A Head Chef’s Homestyle Take on Taiwanese Cuisine


Sweet potato balls are the most common dessert in Taiwan other than the world-famous bubble tea. The texture and the look are similar to Italian gnocchi. Instead of regular flour, sweet potato flour is used to make them softer and puffier. The recipe I demonstrate here comes from my mother. She used to make this for family gatherings. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, try this and you’ll definitely enjoy it. The process is a fun activity for kids, too. 


Serves 3~4 people
180g mashed sweet potato
70g sweet potato starch
3 tbsp condensed milk
1 cup of milk (optional)


Step 1

Wash one sweet potato thoroughly and peel the skin. Dice it roughly into 3×3 cm pieces and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes. Add sweet potato starch and 1 tbsp of condensed milk.

Step 2

Smash the potato with a spoon. Mix everything well until the dough is moist but firm.
(Tip: add some water if the dough is too dry.)

Step 3

Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Make each piece into a long cigar shape. Cut them into 2 cm pieces and reshape them into round balls or any shape you desire. Don’t be too fussy.

Step 4

Boil the sweet potato balls for a couple of minutes until they float on the surface.
(Tip: After they float, boil them for another 30 seconds to make sure they’re well cooked.)

Step 5
Drain the water and toss them straight into a bowl with 2 tbsp of condensed milk.


Serve with some chilled or warm plain milk. It’ll be the kids’ favorite afternoon snack!