrup, or Black Sugar like how the Taiwanese will call it. You can add some red beans, mung beans, grass jelly and even some evaporated milk.

Taro Balls

by WendyinKK 

Taro balls
80gm peeled taro (芋头, keladi)
20gm tapioca starch
5gm potato starch
1 Tbsp sugar
Water as needed

Sweet potato balls
60gm sweet potatoes (peeled, any choice of colours)
15gm tapioca starch
1 tsp potato starch
2 tsp sugar
Water as needed

1. Steam taro and sweet potatoes until cooked. Turn off the heat, and keep the potatoes in your steamer so that they stay warm.
2. Mix taro with tapioca starch and break it up by rubbing. It could be quite hot.
3. Add in sugar and if a dough cannot form, add in water little by little. If you accidently added too much water, zap it in the microwave for 20 seconds, it will partially cook the starch and make the dough firmer.
4. Knead the dough until smooth, while it is still warm, roll it into a thin log, and cut into your preferred size.
5. Repeat step 2-4 with other sweet potatoes.
6. To cook, bring a pot of water to boil. Put in the small balls and cook until it floats. After it floats, let it cook for another minute.
7. Prepare a big bowl of ice water. Ladle and strain the cooked dough balls, and dunk them into the ice water.
8. Serve with syrup of choice.

*Take note that ORANGE sweet potatoes are very moist and will not need any additional water. If the dough turns out sticky, add more starch, or zap it for a short while.

I am submitting this to Asian Food Fest Taiwan Month


  1. Thanks for this toothsome recipe. This sounds very healthy and tasty.

  2. Yum! These look delicious! I love taro!! :D

  3. Interesting to see that your tapioca flour proportion is vastly different from what I attempted. Will try yours for comparison. So far, I am happy with the recipe that I tried.

  4. i loooveee taro balls!much interesting if u served it warm...:-)


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