Taiwanese Taro and Sweet Potato Balls Dessert

🧡 Embrace the vibrant hues and chewy goodness! #TaiwaneseDelight #SweetTreats. Enjoy chewy, naturally vibrant taro & sweet potato balls – a Taiwanese classic with a delightful texture!

If you’re a fan of bubble tea and its delightful chewy tapioca pearls, get ready to fall in love with a Taiwanese classic – Taro and Sweet Potato Balls. These little balls share the same soft and chewy texture, making them an irresistible treat for any time of day or year.

This beloved dessert has its roots in the picturesque town of Jiu Fen, Taiwan, where it has become a culinary sensation. But for me, it’s not just a seasonal indulgence – it’s a year-round craving that knows no boundaries.

Whether it’s a chilly winter evening or scorching summer day, a generous bowl of Taro and Sweet Potato Balls is always a welcomed sight. You’ll find me savouring it at any given moment, even in the wee hours of the morning.

In my neighbourhood, there’s a Taiwanese dessert haven called Meet Fresh that I’ve frequented to satisfy my sweet tooth. However, let me share a little secret with you – once you’ve experienced the homemade version, there’s no turning back.

The beauty of making it at home lies in the freedom to add as many hand-rolled balls as your heart desires. And trust me, there’s no such thing as too many. I won’t divulge how many I’ve devoured in one sitting, but it’s safe to say there’s no restraint!

What sets the homemade version apart is its natural vibrancy, absent of artificial food colouring. Just one look at the vibrant orange and purple hues, and you’ll see the difference.

But it’s not just about looks; it’s all about that perfect chewy texture. Taro and yam balls are renowned for striking that delightful balance – not too soft, not too hard.

Speaking of taro balls, they can take on different shades depending on the type of root vegetable used. Taro, also known as dasheen, yields a purplish hue when steamed, resulting in those iconic purple-grey taro balls. On the other hand, sweet potatoes contribute a lovely light orange hue to the mix. Together, they create a visually appealing medley of taro and sweet potato balls.

Now, let’s talk about how to enjoy this Taiwanese treasure. You can savour it piping hot or refreshingly cold, depending on your mood and the weather. Some Asian traditions recommend consuming it in a soothing ginger syrup taro ball soup, believed to warm the body and boost vitality.

Alternatively, indulge in the shaved ice version, a popular choice in regions where the summer heat can be unforgiving. Layers of these delightful balls are artfully arranged over a bed of finely shaved ice, creating a cool and comforting dessert.

Another delightful pairing is taro balls with coconut milk, a match made in dessert heaven. The creamy coconut milk perfectly complements the starchy goodness of the taro and sweet potato balls.

And if you’re a fan of boba tea, you might have encountered a twist on this classic in the form of taro balls. While traditional boba typically uses cassava for a springy texture, taro balls melt in your mouth, providing a unique sensation. You’ll often find them accompanied by other delectable toppings like grass jelly and sweet condensed milk.

For me, it’s all about that creamy goodness, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So, the next time you’re in the mood for a Taiwanese treat that’s chewy, flavourful, and utterly delightful, don’t hesitate to whip up a batch of Taro and Sweet Potato Balls at home. You’ll thank yourself later!

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Taiwanese Taro and Sweet Potato Balls Dessert

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  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: Taiwanese


Enjoy chewy, naturally vibrant taro & sweet potato balls – a Taiwanese classic with a delightful texture!


Units Scale

Taro and Sweet Potato Balls

  • 250 g taro, peeled and sliced (1/2 cm sections)
  • 250 g orange sweet potato, peeled and sliced (1/2 cm sections)
  • 250 g purple sweet potato, peeled and sliced (1/2 cm sections)
  • 400 g tapioca starch
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • water, as needed


  • 530 g can grass jelly, roughly sliced
  • 395 g can sweetened condensed milk
  • 200 ml water


  1. Steam the vegetable slices in batches for 30 minutes per batch. If you have a larger steamer, you can steam more at the same time.
  2. Mash the steamed taro slices using a fork or a potato masher, followed by the steamed sweet potatoes.
  3. Add 100g of tapioca starch into the mashed taro, along with 1 tsp sugar, and knead until a firm dough forms. It should be able to hold its shape as a ball without being too sticky.
  4. If the dough feels too dry (root vegetables vary in moisture), knead in 1 tbsp of water at a time until you achieve the desired consistency.
  5. Repeat the previous step with the mashed purple and orange sweet potatoes, using 150g of tapioca starch for each as they have different moisture levels.
  6. Take small handfuls of dough and roll them into logs with a 1.5 cm diameter. Use a knife to cut the logs into 1.5 cm pieces.
  7. Dust the balls with tapioca starch to prevent sticking.
  8. Bring a pot of water to boil and fill a large bowl with water. Once boiling, add a handful of raw pieces and cook until they float.
  9. Let them cook for an additional 2 minutes, then transfer them into the bowl of water to cool.
  10. Combine condensed milk and water until you achieve an even consistency, adjusting sweetness with more water if needed.
  11. In a large bowl, arrange grass jelly and Taro and Sweet Potato Balls. Pour the condensed milk mixture over them, then serve.


The amount of starch used will affect the texture, with less starch resulting in softer balls and more starch yielding chewier ones with a milder flavour. For a quicker option, you can find ready-made Taro and Sweet Potato Balls in the frozen section of your local Asian supermarket.


5 Responses

  1. Ron says:

    Raymond, this looks delicious and would work for me any time of the year. I love the colors of the dish and I know the flavor and texture would be wonderful…

  2. What incredible colors! As a child, I would have asked for this dessert just because it is beautiful. But to find out it tastes good, too, would be fantastic.

  3. suituapui says:

    This is nice, something like our Malaysian bubur cacar.

  4. How cool and beautiful is that – it’s basically a sweet version of gnocchi. I’ve never had taro, but I’m intrigued. And yeah – everything is better with condensed milk! 🙂

  5. Pretty, healthful *and* delicious, what more could you ask for? The colors are incredible.

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