Taro ice is a popular cold dessert many years ago. It looks and tastes like ice cream but doesn’t contain any dairy products. It may not have that rich fatty texture but its simple flavor is still greatly missed by the older generation.
It is very easy to make taro ice: combine taro, water, sugar, and tai bi powder (potato or tapioca starch), cook to get taro paste, then freeze.
It is an inexpensive way to thicken taro with tai bi powder. We can substitute water with milk or even add some cream to make taro ice cream (see recipe #289).
Steamed taro or coco malanga (net weight) – 600 g (see note 1)
Water – 600 g
Sugar – 300 g
Tai bi powder (potato or tapioca starch) – 50 g
Metal container (see note 2)
1) Add water to the steamed taro and process with a food processor or blender until it is a paste.
2) Add sugar and tai bi powder and whisk until everything is blended with no lumps.
3) Cook the mixture until it boils then turn the heat off. It is a very thick mixture, so stir constantly to prevent bottom of the pan from scorching.
4) Pour the thick taro paste into the metal container and let it cool. Once the paste has cooled, cover the top with a piece of plastic wrap (to prevent the paste from absorbing peculiar fridge smell) then refrigerate for a few hours.
5) Freeze (turn it on full blast) the cold taro paste for another few hours until it is frozen solid.
6) To release the taro ice block from the metal container: run the back of the container with hot tap water then tap it hard (open side down) on the cutting board. If it doesn’t release the first time, rinse the container with hot tap water again.
7) Cut the taro block into cubes. Enjoy on a hot summer day!
Taro doesn’t have to be steamed. Taro can also be cooked with water in a pot directly. Once it is cooked, weigh 1100 g of taro with its cooking liquid. Add water if there isn’t enough to get 1100 g.
Metal container makes the freezing process faster. Faster freezing produces a finer ice texture. Any type of metal container will be OK.
There is a huge variety of taro ice on the market. Unfortunately, they are not made with taro. These vendors usually use white bean paste, mashed potato, or sweet potato paste instead of taro. Some even only use tai bi powder with other additives and extracts to make strawberry, chocolate, or passion fruit flavored taro ice.