Taro Tapioca Pearl Dessert

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Taro Tapioca Dessert Soup II

Do you have a friend who is your friend’s sister’s husband’s cousin?  I actually do and she is happened to be a food blogger!  Her name is Cindy from Weeknite Meals.  I have never met her as we live in different states, but my friend introduced to her sister about me and my blog, and she told her cousin-in-law about me.  Cindy works full-time but she makes delicious Asian meals (mostly Chinese dishes) everyday.  So if you think you are too busy to cook, please visit her site because she has very easy & yummy dishes that you can prepare in a short time.

Taro Tapioca Dessert Soup | JustOneCookbook.com


Today to celebrate my new friendship with Cindy, I’m sharing her Taro Tapioca Dessert Soup.  Ever since she posted this recipe on her site, I had been wanting to try.  After all I’m married to a Taiwanese American husband and I eat more Chinese food now when we eat out with friends.  I even go to the specific Chinese restaurant which offers this dessert soup at the end (usually complimentary).  It is so yummy!  I guess I can go to any Chinese restaurant now since I know how to make this dessert at home.  Thank you Cindy!

What’s your plan for this weekend?  We’ll be on stay-cation this weekend just 30 minutes away from our home.  My kids are so excited that they can play in the hotel’s swimming pool.   Have a great weekend everyone!

Last but not least, I also want to thank Manu from Manu’s Menu and Sawsan from The Chef in Disguise for passing awards to me.  You should know how special and honored I felt after receiving the awards from you, and thank you so much!

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Taro Tapioca Dessert Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6-8
  • 1.5 lb. taro root (about 7 taro roots)
  • ½ cup tiny tapioca balls
  • 1 (13.5 fl oz) can coconut milk (or could be more depending on how loose you want your soup to be)
  • 1 cup sugar (adjust the amount according to the extra coconut milk you add)
  1. Peel and cut taro root into ½ inch pieces.
  2. In a medium saucepan, put 4 cups of water and taro and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook 20 minutes, or until skewer goes into taro smoothly.
  3. When the taro is ready, drain the water and mash it. You don’t have to mash everything liked mashed potatoes. It’s nice to leave some chunks.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small/medium saucepan, bring another 2 cups of water to a boil. When boiling, add the tapioca and cook 6 minutes.
  5. After 6 minutes, turn off the heat and cover the pan. Let it sit for 10- 15 minutes, or until the pearls are translucent and you can no longer see the white center. When it's done, strain it in a colander and run water through it to prevent from overcooking.
  6. Add the coconut milk to the taro root and stir until blended.
  7. Stir in the tapioca and sugar over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.

  8. Serve either warm or chilled.
Adapted from Weeknite Meals, originally from Use Real Butter.


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  1. Lovely dessert!~~ I love the texture of taro and it’s unique fragrance. Your 1st photo surely have give this simple dessert a new life! It looks sooo yummy! By the way I will be sharing a traditional taro dessert in my blog soon too :p

    • Hi Ellena! Thanks but I really didn’t know what to do with the white simple soup. I had to find something Asian at home for this food styling and I realized I don’t have too many Asian stuff! I have to check your traditional taro dessert. I’m so curious – I’ll visit you soon!

  2. This is so beautiful, Nami! Great photos as usually! I have never bought tapioca, but see it all the time in Asian shops. Taro is also available I think. Both are complete strangers to my kitchen. Something tells me not for long 😉
    (By the way, I have made one of your dishes, took a photo and will post it next week! All I can say now is it was DELICIOUS!)
    Have a great weekend!

    • Hi Sissi! This is my first time making Tapioca sweets. So I have so many tapioca left in the bag. I have to make this again or make other kinds of Tapioca dessert now. I use taro for making meals but not dessert, so it was fun. I can’t wait to see what you cooked… Is it going to be Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday……??? Okay I’ll wait patiently. SO EXCITED!!! Uh I can’t sleep! Thanks for trying out my recipe. :-)

  3. This is new to me, it sound so delicious!
    And I love the 1st picture, look like those published in a magazine. Have a nice weekend .

