pandan tapioca with coconut cream

Delicious as it was, I didn't really intend to make this recipe.

 pandan tapioca with coconut cream

You see, I set out to make something green for this month's  and happened upon the green tapioca while at the local Asian supermarket. I inspected the bag looking for an indication of why the tapioca was green. No clues.  I thought it might be pandan leaf... or maybe just food coloring.  Since I wasn't sure,  I picked up some pandan leaf extract before I left.

My original intention was to make a light green tapioca pudding. You know... something with full-fat milk, egg yolks, and perhaps a bit of the pandan extract. I was rather surprised that I couldn't find a lot of non-fast-cooking tapioca recipes that used coconut milk. Then I came across one that sounded simple and delicious. The recipe described cooking the tapioca until it was mostly translucent and topping it with simple syrup and coconut cream. This wasn't totally unfamiliar territory. On our trip to Vietnam we frequently had the dessert called che which typically included tapioca, coconut, mung beans, and azuki beans. The resulting dessert was very similar just minus the beans. Cool and creamy with a hint of nutiness from the pandan leaf.

Perfect for a nice warm day like today and perfect for our letslunch theme. Enjoy!

pandan tapioca with coconut milk

Serves: 4-6


  • 6 cups + 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup (1/8-inch) pearl tapioca (not quick-cooking)
  • 1/2 tsp pandan extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 (14-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk (do not shake)


  1. Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan and add tapioca in a slow stream, stirring constantly. Gently boil, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, until tapioca is translucent, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add 3 cups cold water to tapioca, then drain in a large sieve. Transfer tapioca to a large bowl. Add cold water to cover by 2 inches and swirl tapioca to remove excess starch. Drain tapioca in sieve and repeat rinsing. Drain tapioca again and pide among 4-6 serving dishes. Chill, loosely covered, for 10 minutes, or until set.
  4. Make the syrup: Simmer pandan extract with sugar and remaining 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
  5. Make the coconut cream: Scoop out thick layer of coconut cream from top of can, reserving thin liquid in bottom. Whisk the coconut cream until smooth. Drizzle some of syrup over tapioca and top with some coconut cream.

This post is part of the monthly, Twitter-based series -- every month, participating food bloggers share recipes and stories centering around that month's theme. This month's theme is on green food! Want more? Be sure to check out the posts from the other LetsLunchers!


I love it! David Leibovitz's "Room For Dessert" has a recipe for a delicious coconut milk pudding that uses non-quick cook tapioca. But I love the green tint from panda and the mystery green tapioca. Perhaps for those pretty drinks?

Gosh, all of these ingredients speak to me in one way or another. Pandan was a very common flavor in childhood desserts - whenever I taste it, it brings me right back. And with coconut cream on top - get out of town. Beautiful.

Thanks Jonathan! Looking forward to you getting out of town and coming to visit. :)

Ooooh, I want to try this! So pretty, fresh and green!

This looks divine! I have never cooked with Tapioca but think that THIS is the recipe to start with!! Thanks for posting it, I'm printing it out and sticking it straight on the fridge. Gorgeous!!!

I like The recipe in this post. thanks

Yum! This looks perfect for summer....

This is so pretty and springy! I've always enjoyed coconut-tapioca concoctions -- this looks lovely and not too heavy. I'd love to try it sometime!

We only went once, but we were hooked! Living too many miles away means visits are few, but I keep hoping that we'll have a reason to visit and buy bread and cookies, along with a sandwich.

Add new comment

Comment HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li>
  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • E-Mail addresses are hidden with reCAPTCHA Mailhide.
  • Twitter-style #hashtags are linked to
  • Twitter-style @usernames are linked to their Twitter account pages.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.