Taro and Sweet Potato Balls with Sorbet and Mung Bean – A modernised Taiwanese Sweet

Wow. such a long title, hah? After the full day out for the BBQ festival, my wife decided to make a nice sweet from taiwan for me. The taro balls and sweet potato balls are famous traditional Taiwanese sweets. You can find them almost anywhere in Taiwan, but the most famous one is from Jiufen. Anyway, we are not Taiwanese and we don’t have to know too much about the island. The taro balls are super easy to make and can definitely add some extras to your table after dinner.






1 big taro – about 500g (2 * 250g)

1 sweet potato – about 250g

1 bag of sweet potato powder/flour – bought from Asian supermarkets in Chinatown

6 tea spoon sugar – 3 portions (2 tea spoon each portion because I had 3 separate dough, see below)

1 cup mung beans

Some pearl bubble balls (as those  in bubble tea) depending on your liking – from Asian supermarkets

Brown sugar slab (in pieces) – depending on your liking

1 can of Guiling Chinese Herbal Jelly – available in Chinatown.




1. Cut the sweet potato and taro into pieces as shown and boil them until very soft so that you can mash them.



2. In the meanwhile, start cooking the mung bean. Add 1 cup mung beans, 250 – 300 ml of water to a pressure cooker and cook for 20 mins. Take the mung beans out (not water) once cooked and cool them in fridge.

3. Once the taro and sweet potato are soft, take 250g (half) of a taro out and mash it. Place the mashed taro in a bread maker. You can add different colors if you want.



3. To the break maker with the mashed taro, add 2 tsp of sugar and 125g of sweet potato flour. Start the machine and make a dough.  You can add more sweet potato flour if you want the balls to be more chewy or vice versa if you want them to be less chewy. However, 125g is standard for 250g of taro.

4. Repeat step 2 and 3 for the rest 250g of taro and 250g of sweet potato. You may need more sweet potato flour with the sweet potato dough cos they are very wet after mashing. Make 3 doughs and let them rest in cling wraps.

5. Now, let’s make the sweet soup.  Use 1 piece brown sugar slab in 300 ml of water and let them boil until the piece has been fully dissolved. Give it a taste now! If the soup is too sweet, add more water, otherwise add more brown sugar slabs. Once you are satisfied with the soup, pour it into a glass bowl and let it cool to room temperature before placing in fridge.

6. After the dough has been rested for 5 mins, cut 1 dough into 4 pieces and roll them to rod shape. Cut the rod into small pieces as shown below. Do the same for the rest of the dough.

7. Then roll the small pieces into balls.

8. Now, add the pearl bubble (half a bag) to water (300 ml) and boil for 5 mins until the black pearl bubbles are cooked. Place the bubbles in ice cold water.

9. Place 1/3 of the above taro and sweet potato balls in water (600ml -1 L) and let it boil. Once all balls are floating on the top, let the balls to boil for a further minute. Drain excess water and flush the balls with ice cold water/running tap water until cool.

10. Now, decorating! Place 1 – 2 scoops of homemade/commercial sorbet to the bottom of a bowl. I used homemade raspberry sorbet. You can use any sorbet you want but not the dairy gelato. Add the taro and sweet potato balls, pearl bubble balls and the cold mung beans. Please put a generous amount. Pour some cooled sweet soup made in step 5 over the top. Add some Guiling Chinese Herbal Jelly (The black random shaped pieces in the photo below, not the pearl balls).

Take the bowl to your table and enjoy the cool summer sweet from Taiwan!


12 thoughts on “Taro and Sweet Potato Balls with Sorbet and Mung Bean – A modernised Taiwanese Sweet

  1. Very interesting! I was in Taiwan a couple of months ago and loved their night markets. You can find so many different options there including the taro balls. However, they didn’t have sorbet.


    1. That’s similar to what it looks like in Taiwan night markets. However, they don’t use sorbet over there. I was there several months ago and loved these chewy balls :D. Have you ever tried them before?


  2. Tried this sweet in San Francisco previously and felt in love with it. Thanks for sharing the recipe!


  3. Hi Thanks for sharing. I love these and I tried different recipes using tapioca starch and glutinous rice flour but it doesn’t turn out the same. is sweet potato flour the way to go? did urs turn out like the ones they have at dessert story or other taiwanese dessert shops?


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