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Organic Coconut Banana Tapioca Pudding

Organic Coconut Banana Tapioca Pudding

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  • 10 Cups filtered water
  • 5 ripe bananas
  • 1 Cup organic white sugar
  • 1 Cup tapioca, small pearls
  • 12 Ounces can full-fat organic coconut milk
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt


In a large pot, place water and bring to a boil. Add tapioca pearls. Cook until translucent, about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally so tapioca doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Peel and slice bananas ¾ inch thick. Add banana, salt and sugar into pot. Cook until bananas are tender, about 7 minutes. Turn off heat and add coconut milk. Let cool. Pudding will continue thickening as it cools. Serve warm or cold. Store in refrigerator. After 24 hours, pudding will be really thick.

Nutritional Facts


Calories Per Serving592

Folate equivalent (total)42µg10%

Banana Tapioca Pudding (Che Chuoi)

Banana Tapioca Pudding (Che Chuoi) is an excellent Vietnamese warm dessert for winter. The creamy sweet coconut soup, fruity scent of bananas, and slightly chewy tapioca pearls are some of the things to like about this delicious dessert.

Chè Chuối – Banana and Coconut Tapioca Pudding

One of the most common types of Vietnamese dessert is sweet soups (Chè in Vietnamese). We tried many versions of Chè during our trip to Vietnam, but Chè Chuối is certainly one of my favourite desserts in Vietnam.

Chè Chuối’s recipe includes tapioca pearls, coconut milk, sugar and ripe bananas, the texture is like pudding. What I like most about this version is the simplicity of the recipe and the possibility of using ripe bananas that are almost spoiling in the fruit bowl. These ripe bananas are key to bring aroma and sweetness to the dessert.

Another point that makes me love this recipe is that in Brazil, we know very few recipes with tapioca pearls, the most famous is cooked with wine, cinnamon and cloves, called “Wine Sagu”, typical in Southern Brazil. Therefore, this recipe is so surprising and still made with ingredients that are also typical in my home country.

Tapioca Pearls for Thickening

Tapioca pearls are made from cassava root starch–a root you’ll often find in other Vietnamese desserts.

These little white pearls turn clear when cooked and are used to thicken the che/pudding. The pearls need to be soaked before use so they soften–just 15-20 minutes in warm water should do the trick. Soaking the pearls before cooking will reduce the time you need to cook them later.

All brands of tapioca pearls are essentially the same, but the size you pick is affects soak time and final presentation of the dessert. Go for the smallest pearls you can find. The zig zag-cut tapioca strips look pretty cool too.

Recipe Summary

  • ⅔ cup quick cooking pearl tapioca
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans coconut milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bring the tapioca, coconut milk, and salt to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar until dissolved.

Beat the egg in a bowl until smooth. Whisk in about 1/2 cup of the hot tapioca mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, then scrape the egg mixture into the simmering pudding, and stir. Simmer gently until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes , then remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes before stirring in the vanilla extract. Serve either warm or chilled.

Recipe Summary

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup quick-cooking tapioca
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Stir together the milk, tapioca, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low cook and stir 5 minutes longer.

Whisk 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the beaten eggs, 2 tablespoons at a time until incorporated. Stir the egg mixture back into the tapioca until well mixed. Bring the pudding to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat cook and stir 2 minutes longer until the pudding becomes thick enough to evenly coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. The pudding may be served hot or poured into serving dishes and refrigerated several hours until cold.

Related Video

This is definitely an asian dessert, which to me would seem out of place in a non-asian dinner. But with an asian meal it's a nice finale. I followed the recipe exactly and didn't have any trouble with the pearl tapioca cooking. The 1 hour pre-soak apparently did the trick. However, next time I would use regular coconut milk. I used Trader Joe's light coconut milk and the result was a bit more watery and not as coconutty as Iɽ like. Also, my pudding was quite runny. Will try 2T instead of 1T.

i've made this a few times, but used about 2.5 tablespoons of cornstarch instead of tapioca, and it's delicious. fresh and not too sweet, great combination of flavors and textures.

Not a habit of mine to rate a recipe I haven't bothered to follow nearly as written, but since the reviews were so-so I will. I used 1/2 tsp ground dry ginger and 1/4 c. sugar instant tapioca and sliced the bananas. It's a nice change of taste! Yes, even delicious and worthy of 3 forks. Tuck it in your recipe box.

I've made this a few times. I prefer using a little vanilla instead of the ginger, and I try to use apple bananas. Very simple and tasty.

Idon't know if it's just the combination of ingredients that makes this not work, but it's consistency and flavor aren't appetizing. It will just sit on the counter if you make it. No one eats it all.

I agree that the ginger flavor was overpowering, and the pudding too sweet. I also found the bananas gave an unpleasant sour flavor. It sounded much better than it turned out.

I found the amount of ginger to be too overpowering. The pudding was also a little too sweet for my taste.

This was really yummy and easy to make. Make sure you leave lots of time for it to chill in the frige.

There's a big error in this recipe--pearl tapioca needs to be cooked for an hour or so, until it is enlarged and transparent. If you cook it in the coconut milk before you add the banana, the pudding is delicious.

