Pearls of tapioca: a Malaysian pudding recipe

March 26, 2013 2:06 pm Published by Leave your thoughts


We have just got some seed pearl tapioca into stock at Naturally Good Food – £1.60 for 500g, with our usual case discount. It is startlingly, blindingly white – whiter than any other product I’ve seen. If you could only eat it raw, it would make perfect ‘snow’ for the top of a Christmas cake. You could always use it in a Christmas collage instead, I suppose.

Tapioca tends to divide people into two camps – with many more people, unfortunately, in the camp that says they can’t stand the stuff. I’m in the other camp – if you make ‘tapioca pudding’ with enough of the right sort of ingredients, it’s really lovely.

My favourite way to have it is in my interpretation of a dessert I used to have a lot in a Malaysian restaurant in London, when I was footloose and fancy-free. It was green (the dish, that is, though come to think of it, so was the restaurant…). I’m not sure how the colour was achieved, but here’s a rough idea as to how I make the rest of it:


4oz seed pearl tapioca (soaked to expand as necessary)

3 cups coconut milk

2 oz sugar (coconut palm sugar the best, perhaps)

Tsp vanilla extract

Pinch salt

Palm sugar syrup (or golden syrup)


The same as for a stove-top rice pudding, really. Stir all the ingredients except for the palm sugar syrup in a pan, until the tapioca is soft. At the last minute, stir in the syrup. If you prefer a more traditional tapioca pudding, then you can add two beaten eggs at the last stage (and then cook again), or a knob of butter. This is not the kind of dish that you can walk away and leave, so you have plenty of opportunities to taste it as you go along, and work out if you need more sugar, salt, vanilla, or so on. It shouldn’t take you longer than half an hour altogether.

Perfect for when you need a comforting, starchy pudding!

Tags: , , , , ,

Categorised in: ,

This post was written by Sue

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *