Try this Taho recipe (Fresh soft tofu with syrup and tapioca pearls) and learn how to make Taho at home easily. This method uses Epsom salt and instant soy milk.
We grew up on this! Taho is a favorite after breakfast treat back when we were small and when we were not so small anymore. I remember having it every morning at weekends and like almost every day during school summer vacation.
Our regular Taho peddler would usually come mid-morning and once we hear him shouting "Tahhoooooo" in his big melodious voice, we would come racing home, leaving whatever we are doing, to get our glasses and some money from our Mama or Papa.
I remember we would always beg him for an extra arnibal (brown sugar syrup) or/and sago (tapioca pearls) and would usually oblige us. I never learned his name, but his face with his thick mustache and a ready smile is forever etched in my memory.
When I was looking for a recipe and I came across a lot of them on the internet. But most of them are using ready-made silken tofu which also poses the same problem for me since silken tofu is also not that popular in Germany. This means I have to go extra to the nearest Asian shop and it is not that near.
Then there are some who made Taho using gelatin. I was curious and gave it a try. The texture was great, really smooth and it really so simple to make...BUT it has to be eaten cold. It was actually not bad having a cold taho but I miss the one I was used to, a hot/warm Taho. The first picture above is the one made using gelatin and the rest of the photos here are the ones with Epsom salt.
So next I searched for articles on how to make silken tofu. I read a lot and also learned so much. Now I know that I need a coagulant agent to make the soy milk curdle to form taho. Almost all of them are using gypsum, the food grade one of course and not the one you use for your walls. Common coagulants mentioned for making Tofu are calcium sulfate (gypsum), magnesium chloride (nigari), and delta gluconolactone (GDL). But the most practical one I found is using Epsom salt from this post on how to make silken tofu. Epsom salt (Magnesium Sulfate) is the easiest one to find and also not as expensive as the others.
I just have to change it a bit because the first time I did it, it did not curdle enough so I tried modifying the recipe from what I've learned from the other recipes and from the comments of other people who did it before me. I added cornstarch to make it more stable. I also increased the amounts of Epsom salt and this you have to try and learn on your own. Based on the article, they used ½ teaspoon for 3 cups of homemade soy milk. This ratio did not work for my instant soy milk. But 1 teaspoon for every ¾ cup (188ml) of instant soy milk did the job. I would suggest you try first, making a cup of soy milk with ½ teaspoon and go on from there.
Homemade Taho Recipe
- 1 cup soy milk - unsweetened (5 grams fat per 100 ml)
- ½ tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ - 1 teaspoon Epsom salt - level (See NOTE 1)
- 1 tablespoon water
SYRUP / TOPPING
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup water
- ⅛ cup tapioca pearls (small) - uncooked
- Boil water in a kettle. It should be enough for the water bath. Set aside.
- Prepare a pot and place it on top of the stove. Place a heat-proof bowl big enough for 500ml of liquid in the middle of the pot.
- In a small cup, dissolve cornstarch in 1 tablespoon tap water then add the Epsom salt and stir until dissolved.
- Pour the Epsom salt mixture into the empty bowl. Add the soy milk to the mixture in a steady stream, not too fast but not too slow. Do NOT stir! Once both mixtures are combined, try not to agitate it or it will not curdle as smoothly.
- Now, pour the boiling water into the pot, careful not to pour any to the bowl of soy milk, just high enough to be on the same level of the mixture in the bowl.
- Cover pot with the lid that is covered with clean cloth to absorb the steam and prevent it from dropping back into the Taho mixture.
- Turn on the stove to very low heat and let it cook in a gentle simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the Taho becomes firm to the touch but wiggly. Avoid letting the water boil or the mixture will also boil and will never set. While waiting for the Taho to cook, prepare the arnibal and tapioca pearls.
- TO MAKE ARNIBAL: In a small pot, combine equal parts of brown sugar and water. Bring it to boil over medium heat while stirring occasionally and let it simmer until it thickens into a syrup (about 7-10 minutes).
