Wednesday, August 18, 2010

August 13, 2010: Tapioca pearl pudding

Working from home and hungry for something novel, I recently ripped open the packet of tapioca pearls that we bought from Minh Phat.  I was attracted to their Froot Loopy colours, and they reminded me of the multi-coloured noodley dessert, bubur cha cha, that we made during our Malaysian cooking class.  Lucky for me, I also had a can of coconut milk and a can of mango slices on hand for pudding power.

From there, I used this recipe from as a loose guide, boiling and simmering the pearls and allowing them to cool.  Then I deviated a little, sweetening the coconut milk with the canned mangos' syrup and plonking in some of the mango flesh for good measure.

This was fun to make and pretty fun to eat, too, though I didn't love it with the same fervour as that bubur cha cha.  I wonder if it's because I used the over-sized pearls; the tapioca's all texture and (almost) no flavour and might be more enjoyable in smaller droplets amongst the sweet syrup.

Are there any tapioca pearl aficionados out there?  I'd love to know how you cook and eat them at home.


  1. The large ones are usually used in bubble tea only. We usually use the smaller ones for tapoica pudding, and the flavouring comes from external sources (rock sugar, coconut milk etc).

    Tapoica pearls can also be used in the making of red bean soup. I've put up a quick recipe on red bean soup here:

  2. I tried cooking my own once, it didnt turn out so good. One big gloppy mess. So sorry no advice from me.

  3. I have never tried using the large ones.
    But for the small ones (sago peals), can mix it with blended rock melon (served at yum char places). I mixed them with blended watermelon during hot summer.
    Or even better sago gula melaka, a very traditional dessert from Malacca. You will be able to buy Gula Melaka from Malacca from Minh Phat. Recommend this recipe as it's very similar how my Mum prepares it.

  4. Hello! I had bubble tea recently in Melbourne, but it's not so common in the UK so I bought some of the big pearls to recreate it here. If anyone knows of any good bubble tea recipes I'd love to hear them.


  5. Hey, thanks for the ideas! I received a few more via twitter too.

    I do love the occasional bubble tea and it sounds like the best option for my remaining pearls. But I'll have to get some sago in future for these other desserts. :-)

  6. Hi Cindy

    I'll stay tuned to see if you find time to make some bubble tea. Glad you posted about the dessert though, as I was all set to turn my pearls into slop! Now I won't.

  7. Cindy, that dish looks quite tasty. I think using smaller sized tapioca would work better coz you don't get a big a hit of that tapioca flavourlessness (not a word I know) with each bite.

    Usually mum makes a really delicious dish using banana and tapioca and boiling it in coconut milk. It's super delicious.