Tapioca pudding is one dessert you can serve at a Chinese themed event. It’s actually called by many names. I think some call it Tapioca Pearls With Coconut Milk, and the most interesting name (which I think is how most Chinese folks call it), the Frog Egg Dessert.
A guest in one of our dinners before was this guy from Taiwan. Yup, he speaks and reads Chinese, but he also knows English. Anyway, when I served this tapioca dessert at that dinner, I asked him (for confirmation), “Is this a Chinese dessert?” He said, “Yes, it is” and commented further that they call it as Frog Egg Dessert.
Unfortunately, one of our female guests didn’t quite get what he had said, and she thought that the dessert was made of real eggs of real frogs….and refused to have any! Oh dear, we had a good laugh at that, and so we had to help her understand that it’s just a name, because its appearance closely resemble frogs’ eggs, but that those round little things are actually tapioca pearls. She was quite relieved, and finally agreed to have some. 🙂
And so, here’s the basic recipe for this delicious dish:
2/3 cup of small uncooked tapioca pearls
1 cup whole milk
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup sugar
Note: Start preparing this recipe hours before you need it. You can chill it in the fridge while waiting for your guests.
In a pan, heat about 3 cups of water. Dissolve sugar in it before bringing it to a boil. As soon as it boils, lower the heat and add in the whole milk. Mix well.
Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut milk. (Do not boil the coconut milk, as it would turn the mixture rather oily). Let the mixture cool in room temperature, then place in the fridge to chill.
Meanwhile (or about a couple of hours later), soak the tapioca pearls in water for at least 30 minutes. The tapioca pearls will be absorbing the water and expand and turn into soft, bright white pearls. Drain. Place in a pot with some water and bring to a boil. Remember to constantly stir the tapioca pearls in the water, so they cook more evenly and so they don’t stick together in huge masses.
When the tapioca pearls have all turned clear, remove from heat. Drain and add the tapioca pearls into the coconut milk mixture. You may continue to chill them in the fridge, or you can serve them right away in smaller bowls or cups, with a bit of sliced fruits on top.