- TO COOK TAPIOCA PEARLS:
- Boil a half liter of water and add the tapioca pearls. Let it cook for 10 minutes. Place a colander/strainer in a bowl or pot and pour the contents to separate the tapioca from the water. Use the same water and bring it to boil the second time. Wash the strained tapioca pearls thoroughly with tap water and put it back into the boiling water and cook again until they become completely translucent and no more white spot at the core.
- Using a wide spoon or ladle, make thin scoops of Taho and transfer to a glass. Add some arnibal and Tapioca pearls. Enjoy while warm.
Hello, I just want to share my experience 😅 I used the unsweetened 4% kind and it only coagulated at the bottom in 20 mins. Thank you for the recipe. I will try to experiment more, like you said 😃
Yes, that is the best thing to do, then write down the exact brands you used and the measurements when you get the correct combination. Feel free to share it here too. 😊
I experimented the preparation of taho based on your recipe and recommendation. It was great, consistency was perfect. But the bad side with this recipe, the finished tofu tasted so bitter. I think the proportion of the epsom salt is too much. I read from the other recipe on making silken tofu that epsom salt (or any coagulant if mixed unbalanced would turn the finished tofu taste bitter. Just like what you said, everything is experimental according to your taste. I ll try again and probably reduce the portion of epsom salt. BTW it also said in another recipe guide that you can mix the mixture of the soy milk with the epsom salt and cornstarch solution slowly to balanced the taste of the finished tofu. Might try the same and see what happens. Until my next experiment, I can give a better feedback. Thank you for your wonderful suggestions.
Yes, it could be tricky with the epsom salt. The thing is I made this while in Germany and again here in the Philippines with this measurement, it was not bitter at all. I think it depends on the brand you use. You just have to try and try until you get the texture and taste right, I guess.
Where can you buy Epsom salt in the Philippines?
I see them sold in some drugstores and supermarkets or online like Lazada or Shopee
I tried this but for some reason I don’t know, my soy milk didn’t turn to taho pudding.. not even close it just stayed liquid. Help please!
Hi Je, read my notes in the post. The answer could already be there.
I used 2 tsp of cornstarch for every 1 cup of soy milk. Consistency turned just right.
I tried making taho but doubled the ingredients. It did not set. I will do it in small batches like you recommend. Thanks!
Yup, it works only on small quantities.
Hi thanks for this recipe. I have tried making my own soy milk with success and started this procedure with 1/4 tsp Epsom salt but it didn’t set enough within the 20 mins. Do I keep cooking to see if it will set? And if it doesn’t, is this batch then wasted? Or is there something I can use this for?
You can still drink or eat it. You can try adding more Epsom but make sure your soy milk has high fat per 100ml and not too diluted.
the taho does not want to set, did 20 minutes. used 1/4 tsp epsom salt for 1 cup. can epsom salt be added while cooking?
Did you use high-fat content soy milk? Use very low heat and don't allow it to boil. Also don't mix.
Hello. Is it ok to use sweetened soya milk?
I have not tried it with sweetened soya, but as long as the fat content is high I think it should work.
Thank you po sa masarap na recipe just made it now super yummy po first time kong gumawa.Very simple and easy to make❤
That is great, Fe. Glad you like it.
hi..what if there is no available epsom salt, what can you recommend as an altrernative?TIA
Epsom salt is actually the alternative. You can read it in the post.
Sarah G says
Hi there! Would want to make this but wanted to clear up something.. on the ingredients list, it says 1 tablespoon of water, but i can't find it in the instructions.. also it says 1/8 cup of water should be used to dissolve epsom salt and cornstarch, but not in the ingredient list.. also, i wanted to make 2 cups of soy milk.. should i double the epsom salt and cornstarch amount? TIA.
