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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.