Notes about this recipe

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Recipes: Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Caramelized Bananas

I kind of left you hanging a few posts back on what happened to my world after the flood. It’s been three months now since we were evacuated out of our home, and as of last week I have finally moved back into my “end of the road” apartment. Having a kitchen and bed of my own again has never felt better, and I’m getting my feet back on the ground after what felt like months of floating. But I’m still digesting the emotions and insights from this experience. I’m finding there are so many layers, from personal revelations to cultural connections, to the many environmental and political conversations. It’s left me straddling the desire to dive in and share my reflections, and also hold them quietly and close to my heart.

I will say that life at the end of the road has changed a lot in three months. Since the storm took out the main road in April and reconstruction has been a slow process, the community has gotten a reprieve from the thousands of tourists that were filling the area each day. A one lane military escorted convoy has become our norm. Four time windows a day we can drive in and out of a six mile stretch of road into town with checkpoints on either end, making it such that only residents with special passes can access the area. There’s not a selfie-stick in miles to be found now! And for the first time in a decade, kids rule the roads again, riding their bikes like kings of the night as they return home from a long day at the beach with their gang. It’s also given space for the community to clean, repair, rebuild and collectively process the experience. There’s been space for the community to truly connect and explore deeper systemic questions around land management and infrastructure that needed this time and space to explore from new angles.

In an immediate response to the flood, neighbors came together to share resources and support each other like family, and that energy has continued through the months. It’s given me a real understanding of what “living with aloha” really means. I was grateful beyond words to be welcomed into my friends home for a while to rest and recover from the experience while I waited out the reconstruction of my home. Their kitchen became a respite for the three of us, as we spent many afternoons cooking and eating together…because when the road to town is closed and the rain persists, what else are you going to do? We had several competitive cook-offs, challenging each other to see who could recreate the best Honey Mama’s raw chocolates, banana bread and tapioca pudding. All the best comfort foods, right?

It was the comfort food, good friends and slow days sitting by the river that were the most nourishing moments for me the past few months, giving just enough space to be able to deeply feel all the layers the experience had brought to the surface. There’s something to be said about having everything that’s illusory quickly stripped away by nature’s power to hasten the process of examining your world view.

I had made the decision to make Kauai a full-time home, not because there are beautiful beaches and sunshine and Instagram-worthy views left and right, but because I felt the connection to both nature and the kind of community I craved. For me, being an online entrepreneur had started to feel more like an island itself than living on an actual island. I was spending sometimes 10-12+ hours a day on my computer and phone, connecting with clients abroad and creating content online for a community that I might only interact with through 150 characters or less. It felt isolating at times, and a little maddening that my everyday world was seemingly more curated and shaped by an algorithm that knows my key strokes better than I know myself at times. I needed my feet more firmly rooted in the objective world. And my Sankalpa this year has been to cultivate clearer seeing and understanding of the true nature of reality.

It took a flood to literally shake up some old habits and beliefs to get me reconnecting with nature in a more tangible way. But as a direct product, I’ve gotten to experience and understand the elements in a way far more palpable than reading about them in an Ayurveda book. I’ll be sharing more on this thread in the coming posts…but for now, onto the question I’m sure you’re equally curious about…what the heck is tapioca anyways? Read on… I had to do a little research myself because, to be honest, I hadn’t eaten it since childhood, let alone cooked with it in any meaningful way. Tapioca actually comes from the cassava plant (Manihot esculenta), which grows locally here in Hawaii and across South America, the Caribbean, Thailand and parts of Africa. Cassava is a tuber, and while the leaves can be used for some more medicinal purposes, it’s the root that you get all your flours, pudding and pearls from. Because the fresh roots and leaves contain cyanide compounds and hydrocyanic acid that is very toxic if ingested raw, it’s important that if you are preparing cassava at home that you do so safely. The Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) published an in-depth document on the traditional ways to process cassava. It’s a pretty labor intensive process that can involve grating, soaking, boiling, fermenting and drying…here are two fun videos to check out from India and Guyana on cassava preparation! After cassava has been well-cooked to remove the toxins, the root is then processed into a flour. Tapioca pearls are made from tapioca starch/flour by mixing it with boiling water to form a dough and then rolled into the desired size balls. Here’s another fun instructional video on making tapioca pearls from a home cook in Vietnam (I’m really digging this newer trend of village/home youtube global cooking channels!). The tapioca balls are then cooked in boiling water until transparent and flavored as desired. Read more in my recipe below on cooking instructions. For those of us who aren’t into the laborious experience of growing, processing and hand-rolling your own tapioca – I feel you. Bob’s Red Mill is the easiest place to find organic tapioca ready to cook. From an Ayurvedic perspective, tapioca is a great summertime treat for Pitta because of how hydrating and cooling it is. Much like chia, it can absorb several times its weight in liquid. It’s naturally sweet, unctuous and slimy qualities make it easy on the digestion for Vata. And when cooked with a dairy-free alternative, like coconut milk instead of cow’s milk, it is friendly towards Kapha, when enjoyed in moderation. Nutritionally, tapioca has a good amount of iron, calcium, folate and manganese. Who knew? It also makes a great neutral base for a variety of flavors and pairings. I went on a bit of a tapioca bender this summer and have since made multiple variations of this recipe all using the same base. Some of the variations included saffron, rose, vanilla, purple sweet potato and a summer variety of an heirloom pumpkin. All were unique and wonderful in their own way. I’ve included this coconut with caramelized bananas because they’re accessible and common ingredients for most geographical locations. You may even explore a nearby Asian market for fresh coconuts and varieties of bananas…or cassava if you’re feeling bold and adventurous!


