Taiwanese Taro Balls

Taro ball is a popular Chinese dessert originated from Taiwan. It’s normally made of steamed taros, sugar, potato starch and sweet potato starch. There’re also variations of taro balls made with sweet potatoes and pumpkins.

This time I tried replacing potato starch and sweet potato starch with tapioca flour because it’s relatively easier to get from grocery stores. With this simple recipe, you can make delicious, chewy, sweet taro balls at home!

Ingredients (using sweet potatoes as an example):

Steamed sweet potatoes : tapioca flour : sugar ≈ 6:3:1 (i.e. 300g steamed sweet potato requires about 150g tapioca flour and 50g sugar)

*You can replace sweet potatoes with purple sweet potatoes, pumpkin, taros, etc.


  1. Peel the sweet potatoes, cut into wedges and steam until soft. Mash it. Add sugar when it’s hot and mix well.
  2. Add tapioca flour (do not add all at once, just most of it) when the mashed sweet potato is not very hot to touch.
  3. Roughly work into a dough and transfer it to a floured surface, work with your hand, gradually add the rest of tapioca flour until a smooth, non-stick dough is formed.
  4. Take a portion of dough, roll it out into a log about 2-cm in diameter. Cut them into pieces, dust the cut pieces generously with tapioca flour (so they won’t stick to one another).
  5. The instructions apply for purple sweet potato balls, pumpkin balls and taro balls. You can keep uncooked taro balls in the freezer if you can’t finish at once.
  6. To cook taro balls, bring a pot of water to boil, add taro balls and keep stirring (so that they won’t stick). Continue boiling for another 2-3 min after taro balls float on the surface. Transfer drained taro balls to a bowl of ice water to cool down (this way they’ll be chewier).

Serve with grass jelly, sweetened red beans, milk, etc. Drizzle honey/syrup… 

These homemade taro balls taste almost exactly like those from Chinese restaurants/ dessert shops. After learning to make them, you no longer have to spend money to buy taro balls 🙂


Chinese dessert recipes

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(8) Comments

  1. Stephanie says:

    Hello! Can you boil the sweet potato/taro instead of steaming?

    1. ziqiu says:

      Hi there, yes of course you can boil sweet potato/taro, you can even microwave them (fully wrapped with wet paper towel, this is probably the quickest way). As long as they are cooked, cooking method doesn’t matter 🙂

  2. chel says:

    hello can i use wheat starch? I found that in the kitchen

    1. ziqiu says:

      Hi there! It is better not to replace tapioca flour in order to get best results 🙂

  3. Didi says:

    I can’t find taro in my country, can I make them using taro flour?

    1. ziqiu says:

      Hi, thank you for the message 🙂
      Unfortunately taro flour will not work for this recipe. However, you can use purple sweet potatoes or regular sweet potatoes for a similar texture. Sweet potato balls are also very delicious!

      1. Anonymous says:

        Thank you so much, it was one of my favorite deserts when I traveled to Asia, and I’ll love to have my kids to try it. Tank you for sharing ?

        1. ziqiu says:

          You are very welcome! I hope you and your family enjoy it 🙂

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