This call from the magtataho is clearly an identifiable chant- a melody to our ears. Every time we hear these words we immediately ask money from our mother for us to buy this staple comfort food.
Every Filipino must have tried eating Taho. It is is a healthy snack food made of fresh soft soybean curd, arnibal (brown sugar and vanilla syrup), and pearl sago (similar to pearl tapioca). It is often eaten as a perk-me-up breakfast, an afternoon snack, or a heavenly dessert gulped after a full meal.
It is soft and thick in texture, sweet in taste, and viewed by Filipinos in many corners of the Philippines as a cheap, quick, and a must try for everybody.
Tahô is enjoyed either with a spoon, sipping it with a straw, or by simply slurping it straight from the cup.
Taho hawkers or vendors carry their goods in their signature silver aluminum bins – the large one for stowing the cooked silken tofu and the small one for storing arnibal and sago. They have become more imaginative with their recipes over time.
In Baguio, there is also a strawberry variety of taho wherein the taho is the same warm white bean curd with soft sago (tapioca balls) but flavored with fresh strawberry syrup instead of the usual arnibal (caramel). Other varieties are in chocolate and buko pandan flavor.
It is important to note that taho in the Philippines is prepared the traditional way, which can take time and lots of effort.
Below, however, is a quick and easy recipe for making taho.
Ingredients for Taho
· brown sugar – 2 cups
· gelatin – 1 tablespoon; unflavored
· soy bean powder or flour – 1 cup
· vanilla extracts – 4 tablespoons
· water – about 6 cups
· pearl sago – ½ cup
Instructions for Making Arnibal
1. In a pan set over medium heat, pour in water.
2. Add brown sugar.
4. Allow to boil for five minutes.
5. Pour in vanilla extracts.
6. Set aside.
Instructions for Making Sago
1. In a pot set over medium heat, pour in water.
2. Allow to boil.
3. Once the water is boiling, add in pearl sago.
4. Allow water to simmer and the sago to turn to translucent color.
5. Drain the water and set sago aside.
Instructions for Making Taho
1. In a bowl, pour in water.
2. Add in soy bean powder.
3. Let the mixture stand for at least one hour, stirring once in a while.
4. In pot set over medium heat, pour in the mixed water and soy bean powder.
5. Allow to boil.
6. Once boiling, reduce heat to low.
7. Stir constantly for 10 minutes.
8. Pour in gelatin.
9. Allow gelatin to dissolve.
10. Remove heat and allow mixture to cool a little.
11. Once mixture is slightly cool, remove the thin layer on top.
12. Scoop cooked tofu into a cup.
13. Top it with arnibal and saho.
Congratulations! Now you have your taho – Philippines’ best-liked street food!