The best Taro Balls and Sweet Potato balls (芋圓/地瓜圓)


This traditional Taiwanese dessert is tasty and chewy, and requires only two ingredients. If you’re a fan of boba and you love it, then you’ll be delighted by these vibrant “relatives” of the boba.

Taro ball is a popular Taiwanese dessert that comes originated from Jiufen (Jiu Fen ), a popular tourist spot in Taiwan. Taro balls possess their distinctive QQ taste that Taiwanese consumers love and the delicious flavors of sweet potato and taro. In the past, there were only two flavors available – sweet potato and taro, however, these days there are many other varieties like matcha, sweet potato in purple chestnut, and so on.

Taro ball can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, whether cold or hot. In the summer I love eating it cold, accompanied by the grass jelly Boba Pearl or cream (like Meet Fresh!). In winter, I prefer serving the dish alongside Tangyuan and Tangyuan in a ginger and brown sugar broth. It’s also great with Taro and sago.

The ingredients you’ll need


  • Taro is available it in Asian supermarkets, whether frozen or fresh. Go through my Taro Sago post to learn how to cook fresh Taro.
  • Sweet Potatoes – You can use any sweet potato you want, but and the quantity of starch from tapioca which is used in it has to be adjusted to suit your needs.
  • Tapioca starch is also known as tapioca flour. It’s a vital ingredient for making taro ball and cannot be substituted for other types of starch.

The Reasons to Try This Recipe

  • It’s a traditional Taiwanese dessert that’s enjoyed by a wide range of people.
  • I have provided step-by-step image with simple to follow instructions.
  • It’s vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free.
  • It is extremely well frozen and you can prepare it ahead of time and then enjoy it whenever you’d like.

Step-by-Step Instructions

In this recipe, I’ll demonstrate the steps to prepare three distinct colors of sweet potato balls made from taro. If it’s this is your first attempt at making them I would suggest to pick just two colors you’d like to experiment with for the sake of making the process less difficult.

Step 1 – Steam and smash the sweet potato and taro while it is still hot.

Step 2 – To make the regular sweet potato, stir in tapioca starch. Knead and form into a ball. Cover and place it in a bowl.

For the purple and taro sweet potatoes include tapioca starch along with 2 teaspoons of sugar, mix it in by hand until it is the mixture is clumpy.

Step 3 – Pour around 3-4 tablespoons of boiling liquid into the taro and the purple sweet potato mixtures, and let it rest for 30 seconds before shaping into an oblong.

Step 4. Divide the dough into smaller squares.

For the standard sweet potato, slice it in half and then roll into a log (about 1/3 ” or 1.5cm in diameter). Divide the log into smaller pieces, and then coat the log with tapioca starch to prevent the pieces from sticking. Repeat until you have finished the remainder portion of dough.

For purple and taro sweet potato doughs, because it’s less dry and easily rolled into logs I like to cut the dough in half, then shape to form a round ball then flatten using the dough cutter until it is the size of 2/3 ” which is about 1.5cm thick. Then, you can divide the dough into smaller squares, smooth the edges using your hands, and then mix them with tapioca starch to keep the dough from sticking.

Then you’re done! You’ve got your own homemade sweet potato and taro balls!

Step 5: To cook prepare the dish, bring a pot of liquid (about 6-fold the quantity of sweet potato balls or taro you’re planning to make) to a boil on moderate temperature. When it is boiling then add the sweet potato or taro balls Give the mixture a quick stir, and cook until all appear to float on the water.

When they’re floating after cooking, let them cook for another two hours before draining. Add the sugar (about one tablespoon for each cup sweet potato balls) to keep the ball from sticking.

It’s time to serve! The way I serve it is with honey, grass jelly and cream. It’s delicious and satisfying. I hope you’ll give it a this a go!

Tips and Tips and

  • If you’re the first experience with this recipe, I’d recommend starting by just two types in order to make the process less difficult.
  • It’s crucial to incorporate tapioca starch as the sweet potato or taro is still hot.
  • Based on the type that sweet potatoes you are using depending on the type of sweet potato you are using, your amount of tapioca that you will require could range between 30% and 50 percent in the amount of sweetness. If you’re using more tapioca starch than you need, the balls will be more chewy. However, if you’re using excessive amounts, the balls aren’t very flavorful.
  • Be sure that you cover any dough you’re not working on to stop drying out.
  • When you cook the sweet potato or taro balls, make sure to (1) use sufficient water (at minimum 6 at least) as well as (2) place the balls to the boiling water once it’s at a boil (not only simmering) in order to avoid having them get clumped or melt.
  • The sweet potato/taro balls will get chewier as they cool.
  • Cook only the quantity of sweet potato/taro balls that you consume each time. The food can remain soft and fresh for up to a few hours at room temperature but if it is stored in the refrigerator it will begin to harden after about an hour.

Recipe FAQs

Is it possible to replace the starch in tapioca with corn?

It’s not necessary to make use of tapioca starch order to create an QQ texture.

Do I have to boil taro and sweet potatoes in water, instead steaming?

We want to reduce the absorption of water particularly for sweet potatoes as otherwise, you’ll need to add plenty of tapioca starch. This can result in bland sweet potato balls.

How do you store the sweet potato balls?

The best option is to store the uncooked sweet potato or taro balls immediately after they are made. Make sure to cook only what you will consume every time. I typically put them in Ziploc bags, place the balls in a single layer, then freeze them in a horizontal fashion to stop them from getting stuck together. It can be frozen for three months or more.


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