Tapioca coconut dessert soup made with calabasa, tapioca pearls, and coconut milk. Creamy and delicious, it’s a fun and tasty sweet treat the whole family will love!
Regardless of how I overeat and consume more than my fill of salt and pepper shrimp when I dine out in Chinese restaurants, I always have room left for Xi mi lu. I’d be paying the bill, already stuffed to the gills, and my neck would still be craned like a giraffe, on the lookout for the waiter to bring over the complimentary bowls of this tapioca coconut dessert soup.
Creamy and delicious with loads of mini sago, it’s a sweet end to a satisfying Asian meal. And it’s vegan and gluten-free, too!
This sweet soup is traditionally made with coconut milk, tapioca pearls, and taro. I used kalabasa in this recipe in place of taro and it turned out just as delicious! I imagine camote (Japanese yam) or ube (purple yam) would be great substitutes as well.
Some versions of tapioca dessert pudding skip the starchy root crops altogether and use juicy fruits such as mangoes, melons, and berries with equally delicious results.
- Cut the calabasa squash in uniform size to ensure even cooking.
- When the squash is tender, remove from the pot and coarsely mash with a fork while leaving whole pieces, or process in a blender until completely smooth depending on the desired texture. Return to the pot.
- Cook the mini sago in boiling water just until they turn clear as they will continue to cook in the coconut milk. After cooking, rinse well under cold running water to rid of excess starch.
- Sugar is the choice sweetener, but feel free to use maple syrup, honey, molasses or other sweeteners.
- The dessert soup will taste sweeter when hot but will mellow out as it cools so adjust the amount of sugar accordingly.
- For a smooth texture, simmer and do not boil the coconut milk lest it curdles and separates.
How to serve
- Tapioca coconut dessert soup is delicious for breakfast, snack or dessert, and can be enjoyed hot or cold.
- It can be cooked ahead of time and will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Allow to cool completely and store in a container with a tight-fitting lid.
- To reheat, place in a saucepan and simmer until heated through. Add water or coconut milk as needed to loosen the consistency.
Tapioca Coconut Dessert Soup
- 8 cups water
- 1/4 cup small tapioca pearls, uncooked
- 2 cans (13.5 ounces each) coconut milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups calabasa, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- In a pot over medium heat, bring 4 cups of the water to a boil. Add tapioca pearls and cook, stirring regularly, for about 10 to 15 minutes or until translucent.
- Remove from pot and using a fine-mesh sieve, rinse under cold, running water. Drain well.
- In a pot over medium heat, combine the remaining 4 cups water, coconut milk, and sugar. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved.
- Add calabasa. Lower heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 to 15 minutes or until calabasa is fork-tender.
- Using a slotted spoon, emove some of the tender squash. In a bowl, mash with a fork and return to the pot.
- Add tapioca and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 to 5 minutes or until dessert is slightly thickened. Serve hot.