Hi Sarah, sorry for that, I adjusted it now. Actually, I would recommend doing it in a small quantity, 1 cup at a time. For some reason when we double the amount, it won't set. If you have a large pot then you can do 2 batches at the same time.
Sarah G says
Thank you for your response. Will do it in small batches. 😊
Thanks for the recipe. If I will use 3 cups of soy milk, do I need to use 3/4 tsp epsom salt? Should I also increase the amount of cornstarch and water? If the curd is not hard enough, what could have gone wrong?
How can I store leftover taho? Thanks again
Hi Zet, do it in 3 batches. I find that when I do it at once in a bigger bowl, it is much more difficult to set.
Hi Bebs. Thank you for this recipe. I tried making this but the cornstarch just sat under the mixture. How do I avoid this?
Hi Yvee, you have to mix it well right before adding the soy milk. The process has to be done quickly or else like you said the cornstarch will start to settle at the bottom.
Hi there, can a regular table salt be used instead of epsom?
Oh no, Irene, they both called salt but totally different compounds. Table salt will only make it salty but will still be in the same liquid form.
Your instructions are not clear. Non sense procecures.
That depends on who is reading it, I suppose. I got a lot of comments and messages that they were able to follow it successfully.
Hi Bebs! Thank you for posting Homemade Taho. I will definitely try this recipe. Question on Nutrition Facts this is whole serving, right? How many servings this taho?
Thank you for all delicious recipe.
Hi Derlina, the servings is stated on the recipe box, it is good for 4.
Delia Ade ONOJOBI says
Just stumble with this recipe. I will try it next wk on my holiday as I can't travel out from Ireland this will occupy my time. Thank you.
I have epson salt ,but when i read the features of this epson salt,,,this is for BATH SALT / PHARMACEUTICAL / GARDENING... do you think this can be use to ?to make taho?
Hi Ernie, yes, these are the general purposes of Epsom salt and more. It can also work as laxative. As long as it is all-natural without anything else added.
Eunice Morf says
Hi Ms. Bebs
I just made taho using a silken tofu I bought in a korean store. It went really good with the silken tofu and took the recipe from your arnibal.
Now, I want to buy Epsom Salt. As I‘ve read in the internet. You can use Epsom Salt for taking a bath?!
And this I could use it also for my taho?
Hoping for your fast answer.
Hi Eunice, yes as long as it says all-natural. Without any added fragrance. Epsom salts are also used as a laxative, but you will be using only a bit of it.
Hi!, what if I don’t have epsom salt. What can I use instead of epsom salt?
Hi Zee, the alternatives are already mentioned in the post and are maybe much more difficult to find.
Arlene Gomez says
Do I need to use epsom salt? Can I use regular salt?
Hi Arlene, Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) is very different from regular salt (sodium chloride). They may look similar but the composition is different. Epsom Salt is not salty at all.
I'm excited to try this!
Hope you like it Carleena..
I just wanna thank for all the recipes here,you share for all of us,it's a big helped and I've learned a lot from here thanks and keep sharing your home made recipes godbless
You are most welcome, Elena.
I tried this recipe but mine came out bitter.. i’m not sure what to do next. Any idea?
Hi Reese, I suggest starting with lesser epsom salt, 1/2 level teaspoon. See if that works.
Thanks for sharing your recipe. I tried it, the taho consistency was perfect, it looks exactly like the one in the philippines but it has a bitter taste to it. I used 2 1/2 teaspoon of epsom salt for 2 cups of store bought soy milk. Did i used too much? If I will use less, will it still curd nicely? Thanks
Hi Margau, yes, start with lesser amount of epsom. Like half to 1 teaspoon. Then stick to the brands once you get the correct consistency.
Did you experience loose bowel movement after eating the taho? I 've drank water with dissolved epsom salt in very low concentration, less than 1%, and I experienced an lbm-like situation, because epsom salt is a laxative. I want to try your recipe but scared due to the high concentration of epsom salt. Thank you.
