Tag Archives: Sweet potato

芋圓 – Taro Balls !

15 Oct

Jiu Fen Taro Balls 芋圓(yu yuan)taro blz

locationdesJiu Fen (九份)is a mountain area near Keelung; it has a narrow but amazing tourist market, hiking trails, loads of beautiful scenic spots, an old street and oh yeah, food! The nearest train station (no MRT) is Ruifang; but I’d suggest to go there by bus. Buses leave regularly from Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT Station (see Map)
Information: From a foodie aspect; the Jiufen market is an excellent way to try out so many new, different kinds of food. You wouldn’t even have to pay a single penny, you could pre-taste everything! The area is known for 3 different kinds of food, of which Taro Balls, I think, are the most recommended, as the food is said to originate from this area. (Besides taro balls, you’ll also come across a lot of Rouyuan(Bawan) (check my post on those here) and multi colored fish balls). As for Taro Balls, you can get them everywhere and all around Taiwan, but texture and taste are definitely best in Jiufen. Taro balls are made out of Taro and potato starch (most likely) and they have a thick doughy texture. Next to the taro version, you can also find sweet potato or red/green been balls (and probably other flavors). They can be eaten hot or cold and often serve as a topping for shaved ice or dessert soups. Unlike tapioca, taro balls do not only have an amazing texture but also add to the flavor of the dessert. I recommend eating them warm; that way you get a lush, rich taro tasting experience! 😀taro balls

Categories: DESSERTS

Taro, Coconut Milk & Tapioca Dessert (芋頭西米露)

22 Sep
taro coconutlocationdesClose to NCCU University, The Zoo and Maokong Mountain. It’s also close to where I live, if you want to stalk me. Anyway, it’s a little hard to find, but I think this place is worth going to because it’s local, traditional and cheap.  Take any bus towards Jingmei Girls Highschool (景美女中)from Qizhang七張 station or Taipei Zoo Station (map) and walk about 5 minutes down the street towards NCCU University.
Information: Ahh yes, Taro. Finally I get to introduce a dessert with Taro as its main ingredient. Taro is a purple root vegetable similar in texture to that of a potato. Like Sweet Potato, it can be added to both savory and sweet dishes. The original flavor of Taro is actually a little bit salty, but when adding sugar(sweetener/honey/anything) and any liquid, the texture and flavor change completely, which is what makes Taro so interesting. In this dessert, sweetened taro is added to a traditional dessert soup from Hong Kong (I think, or southern China). It’s called ”Sai Mai Lo” in Cantonese, but the slightly cuter Xi Mi Lu (西米露) is used here in Taiwan. It’s made out of coconut milk and tapioca and you can eat it like that (hot or cold), or with other ingredients, like Taro. When taking a bite of this dessert, you’ll feel like you’re eating frosting off of a cake..without the cake! Cooked/Steamed taro and creamy liquids really complement each other. Tapioca is added, again, for the texture. The pearls used in Xi Mi Lu are really small and you don’t need to bite on them, which is why you won’t get much of that ”jelly” feel.  Try anything sweet with taro! It’s delicious.
taro coconut2
Categories: Desserts
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