Taro and Sweet Potato Tapioca Balls on Shaved Ice

Shaved ice has been popular among Asian people for many years.  In early time, ice was just simply finely crushed by machine.  Nowadays, if you stop by China town, you will be amazed by how thin and creamy the shaved ice is.  And as for the toppings, wow, they are almost endless! O(∩_∩)O~   The most popular ones are but not limited to taro tapioca balls, sweet potato tapioca balls, red beans, lotus seeds, pearl barleys, strawberry, blueberry, mango, and mochi.  

I do my own shaved ice when I don’t want to drive all the way to China town but still crave for it.  It is easy.  And I always make a large batch and freeze the extra taro and sweet potato tapioca balls for later use. 

I make taro and sweet potato tapioca balls, red beans, and pearl barley. 


Taro puree
yellow sweet potato puree
white sweet potato puree
purple sweet potato puree
tapioca starch
red beans
dark brown cane sugar
pearl barley
1 to 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk



I steam 3 kinds of sweet potatoes and taro.  Peel and finely smash them into puree.  Add a little bit water if needed.

Add tapioca starch when the puree is still hot to touch.  Knead separately in different bowls.

Transfer dough balls to a slightly dusted large wooden board. Divide each dough ball into smaller pieces. 

Roll out each dough piece into thin and long strands, about 1/3 inch in diameter.

With a dough scraper, cut each stands into 1/3 inch pieces.

Add pearl barleys and water to a small pot.  Cook over medium heat until barleys are soft.  Remove from heat, and stir in 2 tablespoons honey.

Add red beans and water to another small pot.  Cook over medium heat until red beans are soft and tender.  Remove from heat and stir in dark brown cane sugar.

Cook taro and sweet potato tapioca balls in boiling water until they float to the surface. 

Rinse the tapioca balls quickly to get rid of excessive starch on the outside so that they won’t stick together.

Now it is time to shave some ice!

I have this snow cone machine for almost 6 years, still up and running O(∩_∩)O~

Add ice

Turn on the machine

It is done.  The machine does a pretty good job.

Scoope shaved ice into a cup

Add cooked taro and sweet potato tapioca balls.

Add cooked pearl barley, red beans and then drizzle with condensed milk.

Use a spoon to mix everything and have a big bite! O(∩_∩)O~

Taro and sweet potato tapioca balls are slightly chewy and springy, which makes them so good.  Pearl barleys and red beans have different texture and taste.  When everything is mixed together, it is just such a great treat!

Who doesn’t want a cup of this icy sweet treat during a hot summer day?

There is one thing to keep in mind.  Tapioca balls will get hard after they are mixed with ice.  So don’t let it sit too long before you enjoy once it is ready to eat.

Freeze the extra taro and sweet potato tapioca balls.  Store in an air-tight Ziploc bag and they should be good for up to 3 months in the freezer.