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

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.

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.

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?