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Taho. Layered sweet dessert consisting of silken tofu, arnibal, and tapioca balls
4.67 from 3 votes

Taho (Filipino Sweet Tofu Dessert)

Taho is a layered dessert made with steamed silken tofu, brown sugar syrup, and sago pearls. This is traditionally served warm, but it can also be enjoyed chilled.
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: taho, sweet tofu, tofu dessert, filipino tofu
Servings: 4
Author: Maryanne Cabrera


Sweet Tapioca:

  • 1 cup dried tapioca pearls (boba)
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar


  • 14 oz package silken tofu


  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar


Sweet Tapioca:*

  • Fill a heavy bottomed sauce pot with 5 cups water and bring to a boil. Add in dried tapioca pearls. Stir to combine and prevent pearls from sticking together. Allow mixture to continue at a soft boil for about 40 minutes.
  • At this point, the pearls should look gelatinous. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for another 15 minutes until pearls are soft and chewy.
  • Add brown sugar and continue to simmer until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and allow tapioca pearls to soak in sugar syrup for 15-20 minutes. Taste to ensure pearls are soft and cooked throughout. If not, contiue to simmer until softened.
  • As mixture cools, the syrup will thicken. Keep boba mixture warm until ready to assemble.


  • Steam silken tofu for 10 minutes until cooked throughout. Remove from steamer basket and allow to cool slightly. Set aside.


  • In a small sauce pot, bring water and brown sugar to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
    *If desired, pandan leaves or vanilla bean may be steeped in arnibal for extra flavor. Alternatively, use a small amount of pandan extract or vanilla extract.


  • Use a slotted spoon or a shallow ladle to scoop up thin layers of tofu. Place in serving glass. Dizzle a few teaspoons of arnibal over tofu. Follow with a small scoop of sweet tapioca. Repeat layering until serving glass is full.
  • Serve and enjoy immediately!


*Alternatively, follow package instructions to cook tapioca pearls.
*For a chilled version, store steamed tofu and arnibal in the fridge until cold. Assemble as directed with warm tapioca.

Ingredient Notes:

  • Use silken tofu or soft tofu that is found at the refrigerated section of the supermarket. DO NOT use the ones in cartons sold at room temperature.
  • For the real deal, traditional taho, use sago pearls. These can be purchased at Filipino supermarkets or through Amazon. 
  • I usually purchase my dried tapioca black pearls from Ten Ren. I go to the location on Broadway (LA Chinatown). They sell large 6.5 pound bags, which roughly makes 100 servings of boba. 
  • The boba package photographed here is from Lollicup. It can be purchased at their headquarters in Chino or at variousRestaurant Depot locations.
  • The dried tapioca pearls used in this recipe are already sweetened with caramel and maple syrup flavoring.
  • There are two types of tapioca pearls:one has a long cooking time, while the other is par-cooked allowing for a much shorter cooking time. In my opinion, the longer cooking one tastes MUCH better.
  • Tapioca pearls are best eaten within hours of cooking. DO NOT refrigerate. The pearls will harden to a rubbery consistency.