Makes approx. 4 servings
300g peeled purple-vein taro 荔浦芋 / 檳榔芋
50g (about 1/4 cup) tapioca pearls
150g white sugar or Chinese rock sugar, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon salt
80ml coconut milk
This is the purple-vein taro to be used to cook this dessert.
1. Slice the peeled taro thinly and steam for 25 to 30 minutes, or until soft. Mash 2/3 (200g) of the steamed taro with 80ml of the water, set aside. Cube the remaining 1/3 (100g) of the steamed taro, set aside.
2. Bring a pot of water (about 1 litre) to the boil. When the water is boiling, add tapioca pearls. Cook for about 10 minutes over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until only a tiny speck of white is visible in the centre of each pearl. Turn off heat, cover the pot with a lid and steep for another 10 minutes, or until all the pearls are completely translucent. Drain through a fine sieve and run cold water over the pearls.
The cooked tapioca pearls should be completely translucent with no white speck in the centre.
3. Bring 400ml (or a bit less water if you want thicker soup) water to a boil. Add mashed taro and stir to combine, then add sugar and cook until sugar dissolves. Add salt, milk, coconut milk, tapioca pearls and cubed taro, bring back to the boil. Turn off heat, serve hot in individual bowls.
Taste: Sweet syrupy soup with aromatic taro and tapioca
Consume: Best served hot, but can be served icy cold
Storage: Not suitable to keep, best served on the day it is made
Recipe Reference: ‘香芋西米露’ from the Chinese cookbook, ‘香港甜品’, by 陳照炎 主編