Kumusta at magandang araw ( Hello and have a nice day)
You have probably heard of Bubble tea, but have you heard about Taho? A filling drink brought to the Philippines by the Chinese. You also have Indonesian(Tauhue) and Malaysian(Taufufah) versions of this drink. This drink is also made with sago and gulaman in the Philippines, gulaman is an agar jelly. The differens between Taho and Sago at gulaman is that the first one is served warm and the latter served cold.
Can you imagine my surprize when bubble tea started popping up around the world as a new invention.
Most of the Asian world have been refreshing themselves on drinks with sago pearls for most of their lives.
This drink is a must try. It is sweet, warm and fragrant, filled with silken tofu with the same consistency of custard, and chewy sago pearls. This drink is also a childhood vacation memory of mine. I can still imagine the peddlers walking down the streets carrying two buckets that hang from each end of a yoke and calling “Tahooooo!” to attract customers. The larger bucket carries the tofu base and the smaller bucket holds the syrup and sago pearls.
To many Filipinos this is a quick breakfast sold by peddlers called Magtaho in the morning. The drink is packed with carbohydrates and proteins, and it fills you up. Unfortunately since I have become diabetic, this drink is an absolute no no for me. The base for this drink is called arnibal it is a syrup made from sugar and water with added flavoring, so you can understand why I should not drink this.
Actually I can probably enjoy this again, but I have not found or experimented enough to come up with a good recipe with sugar substitutes for this warm version.. Spring has decided not to show up in Norway, so I wanted to treat myself to a piece of memory while just sitting on the couch covered with a soft blanket with a warming glass of taho in my hands watching my family enjoy the drink too. I was probably deceiving my self thinking that if I just ate the tofu and sago laced with a bit of arnibal that I wont be eating too much sugar, but ones or twice for the past five years won’t hurt me too much.
Tao recipe, makes 4-6 servings
For sago pearls:
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
8 cups water
1 cup sago pearls
For arnibal, syrup:
Sugarcane tablets equal to 1/2 cup (some use 1 cup, but that is just too sweet for me.)
1/2-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 cups water, depending how sweet you want it.
1 one-pound package organic silken tofu
Put sugar and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add tapioca pearls and stir until water returns to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and continue cooking the tapioca pearls with the lid on, stirring occasionally, until they are almost translucent. Sago is cooked when it is tender but still chewy. Drain, rinse under cold water top stop the cooking process.
Cooking time depends on the sizes of the tapioca you use, follow the instruction on the pack. Cooking Tapioca pearls on a hard boil for a long time breaks them apart and makes them too soft and too mushy. They can be prepared ahead of time. Transfer drained cooked pearls to a container, add enough water to cover pearls, cover with a lid and refrigerate for up to a few days. Stir well and then drain before using.
To make arnibal, caramelize sugar in a pan and when it is nice and golden add water and vanilla and bring to a boil. Take pan off the heat and set aside. Remember you do not want the sugar to burn,
Steam silken tofu in a steamer until heated through, about 15 minutes.
Fill your glasses with thin slices of silken tofu and tapioca pearls, 3/4 full and top the glasses with the sugar syrup. Mix together and serve warm.