    • Hi Sonia! Really? I feel like you would cook this kind of dessert. Thank you for saying that picture look like from a magazine. That’s like the best compliment I ever get. I am short (5 feet) so I had to climb up the ladder to take that picture. LOL.

  4. Nami, can I first say that your photography is gorgeous! Just one of the many reasons I enjoy visiting your blog. Now on to your lovely tapioca… I haven’t had tapioca for years…and this soup version with coconut milk sounds delish! And thanks for the introduction to a new blog…I’ll check it out :)

    • Thank you for your kind compliment Liz! I didn’t grow up eating Tapioca, so it was a new thing since I started to eat out with Chinese friends (in the US). The Bay Area has so many great Chinese restaurants/cafes where we can enjoy Tapioca. :-)

  5. This soup looks amazing Nami! (And beautiful pictures as always!). Yes, I know about the college Ramen … but also about the REAL Ramen, as my granddad’s family was from Hawaii! So, we ate Ramen all the time growing up! Mmmmmm :D. I hope you have a great weekend!

    • Thank you Tiffany! Haha you are one of lucky people who know the real ramen! 😉 Hawaii has so many Japanese restaurants, right? I’ve been there only once as a tourist back in…high school I think.

    • Hi Three-Cookies! Me too, until I started to eat with my Chinese friends, I never ate taro in a dessert. I was totally missing out this great dessert. I know… it has to be an somewhat authentic Chinese restaurant. Bay Area has lots of them, so we are lucky to get this type of authentic food. I hope you get to try one day. In another word, if they serve this, then it’s pretty authentic restaurant! 😉

  6. I’ve never heard of this particular dessert but know of a number of similar ones (all of which I like). This is wiil be a hit in our family. Enjoy your stay-cation!

    • Hi Adora! Thanks and we all enjoyed stay-cation! Unfortunately this was not a super hit in my home. My kids are still too young to enjoy this great dessert! It’s unique texture (tapioca and taro), and both of them prefer crispy sweets rather than soupy kind. Oh well, I ate more of this soup thanks to them. =P

  7. Oh yum! I have always hoped you would do a dessert type recipe and now you did! YAY :)

    Thanks for introducing us to Cindy’s blog!! How inspiring that she still finds time to cook!

    • Hi Allie! Hahaha, please don’t hope anymore as I really don’t cook dessert…. One I am believing that I’m not good at baking. Two, it’s too dangerous to have sweets around in my house. So therefore, this is very rare occasion…. =) I hope you enjoyed Cindy’s site!

  8. A homerun with these photos Nami! The soup wounds wonderful too. I absolutely love coconut and tapioca…..and I always love a reason to work with new ingredients-taro root. Thank you for sharing and I will be sure to check out Cindy’s blog. Have a great weekend!

    • Thank you Terris! Me too, it’s actually rare that I cook dessert and I have to thank my friend Cindy for posting this recipe. Otherwise, I wouldn’t even search a recipe and cook this soup. Unlike you, I don’t bake sweets at all… That’s why I enjoy looking at other people’s blog so much. Only problem is that I don’t get to eat them… :-(

  9. I make a lot of tapioca pudding but not with taro.I have seen use of taro a lot around here in frozen yogurts,ice creams and all.Would have to try this one out.Anything sweet, I m in!Wonderful presentation Nami.I love tbose flower shaped bowls.Hay where did you get those wooden spoons? Thank you so much for the kind words on my blog always.you make me happy!

    • Hi Tanvi! It looks like everyone is new to taro in tapioca dessert. I guess this is very Chinese thing. Yes, taro ice cream right? I’ve been tried a few times too, but I usually like other flavors so I don’t usually order taro flavor. Well, your presentation of food is always inspiring me and if you think today’s picture was nice, then it’s the greatest compliment I have ever get. Thank you!!

