NOT Your Mom’s Tapioca Pudding

This is not the tapioca you remembered from childhood.   This is a grown up, sophisticated version of what our moms fed us for breakfast.   Also known as sago, tapioca porridge had a texture that I hated as a child and absolutely refused to eat it.    Years later as an adult, I decided to give it a try and lo and behold, I actually liked it.

Tapioca, which comes from the cassava plant  is grown in tropical regions of Asian and South America and is often used as a thickener.   To enhance the creamy texture of Tapioca, I used a combination of whole milk and coconut milk; the combination gives the pudding a rich, decadent and nutty flavor.

The pineapple is sauteed with butter and rum then finished with a dash of nutmeg which takes this dish to the next level, transforming this humble dessert into something spectacular.   This is definitely not my mom’s tapioca pudding.

Coconut Tapioca Pudding

½ cup small pearl tapioca

1 13.5 oz coconut milk

1 ½ cup whole milk

1/8 tsp salt

1 egg, beaten

½ cup sugar

½ tsp pure vanilla extract

To Make Tapioca: Place tapioca pearl in a bowl, cover with hot water and let stand for 10 minutes.   Drain strain water and discard.   In a heavy bottom saucepot add tapioca, coconut milk, whole milk and salt.   Over medium heat, bring to a boil while stirring.   Stirring the mixture will prevent clumps from forming.    Lower heat and cook for 10 minutes.   Next add 1 cup of tapioca slowly to the beaten egg while stirring vigorously.   Place the beaten egg in a small bowl.   Using a whisk, add the tapioca to the egg will slowly raise the temperature of the egg; this will prevent it from scrambling when added to the hot tapioca.   Next add the egg mixture slowly to the pot while stirring.    Add sugar then cook for an additional 7-10 minutes on low heat until it has thickened a bit.    Stir in vanilla extract, then remove from heat.  Serve warm or cold.

Buttered Rum Pineapple

½ cup fresh pineapple, cut into small cubes

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp rum

Dash of nutmeg

To Make Pineapple: In a small saucepan over high heat, add butter.  When butter has melted, add pineapple.   Cook for 5-7 minutes then add sugar.   Cook for 2 minutes then add rum.  Cook for an additional minute or two.  Remove from heat and add a dash of freshly grated nutmeg.   Serve over tapioca.



  1. Veronica
    June 27, 2012 / 2:55 pm


  2. June 28, 2012 / 8:38 am

    What an inviting post to make me crave Tapioca. I like the use of coconut milk that you’ve used in this recipe. My mom actually makes a killer tapioca (and rice pudding). Now i won’t be able to rest until I have some. Thanks for sharing and beautiful post. 🙂

  3. June 29, 2012 / 7:26 am

    i am sure it can be made without the egg, right???

  4. JehanP
    June 30, 2012 / 8:21 am

    Yes you can make it without the egg and it can be made with just coconut milk.

  5. Tuty
    July 3, 2012 / 5:47 pm

    In Indonesia, we make a dessert soup (hence thinner consistency, and no egg) with melons (cantaloupe, honey dew) for the fruit. Your pineapple topping certainly will be delightful in our dessert soup too.

  6. Cella
    August 23, 2012 / 9:11 pm

    The mithai dish in my country is called Kurma. The method is exactly the same however we put ginger in our syrup. btw i am from trinidad and tobago.