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

Fresh mango, papaya, and kiwi give this creamy tapioca pudding a tropical taste.

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

Ratings & Reviews

valdishel's Review

November 21, 2013
I like cutting it with milk, but had to restart a new batch of tapioca pearls to almost double the recipe to bulk up the pudding. I would say the timing to cook the tapioca was under. Other recipes don't add the milk portion; just the can of coconut milk, and cook tapioca for 12 minutes to soften and expand.

Pippilotta's Review

September 21, 2009
This is now my absolute favorite dessert! If too thin, just use a little less milk (I used soy) and a little more tapioca. I also added a teaspoon of rum, and it just tastes divine. I have been enjoying the pudding with fresh Maracuja.

carols2's Review

August 24, 2009
Excellent flavor, definately worthy enough to serve to guests. I cooled it in an ice water bath before putting in refrigerator, stirring now and then. It wasn't thick pudding consistency but was thick enough, maybe add more tapioca next time. I used white peaches, oranges and blackberries for the fruit, anything would be good.

SteveMay's Review

January 04, 2009
I tried this recipe twice and both times it was very thin - it never really took on a pudding texture. The second time I chilled in for about 36 hours and it was still a bit thin. The taste is very good, but I wondered if it possible needed an egg or maybe just a longer cooking time?