  10. Nami I woke up with so many comments in my email inbox! Thank you so much for the mention and I truly enjoy the wonderful friendship we’ve developed through food blogging! Honestly your photos look amazing, and I always love that you tirelessly snap photos of the cooking process (I don’t seem to have the patience for that…) Have a wonderful time at your Staycation! Houston is starting to get our Summer season back and we really should go else where on vacation for a few month also!

    • Hi Cindy! Haha, I’m so happy!! I’m enjoying our friendship too! Well… it is taking a lot of time to do step-by-step, but that’s the only way to convince people that it’s easy to cook. LOL. If I have to cook some food that I’m not familiar (like baking), I must follow a step-by-step picture…otherwise I don’t even know if I’m doing right! Hehee. Thanks, we had a great time! You should visit us as it’s a lot cooler than Houston, and you can get to see your cousin’s wife’s sister here as well. LOL.

    • Hi Jamie! Oh it was so hard to take a picture of white soup. I first didn’t know where to put the soup. I only have lots of white bowls and miso soup bowls… LOL. Then I remember I just got these two bowls in Daiso. But I needed something to go with with white and black color…so I went to look for something Asian in the house. It’s very unusual of me to add some unrelated objects in the picture. I’m glad it worked out somehow. LOL.

  11. Congrats on your awards! 😀
    Your dessert bowls are so cute! I must try this taro dessert! The traditional taro paste dessert is more sticky (thick), with gingko nuts and coconut milk and I love that! 😀

    • Thank you Lyn! This was sort of sticky and thick if I don’t put a lot of coconut milk, but what you are talking about can be very different one.

  12. I must admit that this soup looks *very* outlandish to me. But also very fascinating! 😀 Maybe this is somewhat an Asian equvalent to semolina pudding (my mom used to make for me when I was a little one)? It also looks so beautiful, and I love how you have arranged it in those black and white flower bowls! :)

    Thank you for the link to your friend’s … to your co-blogging friend and relative! 😉 I’m looking forward to see her blog!

    • Hi Kath! I just learned new vocab from you (outlandish). Well it was outlandish to me years ago. I thought it’s strange to put taro in dessert as we eat taro like potatoes in meals. I’m now curious of semolina pudding! 😉

  13. This looks so good! Tapioca is one of my Hubby’s favorite desserts and I love trying it in new and different ways. This is definitely going on my must make list. Thank you SO much for your sweet comment on my site, it is always wonderful to meet new foodie friends!

  14. Hi Nami,

    I just had a very similar dessert at my friend’s new restaurant yesterday but it’s the Malaysian version. It’s called sago gula and I’ve got a picture of it in my post called Sassy’s Red :)

    • Hi C & MSP! I saw sago gula on your post. It’s interesting how Asians use taro for dessert. It’s time for Japanese to start using taro for dessert (wait, I hope I’m not the only one who doesn’t think we use taro for dessert…).

  15. Cindy’s tapioca looks delicious! what a great way to celebrate a new friendship. Your comments on Top Raman are so true! haha! College food …pretty much anything packaged or boxed. Then we realize what else is available and kick ourselves for not knowing sooner. This looks delicious..and I love your dishes!

    • Thank you Kate for visiting my site! Haha at least we all now cook and eat much healthier food. :-) I’m on my way to visit your site.

  16. Hi Nami, sorry to know that you have problem to subscribe my blog post, i went into system and found your status is “active”, anyway I have deleted your email, and now you can start to subscribe again. Thanks for your support !

    • Hi Biren! Oh yes this kind of dessert REALLY remind me of you. 😉 Yes it’s pretty to look at like “pearls.” I should check if you have tapioca recipes in your blog too…

    • Thanks Kate! Yes me too, I love coconut in any style. :-) I wish I can bake and put lots of coconut, but this kind of soup is my extent of “dessert” section. I wish I can bake like you!

