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Total Time
1 Hour 45 Mins
Yield
Serves 4
Photo: Alex Farnum; Styling: Randy Mon

How to Make It

Step 1

In a medium saucepan, cook tapioca in 1 1/2 qts. boiling water until only slightly chewy to the bite, 5 to 8 minutes. Pour through a fine strainer.

Step 2

Meanwhile, in another medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the coconut milk, 1 cup whole milk, the sugar, and vanilla bean, pressing bean gently to loosen seeds, until steaming, 6 to 8 minutes.

Step 3

Stir drained tapioca into vanilla mixture. Cook, stirring often, until tapioca pearls are clear and just tender, 3 to 6 minutes.

Step 4

Let pudding cool, then chill, stirring occasionally, at least 1 1/4 hours. Remove vanilla bean and stir in more milk if pudding seems too thick.

Step 5

Spoon pudding into tall glasses. Top with toasted coconut and fresh fruit.

Step 6

*Find small pearl tapioca in a grocery store's baking aisle or Asian food aisle, or buy it at an Asian market. Get large-flake coconut at a natural-foods store and toast it in a 350° oven until light golden, 3 to 4 minutes.

Step 7

Make ahead: Chill pudding up to 1 day.

Step 8

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Chef's Notes

To add an over-the-top coconut note to this luscious dessert, chill it overnight to thicken, then thin it as chef Tim Luym does--with the water inside a fresh young coconut, sold at Asian markets. He also serves the pudding topped with vivid purple yam, but we've opted for easier-to-find fresh fruit.

Poleng Lounge, San Francisco, CA

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