Taho is a Filipino delicacy made of silken tofu, sago pearls, and brown sugar syrup. It’s a delicious vegan soy dessert traditionally enjoyed for breakfast or any time you need a quick boost of energy.
Tofu comes in different consistencies, with soft, medium, and firm being the primary types available in most stores. While I like to deep-fry and use firm tofu as a protein alternative in stir-fry dishes, I usually enjoy the extra soft variety chilled and topped with a handful of katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) and a generous drizzle of soy sauce.
It was during one of these occasions when a realization dawned on me. This silken type of tofu is what is used for taho!
What is taho
Taho is a Filipino delicacy made of silken tofu, sago pearls, and a thick sugar syrup called arnibal. It’s a popular street food commonly peddled by vendors in large aluminum buckets, always ringing their arrival with calls of tahooooo, tahoooo.
This soy dessert is traditionally eaten warm for breakfast or any time of the day for a quick pick-me-up. It’s a vegan sweet treat that’s packed with protein and carbs for energy!
Recreating this delicious street food experience at home is super easy. All you need are five ingredients and 15 minutes, and you’ll be on your way to enjoying spoonfuls of soft-as-cloud sweetened tofu and chewy sago pearls.
- Steam the silken tofu block for a few minutes or quickly warm in the microwave until heated through.
- The arnibal or syrup is pretty easy to make, just equal parts of brown sugar and water simmered over low heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture slightly thickens. Add vanilla extract or pandan leaves for a boost of flavor.
- I also like to briefly simmer the cooked sago in the syrup to absorb a bit of the sweetness. You can check out my tutorial how I make chewy sago.
How to serve
- Scoop a few heaping tablespoons of the soft silken tofu into a small serving glass.
- Drizzle with the arnibal and top with a small scoop of cooked sago.
- Serve warm as breakfast or midday snack.
- In a pot over medium heat, bring enough water to cover sago pearls to a boil. Add sago pearls, stir gently, and cook for about 10 minutes or until translucent. Remove from heat, rinse well and drain.
- In the pot, add enough cold water to cover sago, and bring to a gentle boil. Repeat the process until pearls are tender but chewy and translucent with no white in the center.
- Under cold, running water, rinse sago a few times to remove excess starch. Allow to cool. Use as needed or store in simple syrup until ready to use.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add water and pandan leaf and bring to a boil for about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and discard pandan leaf.
- Add brown sugar. Stir continuously until sugar is dissolved. Simmer, stirring continuously, until mixture is slightly thickened and syrupy.
- Add cooked sago and continue to cook for about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Place tofu block in a cheesecloth-lined steamer and steam for about 7 to 10 minutes or until heated through.
- Alternatively, place tofu in an oven-safe dish, loosely wrap with plastic film, and microwave for about 40 to 50 seconds or until heated through.
- Using a wide, flat serving spoon, divide tofu into serving bowls. Spoon sago and syrup on top. Serve warm.
- For best results, use soft silken tofu.
- You can substitute vanilla extract in place of pandan leaf.
“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”