  17. I’ve had something similar to this when we lived in Singapore. I don’t think it was taro though, but it looked very similar! Your recipe looks fabulous and I love tapioca pearls and coconut milk. Gorgeous flavors! Thank you for sharing, Nami!

    • Hi Marsha! I think my Singaporean bloggers have been talking about the same thing you are talking about and now I’m VERY curious what it is! Thanks Marsha for visiting. :-)

    • Hi Mandy! You are lucky growing up with this tapioca pudding! I wish I did too. I know what you mean by “interesting” addition because I really thought so too years ago! 😀

  18. This looks so good! I’m a huge fan of tapioca and my mother make’s something similar to this (it’s Filipino in origin) and she adds sweet potatoes, I think. Maybe I should ask her for the recipe =)

    Hope you all have a good time this weekend Nami!

    • Hi Peggy! I’d love to know how your mom cooks tapioca dish with sweet potatoes as it’s my favorite kind of potatoes!!! Must be really good, so please please ask her the recipe (for me!). Thanks, and we had a great time. :-)

  19. Nami-you always know how to enlighten us with your beautiful Asian recipes and photos of them. I’m just marveling at everything you make, and describe so meticulously. You are truly an inspiration with your bueatufil dishes and desserts that you prepare:DDD

    I’m on foodbuzz now, and buzzed you!

    • Hi Elizabeth! Thank you for your very kind words. And thanks for buzzing my recipe – I even forget about buzzing my own! I hope I can keep entertaining you with my food. :-)

    • Thank you Sawsan! We all connect each other with food, and I learn so much from other food bloggers. Getting to know them is such a great rewarding experience. :-)

  20. What a beautifully presented dessert!

    Ya know, I luv tapioca, but have never made it myself. I can only imagine how delicious this turned out with the use of coconut milk. Beautifully done! =)

  21. I’ve heard about this dessert many time but haven’t got the chance to try it yet. The dessert looks wonderful and I’d eat it cold because I am not really into warm dessert. I don’t usually cook tapioca at home because I always feel intimidated that I wouldn’t be able to cook it properly, but your step-by-step instructions make it look so easy. Thank you for sharing another wonderful recipe :)!

    • Hi CG! Haha I’m with you – I think “warm” dessert seems strange to me too… except for warm cookie or pie just out of the oven. But I start to like Chinese soup dessert a lot. I always wish that the dessert soup of the day (at a Chinese restaurant we go to) is red bean first, then taro, and green bean… LOL.

  22. Nami, I don’t like taro or tapioca, but your pictures and post makes me want to try it :o) I love the photo of the finished tapioca, you really have a good eye for photography!!

    • Hi Kay! Hahaha! You don’t like taro? Your mom cooked Satoimo dish while growing up? I am glad I didn’t scare you with fish tapioca…as it could look something creepy… no?

  23. I have never eaten this, but it looks so inviting. I LOVE your pictures. I think the first picture of this post is one of the best food blogging pictures I have ever seen. The presentation is perfect: every detail has been taken care of, yet it looks so natural. I can’t stop looking at it! GREAT job Nami!!!!

    • Hi Manu! I’m too flattered to hear “one of the best pictures” comment from you. Really?? Thank you~~~. I wasn’t sure about this picture actually since I am not used to style food… I always take the picture of food and I don’t play around, you know. So I’m happy that I somehow made it look nice. :-) But trust me, this is rare because I really don’t have anything nice to decorate my food! That’s something I need to work on… Thanks for your kind comment Manu!

  24. Dessert soups are really new to me, but I’m wanting to try them at home! I am a big believer in tapioca, it is so flipping tasty! Thanks for sharing, because you have my imagination soaring!

    • Thank you Charissa! :-) I don’t think I ever had dessert soup besides this, too… But I’m glad I tried this. Definitely comforting when it’s cold. :-)

  25. Hi Nami, This dessert is looking absolutely delightful. Loved the new combo of ingredients and the recipe is so nicely made and presented. gorgeous pictures and loved your bowls. Saving this recipe of urs and wud love to give ur version a try on the coming weekend. Have a great day….Sonia !!!

