Fresh mango, papaya, and kiwi give this creamy tapioca pudding a tropical taste.
1/3 cup small pearl tapioca*
1 can (13.5 oz.) coconut milk
About 1 cup whole milk or soy milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3/4 cup unsweetened large-flake coconut*, toasted
1/2 cup chopped fresh fruit such as mango, papaya, or kiwi fruit
How to Make It
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.
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.
Stir drained tapioca into vanilla mixture. Cook, stirring often, until tapioca pearls are clear and just tender, 3 to 6 minutes.
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.
Spoon pudding into tall glasses. Top with toasted coconut and fresh fruit.
*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.
Make ahead: Chill pudding up to 1 day.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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