Tapioca Pudding
1 cup dry small tapioca pearls
4 cups water
4 cups full fat coconut milk
1 cup coconut sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cardamom powder

In a medium pot, add the dried tapioca and cover with 4 cups water. Allow to sit for 30 minutes until the balls start to hydrate and expand. Place on your stovetop and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 5 more minutes until the balls become translucent. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Turn heat off and transfer into pot with coconut milk.

While the tapioca sit to hydrate, combine the coconut milk, coconut sugar, vanilla and cardamom in a separate pot. Turn heat on medium-low and bring to a light simmer. Stir to incorporate the sugar and spices. Cook for 2-3 minutes until well incorporated. Turn off heat. When the tapioca are ready, transfer the tapioca to the pot of coconut milk. Stir together until well combined. Allow to sit in the pot until it cools enough to transfer to the refrigerator. Scoop the pudding into a bowl or storage container and place in the refrigerator for several hours to cool. This gives time for the tapioca to absorb the creamy coconut flavors. When the tapioca is ready to serve, prepare the caramelized bananas so they’re warm to serve.

Caramelized Bananas
4 ripe bananas, peeled & sliced
2-3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp coconut sugar

Heat a large skillet on high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the coconut oil. Arrange the sliced bananas onto skillet and sprinkle with the coconut sugar. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook slowly until golden on one side. Flip and continue to cook until both sides are sticky and golden. Remove from heat and serve warm atop the tapioca pudding.

To serve, remove the tapioca from the fridge and spoon into a bowl or glass. Layer the caramelized bananas and sprinkle with toasted coconut, cacao nibs and sprinkling of cardamom.

Tapioca & Banana Dumplings in Coconut Milk | Saksak

I don’t make a lot of really, really weird things on this blog. You won’t see deep-fried tarantulas or monkey brains. This is because I feel strongly that regular people (and by that I mean regular-really-special-all-kinds-of-wonderful people like you), living in average towns (that they love with all their heart, like you do) should be able to replicate this adventure without pulling their hair out by the roots.

Simply put: the more people cooking the world, the better.

And I’m here to make it as easy as possible.

That being said, sometimes I run across really strange recipes made with really normal ingredients. These are like culinary goldmines for the stovetop traveler.

Unique learning experiences that are not an impossible nightmare to cobble together.

Take today’s recipe from Papua New Guinea: Saksak, a.k.a. Sago Dumplings. This slippery treat is made with nothing more than tapioca, bananas and sugar, wrapped up in a banana leaf “blanket” and swimming in a warm coconut sea.

I found everything for the Saksak in our grocery store except for the banana leaves. Those were a half mile away at the Latin grocer.

As for wrapping them up in packets? Good messy fun with just a little dash of weird. In the best possible way.

Asaro Mud Man. Photo by Jialiang Gao.

Inspired by a recipe found in the World Cookbook for Students and one on Nusantara’s Blog, which offers up a variation made with shredded coconut.


2 cups tapioca pearls
3 bananas, chopped
3 Tbsp sugar, or to taste

banana leaves or aluminum foil for wrapping

1-2 cans coconut milk, as desired for serving (I used light)

Recipes like this are hard to quantify because locals generally make it by feel (thanks to years of experience).

To prep the tapioca, measure it into a bowl and cover with water. Immediately drain off what you can without using a strainer. This will leave enough water in the bowl to get them hydrated.

Not very scientific, but it works.

Add in the quartered and chopped banana and sprinkle on a snowfall of sugar. Squish and mix with hands until everything is evenly distributed. Take a little taste for sweetener and adjust as you’d like.

Place a few scoops on a banana leave and wrap up in a rectangular packet.

Note: banana leaves must be passed over a flame for a few seconds to soften before use. This will make sure they don’t crack as you fold and roll up your banana sago packets. You’ll see the banana leaf change color to a shiny green when it’s ready to use.

Steam the packets for about 15-20 minutes. You can peek into one of them to check for doneness. You’ll know they are cooked when the sago balls are completely translucent translucent with no traces of white (except for the banana pieces).

Refrigerate the packets until cool. Otherwise it’ll be next to impossible to remove them from the banana leaf.

Unwrap and serve in warm, silky coconut milk bath.

Take small nibbles. The dumplings will be firm and chewy, yet slippery… The flavor is mild, dominated by the banana’s subtle sweetness.

From time to time I do like to dip out toes a little bit into the slippery waters of the weird.

And, in the spirit of the unusual, let’s enjoy these by the ash dunes of Papua New Guinea.

Volcanic Ash Dunes of Tarvurvur, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea. Photo by Tarotastic.


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