  26. Hi Jill! You know that I don’t bake or make dessert as often as you do. In fact, in my house, almost zero… So I’m glad this went successful, but of course I follow some good cook’s recipe. =P You were so funny in the response. When I saw your comment the other day, I laughed out loud. I’d love to be related with you so you will pass leftover macarons to me because we are “related”….right? =P

  27. Hi Kate! I guess taro is very Asian food. I use taro sometimes in food, but this was my very first taro in a dessert. I hope you enjoy making this. :-)

  28. Thank you Kristen! Well… I can’t really get credit for “Asian” dishes because if it’s “Asian” then it’s probably more Japanese styled Asian food… However, this dessert is very authentic Chinese dessert. :-)

  29. Hi Aipi! I really need to check your blog to see your tapioca recipes! I have a lot of tapioca left and I’d love to try something new! Thank you and we had a great time. :-)

    • Hi Victor! Oh! I didn’t know we can “order” more! 😀 I thought it’s just complimentary and I never checked if it’s on the menu. Or maybe depending on the restaurant, they might have it under dessert section. I must check the menu next time because I love red bean soup most. Thanks for sharing a good tip!

  30. One of my favourite and refreshing dessert for sure! I love your little star bowls. THey are so cute!!

    btw, i tried out your jap curry recipe and LOVEd it. such a good tip with the red wine and cooking the onions down. My guests had it as well. Thanks for helping me be a good host 😉

    • Thank you Daphne! Those bowls were from Japanese store and one bowl costs just $1.50! :-) Oh you made the chicken curry? Thank you for letting me know! Whoohoo! I’m glad you and your guest liked it. Thanks for letting me know!

  31. So pretty and delicate. How and if you were to tint it what would you use? For some insane reason I keep thinking about it light pink color.

    • Hi Sandra! You mean to color it right? Hmmm Sandra… I never tint any food… LOL. Sorry, maybe it’s very common for bakers (right?). I would love pink in this though. I think it will even go with my plating above. LOL! Thanks for visiting Sandra!

    • Hi Sarah! Thank you for visiting my blog! Just a little note: If you like this dessert to be more soupy, prepare 2 cans of coconut milk and little more sugar. :-) I hope you will like it!

  32. StaceyN

    That looks so yummy! I don’t think I’ll be able to find Taro anywhere near me though. If I was back home (Maui, Hawai’i) I’d definitely be able to find it! DH likes poi and I like Tapioca so it would be perfect! I’ll have to keep an eye out for Taro the next time we go shopping. =)

  33. Tina

    Taro Tapioca Dessert Soup.

    Quick question, you said “Run the tapioca when done under cold water to prevent from overcooking.”
    You mean to strain it in colander and run water through it right?
    I’m always having trouble cooking tapioca. Can’t seem to get it to be clear and the other mishaps. Please advise. Thanks

    • Hi Tina! Thank you so much for your comment. I updated the recipe with the correct sentence. I hope you will enjoy this recipe. :)

  34. Hi Nami!
    I just found your website and it is super! All your recipe are super delicious and well explained!
    I love tapioca but here in italy is a quite strange ingredient. And taro is absolutely difficult to find. Can I replace the taro root with something else? How does it taste?

    thanks a lot for your great job


    • Hi Stefania! Thank you for finding my blog and I’m glad to hear you like it. :)

      Hmmm! That’s a really hard question! Because this dessert is all about tapioca and taro, and if you have to replace both of them… you simply cannot make this dish.. 😀

      I really want to help you, but I’m really sorry I can’t think of any other substitute for this (at least right now….).

  35. Sharon C.

    Hi Nami,

    I just made this recipe and it tastes delicious!
    So easy and exactly what I was craving :)

    Thanks for sharing so many great recipes,