Thai Tropical Tapioca Pudding

Thai tapioca pudding
Lulu Durand Photography / Getty Images
  • 01 of 10

    Measure 1/2 cup tapioca pearls. Place in a cooking pot.

    Measuring tapioca pearls. D. Schmidt


    • 1/2 cup tapioca pearls - also called "Sagou" or "Manioc" at your local Asian food store - OR called "seed tapioca" at your local grocery store
    • 2 ripe mangos (mangos are ripe when fragrant, and you can easily indent them with your thumb) OR, if you cannot find fresh mangos, use 1 can of mango pieces
    • 2 1/2 cups water
    • 3 tbsp. brown sugar
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1 can good-quality coconut milk
    • fresh tropical fruit of your choice cut up into bite-size pieces (e.g. mango, papaya,...MORE banana, kiwi, starfruit, etc...).

    Step 1: Measure out 1/2 cup tapioca. Cover with water and allow to soak for 15-20 minutes. Then drain and place in a cooking pot.

    Note: if you have larger tapioca pearls (the size of pearls or small peas), soak for 30 minutes, then cook for 20-30 minutes.

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  • 02 of 10

    Cook the tapioca.

    Bringing tapioca to a boil. D. Schmidt

    Place 2 cups water and 1/4 tsp. salt in the pot with the tapioca. Turn the heat on medium-high, and bring to a boil. Stir continually to keep tapioca from sticking.

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  • 03 of 10

    Cook tapioca until the pearls turn translucent.

    Tapioca is done when pearls turn translucent. D. Schmidt

    Turn the heat down to medium-low. Allow the tapioca to simmer for 10 minutes, or until tapioca turns from white to translucent. (Note that the tapioca will thicken). When cooked, cover and place in the refrigerator. Note: You can also serve this dessert warm, which is especially nice in winter. In this case, just set the covered tapioca aside.

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  • 04 of 10

    Cut the mango for the mango nectar.

    Cutting a ripe mango. D. Schmidt

    Choose a ripe mango (the flesh should feel soft enough to easily indent with your thumb). Hold it sideways and make a cut down one side. Note that mangos have a large, flat stone in the center, so try to cut on either side of it.

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  • 05 of 10

    Make a slice on the other side of the stone.

    Slicing the mango into 3 parts. D. Schmidt

    Now make another cut on the other side of the stone the same as the first. This will give you 3 parts.

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  • 06 of 10

    Cut the mango into small cubes.

    Cutting mango into cubes. D. Schmidt

    Taking the two slices (leave the stone for now), make long cuts one way, then the other, to create small cubes. Using a spoon, scoop these cubes into a blender or food processor (including the juice). Do the same with the other fleshy section of mango.

    With the stone, peel or pull off the surrounding skin. Then cut off the soft flesh around the stone with a knife. Place this in the blender too.

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  • 07 of 10

    Add water and sugar to the mango in the blender.

    Making the mango nectar. D. Schmidt

    Add 3 tbsp. brown sugar and 1/4 cup water to the blender. Blend mango, water, and sugar until it forms a smooth sauce or nectar. Taste test the nectar for sweetness - add more sugar if not sweet enough. Also, add a few more Tbsp. water if too thick (it should be runny enough to pour easily from a small pitcher).

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  • 08 of 10

    Cut more tropical fruit for the pudding

    Preparing more tropical fruit. D. Schmidt

    Cut the other mango into small cubes (as you did the first). If desired, add more tropical fruit of your choice such as papaya, banana, kiwi, starfruit, lychee, etc... Cut it into small, bite-size pieces.

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  • 09 of 10

    To serve, scoop cooled tapioca into serving bowls and decorate with fruit.

    Serving the tapioca with mango nectar and fresh tropical fruit. D. Schmidt

    Scoop cooled (or warm) tapioca into serving bowls (it will be quite thick and sticky). Drizzle some of the mango nectar over each bowl. Also, add pieces of mango (and other tropical fruit if desired).

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  • 10 of 10

    Serve with a small pitcher of coconut milk and more of the mango nectar.

    Finishing with a stream of coconut milk - delicious!. D. Schmidt

    Lastly, add some coconut milk to each bowl. Place small pitchers of both the coconut milk and the mango nectar on the table so your guests can add more if they prefer. Serving Suggestion: add up to 1/4 cup of coconut milk to your bowl of tapioca (depending on how runny you like your pudding), plus 2-3 Tbsp. of the nectar (depending on how sweet you like it). Mix everything together in your bowl before eating, and ENJOY!