This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
This Taho recipe is made with just 4 ingredients in a few simple steps. It’s sweet, pudding-like, and rich in protein from the soft tofu. Make it at home and transport yourself back to the Philippines after the first bite.
What is Taho?
Taho is a popular Filipino street food made with warm, soft tofu, sago or tapioca pearls, and sweet arnibal, a common taho sauce. Taho is often enjoyed in the early morning for breakfast but is also served in the late afternoon as a sweet afternoon snack or dessert.
This beloved snack originated in China during the Han Dynasty. It was said to have been first invented by a cook who was attempting to make soy milk, but instead curdled the milk, creating a soft, silky tofu-like substance. It’s since spread to many Asian countries and is very similar to the taho we know today in the Philippines.
There are a few versions of taho, but this homemade taho is made with the classic arnibal, a sweet brown sugar syrup and silky smooth tofu. If you love our other Filipino street foods like Turon (Banana Lumpia) or Banana Cue (Filipino Fried Caramelized Bananas), we think you’ll love this Filipino delicacy as much as we do!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Sago pearls or Tapioca Pearls: Similar to tapioca pearls you may have had in boba milk teas, sago pearls are made from the pith of the tropical plant, sago palm. The pearls themselves are rather neutral in flavor but are soft and chewy once cooked. If you cannot find sago, cassava-based tapioca balls are a good alternative in taho. I was unable to locate sago pearls, so today, we are using tapioca.
- Soft tofu: We love the consistency of fresh soft tofu in taho, but if you love your taho even softer, feel free to use warm silken tofu.
- Brown sugar: Both dark and light brown sugar will work well. To ensure your sugar is vegan, opt for organic brown sugar. Conventional sugars can be made with nonvegan filtration processes.
- Pandan leaf: This green leaf has hints of coconut and vanilla flavors and adds a touch of flavor to the arnibal sauce. We find pandan leaves at our local Asian market, but if needed, replace them with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or pandan extract.
- Large pot and small saucepan https://ap.carawayhome.com/sweetsimplevegan
- Fine mesh strainer https://amzn.to/3YJspvP
- Cheesecloth (optional) https://amzn.to/3YJOIRX
- Steamer basket or oven-safe dish
- Whisk https://amzn.to/3Zvwx3F
- Slotted spoon
- Serving glasses or dish
How to Cook Tapioca Pearls
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. In a large cooking pot over medium-high heat, bring 6 cups of cold water to a boil. Once boiling, add the tapioca pearls, stirring right away to prevent sticking.
- Cook the pearls. Reduce to medium heat and cook the tapioca pearls for 5 minutes, mixing regularly. Turn off the heat, cover, and allow to soak for 10 minutes.
- Rinse under cool water. After 10 minutes, drain the excess water and rinse the tapioca pearls until cooled.
- Boil another 6 cups of water. Bring another 6 cups of water to a boil, then add in the partially cooked tapioca pearls.
- Boil again until translucent. Bring the tapioca to a boil once more, then turn off the heat, cover, and soak for 7 minutes. When the chewy tapioca pearls are ready they will be fully translucent.
- Drain and rinse. Run the tapioca under cool water until completely cooled, then set aside while you prepare your remaining taho ingredients.
Homemade Arnibal (Sweet Syrup) Recipe
- Whisk the water and brown sugar. In a small pot or saucepan, whisk the brown sugar and water together until combined.
- Add the pandan leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil for 3 minutes while stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
- Set aside. Remove the pandan leaf and set the arnibal aside.
Prepare the Tofu
- Steam the tofu. Place the tofu block in a cheesecloth-lined steamer and steam for 7 to 10 minutes or until heated through. Alternatively, place the soft tofu in an oven-safe dish and microwave it for about 1 minute or until heated through.
How to Make Taho
- Layer silken tofu into a serving glass or dish. Using a slotted spoon, scoop up thin layers of the steamed silken tofu and place them in your desired serving dish. A narrow glass works well so that you can see the beautiful layers.
- Drizzle with arnibal. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of anibal over the tofu.
- Add a scoop of tapioca pearls. Top the arnibal with a small scoop of tapioca.
- Repeat layers. Continue layering your taho until you’ve filled your serving dish or used up all of your ingredients.
- Serve. Enjoy your Taho while warm or room temperature!
Once assembled, taho is best eaten immediately while warm. It makes the perfect, simple breakfast, snack, or dessert and is typically enjoyed with a spoon, straw, or sipped straight from the cup. Enjoy warm taho any time of the day!
Or, if you prefer to eat your taho cold, feel free to skip steaming the tofu and allow your pearls and arnibal to cool sufficiently before assembling.
The cooked tapioca pearls and arnibal can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored separately. Keep cooked tapioca pearls covered with water in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. Similarly, arnibal will keep best stored in an airtight glass jar.
Once ready to serve, warm each ingredient, including the tofu, and layer and serve this classic Filipino dessert in your desired serving glasses.
More Vegan Filipino Sweets You May Enjoy:
- Creamy Ube Pie (Vegan) – made with a homemade crust and perfect for holidays!
- Avocado with Condensed Milk – a cold dessert perfect for a hot summer day.
- Ube Pichi Pichi (Filipino Sticky Cassava Snack) – a deliciously sweet and chewy treat!
- Suman Malagkit (Filipino Steamed Rice Cakes) – is one of the most popular kakanin in the Philippines.
- Vegan Ube Sugar Cookies – a soft and chewy dessert to remember.
If you make this recipe, let us know what you think in the comments below! + If you post any photos on Instagram, make sure you tag us @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris so that we don’t miss it, we love seeing your photos!Print
Disclaimer: This page may contain affiliate links, which means that we earn a commission if you purchase through those links, but your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!