Homemade Taho with tapioca pearls and a generous helping of sweet syrup will jumpstart your day! This Filipino sweet treat is a morning-favorite especially when warm.
Thinking of warm taho in the morning sends me straight to the streets of my hometown. It reminds me of “manong magtataho” and his baritone voice shouting “tahooooo” that made us run outside so we can buy a cup. The soft, silky tofu enveloped in golden brown sugary syrup dotted with sago is how I remember this delicious morning or sweet afternoon snack.
My mouth is watering just imagining taking a slurp of this delicate snack. But since I live abroad and there are no taho vendor, I made one from scratch. This recipe will guide you through the steps to make your own homemade taho so you can enjoy this sweet treat whenever you like!
What Is Taho?
It’s a breakfast-favorite like champorado in the Philippines. Made with layers of warm silken tofu, arnibal (sweet syrup), and sago. The white pudding-like stuff is soft silken tofu with emphasis on silken, since there’s different kinds of tofu. Next is the “arnibal” or brown sugar syrup with vanilla extract. This syrup is crucial since it’s the one that gives taho flavor. Lastly, sago pearls or tapioca pearls, which in my opinion is optional but it gives the snack texture and more enjoyable.
It’s usually sold in the early morning by vendors carrying large aluminum buckets. It’s serve in small plastic cups but you can also bring your own glass or mug. The price for taho is inexpensive but the vendor may charge more if you bring a big container. It’s not exclusive in the Philippines, other countries such as Thailand, Japan, China and Vietnam have their own version.
Notes On Some Ingredients
How To Serve And Store
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- 340 grams soft silken tofu
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup tapioca pearls
- 6 cups water (for cooking tapioca pearls)
Cooking the tapioca pearls
- Cook the tapioca pearls in 3 cups boiling water for 10-15 minutes then turn off heat and let tapioca pearls sit in the hot water for 15 minutes. Drain water.1/2 cup tapioca pearls, 6 cups water
- Pour 3 cups of water again and boil over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes. (NOTE: Add more water if necessary.)
- Lower heat and cook for additional 10 minutes or until tapioca pearls are completely transparent. Using a strainer, strain tapioca pearls and run them in cold water to avoid pearls from sticking. Set aside.
Making the syrup (arnibal)
- In a saucapan or small pot. Tip in brown sugar, water and vanilla extract. Place in stove over low-medium heat and cook for 10 minutes or until dissolves and syrup thick.1 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup water, 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- Transfer syrup in a container.
Steaming the silken tofu (When ready to serve)
- Place a parchment paper on a steamer and poke holes for liquid to drip. Place tofu on top of the parchment paper and cover steamer with lid.340 grams soft silken tofu
- Steam for 15 minutes then remove from heat.
- In a small serving glass or mug, add 1-2 tbsp. of sweet syrup or depending on how sweet you want it. Scoop in 8-10 thin layers of silken tofu and top with tapioca pearls then drizzle with some more syrup. Serve and enjoy. Bon appetit!
- You can also use a microwave to heat the silken tofu before serving. Place 5-8 tbsp. silken tofu in a mug then heat in microwave for 1 to 1 1/2. Remove from microwave and add syrup and tapioca pearls.