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Making Homemade Taho
Taho is a Filipino street food that has been loved by many. It is usually sold in the morning by vendors carrying the taho while calling out, "taho" on the neighborhood to inform people that they are or around the area for those who wants to buy this delicious treat or snack. I had enjoyed taho and it is one of my favorite street foods.
However, there's no ready made taho here on where I am just like the way it was sold back then in the home country. And one day while I was craving for it, I thought there might be a way to make a homemade taho and so I searched online. At first it was hard to find a recipe but then I stumbled to panlasangpinoy cooking website and was happy and lucky to find a recipe. All I need to have is tofu! And I'm not even fond of tofu. But since I was craving for it, I thought why not get tofu and give it a try.
Before I go to my taho adventure, what is taho and what it is made of?
As said, taho is a street food and one can wake up in the morning by the taho vendor calling out "taho" as he walks in the street. Anyone who wanted to buy a delicious cup of taho would come out, call the vendor and buy a cup. Taho is sold warm which is nice to have in the morning.
Taho has three ingredients, and those are the silken tofu, the brown sugar syrup, and the sago pearl which is very similar to tapioca pearl. In fact, what I had used with mine are tapioca pearls and works fine. But for those curious on to what is the difference with sago and tapioca pearls, tapioca pearls is made from cassava starch while sago pearls are made from starch of tropical palm stems.
To use the silken tofu to the taho, the processed on how it was made is like a fine custard. How to do it? That I don't know. And I don't think the vendors would share the secret with that one. I'm not even in the Philippines to ask anyway. I still tried making my homemade taho. And this would be my second time. The first time I made it was with a pre-packaged silken tofu. I didn't captured the same taste with what the taho vendors sell and I really think it was the way they processed and make the silken tofu which is like a fine custard. And honestly, back then when I was enjoying every cup of taho, it didn't occurred to me that it was made of tofu. It didn't taste like tofu.
Then one day as we do our grocery shopping, I spotted this tofu powder. On the image at the box, it looks very similar to the fine tofu used on taho. And so I decided to get one and try.
Now on making the tofu!
The powder tofu mix was dissolved in 5 cups of water. To the packet's direction, it says 5 1/2 cups of water but I only used 5 cups. I dissolved the tofu powder on the boiling water and stirred it constantly with a whisk, simmered it for more 5 minutes until the powder are all dissolved and turned off the heat.
Then adding the coagulant that comes in the package, I made a quick stirring and poured my future tofu on two bowls. I used bowls since I don't have square containers to put the mixture into that would give it its square shape. I just let it set there covered with aluminum foil for about 30 minutes.
The black tapioca pearls I boiled for my taho.
As you see, this isn't much and my last of the black tapioca pearls. It's about half a cup left and I boiled this pearls on 3 cups of water and added 3 teaspoons of brown sugar to give them some sweetness.
I love this black pearls and prefer them than the rainbow colored ones. And now this are my last, I would have to make a trip to a Vietnamese store that sells them as the Philippine market we used to grocery shop doesn't carry this kind.
And with the brown sugar syrup above, which is called arnibal, I used 1 cup of water and 3/4 cup brown sugar. For those who wants it sweeter, it should be 1 cup sugar to 1/2 cup of water, but since I don't want it to be super sweet, I only used 3/4 cup of sugar and a cup of water instead.
The sugar was added to the boiling water and stirred constantly until all the sugar was dissolved.
Assembling the taho:
After 30 minutes, I went and check the tofu and was ready. Funny thing I had with this which I consider stupid is I tasted the tofu and thought ,"it tasted funny." Then I excitedly scooped tofu, put it in a bowl, added the tapioca pearls and syrup and tasted a spoonful. Hmnn.... doesn't taste right. I can feel some starch. And I keep on thinking what's up with the taste as I made taho before with a pre package tofu and doesn't taste funny or starchy.
Then thank goodness! Now I remember. I have to heat the tofu on the microwave! Now let's do that part again, the right way.
And so I scooped the tofu, put it in a bowl, put some syrup and heat it on the microwave for 1 minute. Then I added the tapioca pearls and added more brown sugar syrup. There, I got my homemade taho.