Hi Chesca, I ate all the batches (one a day) I made while developing this recipe and I didn't have that problem. But then again I did this while in Germany and I use bittersalz which is the German equivalent for epsom salt, also used as laxative. Like I said in the article, you have to start small because the fat content of the soy milk and the coagulant, in this case epsom salt, reacts differently. Try first with 1/2 teaspoon of epsom and see if that already works..
Ismael Salud says
Do you have recipes of longganiza and chorizo from Philippines?
Hi Ismael, I have 2 longganisa recipes Classic Longanisa and Skinless Longganisa. I have tried making chorizo yet, but will keep it in mind..
Is this a typo on your recipe ? or I am just misreading your ingredients
Is there something after 1 tablespoon ??? or are your saying 1 Tbs and then another 1 tsp of constarch
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch
Yes Norm, that means 1 Tablespoon plus another 1 teaspoon of cornstarch.
Thanks for the recipe, I really want to try making homemade taho but what brand of epsom salt did you use? I have one from my American friend but it's for the bathing or I use it for foot soaks, I did not know you candrink it. I also live in Germany, where did you buy yours?
Hi Hazel, yes, you can use epsom salt for a lot of things. The equivalent in Germany is Bittersalz and you can buy it from the Apotheke.
Jas Domingo says
Greetings! I just want to ask if there's an alternative for epsom salt? Can I use an ordinary salt instead?
Hi Jas, epsom salt is not like salt at all, it is not salty and it has a coagulation property that makes milk curdle to form taho. Like I said in the post, others use the food grade gypsum, epsom is already the alternative.
Not true. Just buy silken tofu instead of doing this. Waste of time and money.
Hi Graeme, if you read above I did mention using silken tofu, only it was not easily available where we lived in Germany and I had to drive 30 kilometers to get to the nearest Asian store to get one. This is for me a lot easier and cheaper actually.
Doesn't Epson salt leave an after taste? I've drank it on its own and... well...
Hi Jean, it should not leave an aftertaste since we are using just a bit. I hope you didn't drink too much of it since it works as a laxative unless that was your plan...????
Hello madam Bebs,what will be the ratio of soyamilk if i use calcium sulfate,and do i need cornstarch too together with the calcium sukfate?thank you God bless
did you use store bought soy milk?thanks
Hi Bullet, yes! I used store-bought soy milk, the unsweetened one.
thanks. epsom salt? are they all the same? or do I need to get specific type?
Hi Bullet, I think they are all the same.
thanks.hopefully I can make Taho this weekend.
Hi, how much gypsum should I put if I do decide to substitute epsom salt with it? ^^
Thank you bunches for sharing this! I've been trying to find information like this for a long time ~
Hi Greg, I haven't tried using gypsum myself but I am pretty sure you will find recipes online that do. ????
I have been following your blog for quite some time now! I just love how easy your empanada is, and have tried few other recipes like tocino and longganisa 🙂 quick and easy, going back to Taho making, do you have a substitute for Epsom salt?
Hi S, Thanks for your comment! As for making Taho, Epsom salt is actually the alternative, as it is cheaper and easier to get (for me at least). You can look for Calcium sulfate (food grade gypsum) or also Nigari.:-)
I'm pretty sure Hanoi has lots of tapioca pearls. I just have to search patiently. :)) By the way, I hope you can make a mango cake recipe just like the one in red ribbon. Believe it or not, I only trust your recipe because it's "homecook friendly".
I do have a recipe Mango Cake. Maybe it is not exactly like the one from Red Ribbon but it is also good. You can omit the mirror top and add more whipped cream and top with fresh ripe mangoes.
I love this recipe. My kids will surely love this. I've been seeing a lot of silken tofu at the grocery and I can finally put them to good use. If I can only find small tapioca pearls then I'm off to to a good start.
Hi Zara, I added a link in the recipe where you can buy the small tapioca pearls. I am sure the kiddos will love it! Armin really enjoyed it and he had it for the first time ever.