Friday, March 24, 2017


TAHO -- is a favorite Filipino breakfast or snack street food peddled by the 'magtataho', made from silken soft tofu, arnibal (sugar syrup) and sago pearls. It is a signature childhood sweets. Every Filipino had eaten taho as a child and they just loved it. My favorite too. It is very nutritious and satisfying...

The word 'taho' comes from the Malay word 'tauhue', which was derived from the Chinese Hokkien word 'tau hua', meaning soft tofu pudding.
Tofu was originally eaten as a savory dish with soy sauce, but the Chinese eventually discovered it could also be served as a light dessert with sweetened almond syrup and topping of beans and nuts. Filipinos, over the years, came up with the sweeter 'arnibal' and sago topping.
The traditional coagulant used to produce Chinese style tofu was calcium sulfate, also known as 'liusuan gai'. In ancient times, no chemical processing or refining was needed.
For more than 2,000 years, tofu makers in inland China first began to gather natural, unrefined calcium sulfate in the mountains. It was a translucent, crystalline white stone. They baked and crushed it for use as a tofu coagulant or thickening agent. Until today the formula for making tofu and taho has never changed.
Taho first came to our shore in the 9th century when the first early Chinese traders came and introduced it to our early Malay Filipino ancestors. Since then we Filipinos never got tired of this simple yet lovable snack dessert. Today big time Chinese taho factories all over the country are operating 24 hours a day to serve the demand of hungry Filipinos.
Here is how my family makes homemade taho:
1/2 k soybeans
10-12 c water
2 Tbsp (heaping) calcium sulfate
1/2 k brown sugar
2 c water
2 c cooked sago (big or medium size)
1. Soaks soybeans overnight. Wash and drain. Blend, (1 cup soaked soybeans is to 2 c water).
2. Boil and strain in a katsa cloth to make soymilk.
3. Dissolve calcium sulfate in a little water. Pour in a pot. Then pour hot soy milk. don't mix. Allow to set. Serve with arnibal and sago.
4. To make arnibal, heat brown sugar in a cast iron pot until melted and a bit burnt. Then pour water. boil until sugar crystals melt and syrup thickens.
Calcium sulfate is available at Chinese trading or drug stores in China town or Divisoria, or you may inquire from Chinese communities in your area.
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