Tapioca pudding with mango, coconut cream and kaffir lime

  • Skill Medium
  • Prep time 10 mins + 3 hrs soaking mins
  • Cook time 15 mins
  • Servings 9
This delicious gluten-free, low-sodium dessert is inspired from Thailand, where fragrant flavours abound. It’s easy to create and a much healthier option compared to usual puddings. Tapioca pearls are made from starch derived from the root of the cassava plant. The essential oils from the spices provide a subtle contrast to the creamy texture of the pudding. The tangy mango and passionfruit topping adds a refreshing note.


  • 1 cup small tapioca pearls, soaked in cold water for 3–4 hours or overnight, drained
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, finely sliced
  • 4 fresh kaffir lime leaves, rolled and finely sliced
  • 5-centimetre (2-inch) knob ginger, peeled and finely sliced or grated
  • 2 cups lite soy milk
  • 5 tablespoons natural maple syrup

  • 1 large mango, peeled, cheeks cut into small cubes
  • pulp from 4 passionfruit
  • 9 tablespoons coconut cream
  • 9 kaffir lime leaves, rolled and very finely shredded


  1. Place lemongrass, kaffir lime and ginger into a small saucepan with 1 cup of water, cover and bring to boil. Turn off heat and steep for at least 20 minutes. Pour through a strainer into a larger saucepan (about 8-cup capacity), pressing down on the solids with a spoon to release all the flavoured liquid. Discard the solids.
  2. Add milk and maple syrup, and bring almost to boil. Stir in drained tapioca pearls and bring to boil, then turn down heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the pearls are translucent.
  3. Divide tapioca into 9 glasses or small Asian dessert bowls, and allow to cool slightly, then refrigerate until required.
  4. Prior to serving, top each pudding with cubed mango and passionfruit pulp, and drizzle with some coconut cream. Garnish with the kaffir lime.


  • Do not use boiling water to soak tapioca or it will turn to mush.
  • If in a hurry, quick soak it for 20 minutes in warm water.
  • Use a saucepan with a thick bottom when cooking tapioca to prevent sticking.
  • Buy tapioca pearls in the supermarket or Asian grocery stores. They are opaque white in colour when dry but become translucent after cooking.
  • Per Serve
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