Tapioca Pearl Pudding

Tapioca pearl pudding is a simple to prepare yet delicious dessert loved by many in South East Asia.  It is aromatic, sweet and served cold with gula Melaka (coconut sugar syrup) and light coconut milk. I have added some pandan essence to give it fragrance and colour. You could use either sago or tapioca pearls.  The difference is minimal – I prefer the slightly more robust taste of tapioca pearl. 

INGREDIENTS (2 servings)

  • 4 tablespoons of tapioca pearls or sago
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon egg white, whipped to a froth
  • Pinch of salt
  • Couple of drops of pandan essence
  • 2 tablespoons gula Melaka syrup per serving
  • 2 tablespoons light coconut milk per serving (fresh coconut milk preferred, if available)


1. Boil 3 cups of water in a saucepan. When water starts to boil, add tapioca or sago pearls into the water, stir and continue boiling. When cooked, the tapioca pearls will rise to the top and will be transparent. Add water, if required.

2. In the meanwhile, boil gula Melaka in water to a thick syrup. Strain through a fine sieve. Set aside.

3. Gently heat the coconut milk till just simmering (do not boil). Set aside.

4. When the tapioca pearls are cooked, pour them into a fine sieve and run it under a cold tap till the water run clear. Add egg white, salt and pandan essence and stir well to combine. Place equal portions of the mixture into serving glasses or bowls.

5. Top with gula Melaka and coconut milk.

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