If you grew up in the Philippines, you probably have a soft spot for Taho. It’s a warm, soft tofu pudding delicately spooned in a tall glass, drenched in that “caramelly” sugar syrup and topped with white tapioca pearls. I remembered patiently waiting for the Magtataho (Taho vendor) with a cup on one hand and the other holding some change. Like clockwork, he comes at almost exactly the same time everyday. I always knew when he was near our house because all Taho vendors shout “Tahoooooo!” as though they were chanting. That was one of the fun food memories I had when I was a child.
My two older kids love Taho! During our last trip to the Philippines, we stayed at my sister-in-law’s condo unit near the SM mall. The first time we walked to the mall, they were ecstatic to see a Taho kiosk inside. This is how much they love it…they had it for breakfast almost everyday… and we were there for more than a month! It’s not easy going back and forth to the mall just to buy Taho in the morning. There’s a walkway exclusive for the condo occupants but it was still quite a walk. The Taho vendor already got comfortable talking to me and whenever she saw me queueing, she would prepare my order even before I spoke. I’m sure now you can tell how much they like it. Haha.
Vacation was over and we’re back. That’s when the problem arose. They were asking for Taho…for breakfast….everyday! I saw the sadness in their faces when I told them they can have it again on the next trip to the Philippines. They forgot about it for a while but I felt so bad since I was the one who introduced it to them and that’s when the “googling”, “youtubing” and experimenting started until I came up with what reminded us of the Taho we had back home.
I can’t claim that we are experts, but after eating numerous “buckets” of this yummy breakfast treat, my kids and I agree that this recipe tasted like “The One” they had in the Philippines and that was all the validation that I needed.
Give it a try and let me know if it brings back good ‘ol memories of your childhood if you grew up eating Taho like me.
DIY Taho (Soft Tofu with Tapioca and Sugar Syrup)
- Soft dessert Tofu Original/Plain
For the Tapioca Pearls:
- 1 / 2 cup Tapioca big size
- 6 cups water
For the Syrup:
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup water
- To make Tapioca Pearls: In a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, pour 6 cups of water and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, pour the uncooked Tapioca and stir to keep the pearls separate. Switch heat to med-low , cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and let the mixture cool to room temperature. DO NOT OPEN the lid. Once cool, taste one to make sure it’s cooked all the way through.
- In a separate pan, combine brown sugar and water and bring to a boil on medium heat. Cook partly covered for 5 more minutes until syrupy.
- To assemble Taho, remove the dessert tofu from its original packaging and transfer to a microwaveable bowl and microwave for 1 minute or until warm and heated through. You can also steam the tofu for 5 -10 minutes if you don’t want to use a microwave.
- Add some cooked Tapioca and top with a few spoonfuls of the sweet sugar syrup.