Ying's ideas of easy Chinese home-cooking

Handmade Taro Balls

手作芋圆

It’s a sunny early autumn today, let’s do some handmade work! I have finished all taro balls last week so I am going to make them again and note down the exact measurement. Also, I would use the leftover taro to make a sweet soup. Together with silky tofu, such a proper autumn dessert! Now let’s do it.

Ingredients –
Taro, 500g, peeled, cut into big chunks. Big taro has thick and hard peel, use knife to cut them off;
Sugar, 2tbsp;
Water, 2tbsp;
Cassava starch, 1 cup. It HAS TO be cassava starch, not glutinous rice flour, and not any other types of flour. As far as I know, not only Asian use it, so try to look for it in your local grocery stores or google. I use 1 cup starch with 500g taro this time, and the texture is what my family prefer, not very chewy not too soft. 1 cup and a half would be no problem but 2 cups starch may make the balls too chewy to bite. I would give some of them to my mother in law and she would prefer it to be a little soft. The more starch you use, the chewier they become. Try my proportion first and you could adjust to your preference next time.

How to make taro ball –
1. Steam the taro chunks till they are cooked;
2. Put the taro into a big bowl and mash it like you make mashed potato. The taro I have is in very good quality so the mashed taro is very smooth and creamy;

3. Season with some sugar. It’s not necessary since you would have taro balls with sweet soup, ice cream or other dessert, but taro is not sweet at all so I would just add a little;
4. Mix it with cassava starch. Knead the dough till all ingredients combined well together and the dough doesn’t stick to your hands. If you find it difficult in mixing them, add a little water gradually to help;

5. Cut into sticks and roll them round a little bit, then cut them into 1 inch cubes;

6. If you can’t finish all right away, dust some extra cassava starch on in case they stick together, and keep them in freezer;

In this way, you could make sweet potato balls as well. Remember, there’s no need to add water when making the dough, but sometimes sweet potato is not as moist as taro, so gradually add some tablespoons of water to help.

How to cook taro ball –

1. Take the taro balls from freezer, no need to defrost, poach them in boiling water till they float;

2. Drain and cool them down immediately in icy water. Then they’re ready to serve.

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