Chinese desserts have always ranked lower than American/European desserts in my book. Despite the lack of chocolate molten lava cakes or baklava, there are some Chinese desserts that are definitely worth mentioning. One of them being taro tapioca soup.
This dessert combines the subtle flavor of taro, rock sugar, coconut milk, condensed milk, and tapioca to quell any last minute dessert cravings after feasting on a Chinese banquet.
You’re more likely to get served oranges as a dessert from a Chinese restaurant but occasionally you might get this tasty treat. It’s sporadic – I haven’t figure out the scenario which qualifes for this treat (besides just asking).
I’d still be wary of chinese chocolate anything (cake, pastries) …although I have seen considerable improvement on the chocolate jelly roll!
1/2 cup pearl sago/tapioca (increase to 3/4 cup if you prefer more tapioca per spoonful)
2 cups mashed taro (frozen or fresh)
1 can of coconut milk (unsweetened)
2 cups of water
1/2 cup of splenda/or sugar or condensed milk (traditional recipes use rock sugar – use it if you’ve got it)
1. Remove skin from taro and cut into chunks (if using frozen taro, proceed to next step)
2. Add taro to a boiling a potful of water and cook until tender (fresh taro takes about 20 minutes, frozen takes 5-7 minutes)
3. Drain excess water and mash with fork until majority of the taro is smooth (leave chunky bits if you want chunks of taro in the dessert)
4. In a separate pot, add tapioca to another boiling pot of water. Boil for 5-6 minutes, turn off the heat and cover for another 10-15 minutes. Begin checking tapioca after 10 minutes – the tapioca is done once it has turned translucent (no white center). Drain any excess water.
5. On low heat, add can of coconut milk and 2 cups of water to the pot with the taro. If you are using rock sugar, add it in during this step since it takes awhile to break down. Stir the mixture until the taro has “blended” with the coconut milk and then add tapioca.
6. To sweeten the dessert, get creative with sugar, splenda, condensed milk, or rock sugar. The sweetness is based on personal perference so start small, taste, and add more if necessary! My favorite combination is to use dissolved rock sugar and condensed milk.
7. If you prefer a soupier consistency, add more coconut milk or water.