Coconut-tapioca soup checks all the boxes for a low-key, large-format dessert. Think of it like boba, but repackaged in soup form—it’s creamy and milky, but it also has a hint of chewy texture from the tiny tapioca pearls. From there, you can easily add toppings (although it’s not necessary), like ripe mango, steamed chunks of taro, or sweet glutinous rice dumplings for something with more substance. If you’re making this for a larger crowd, this recipe can easily be doubled or tripled as needed.
- In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, add the tapioca pearls and boil for 5 minutes. (The water will thicken up—this is normal.) Remove from heat and cover the saucepan with a lid. Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes.
- In another saucepan, combine the coconut milk and sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer. Taste the sweetened coconut milk, and adjust sugar if desired.
- Strain the tapioca pearls and run them under cold water—they should be fully translucent. Add the tapioca pearls to the simmering coconut milk. Stir well. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add milk as needed.
- Serve warm immediately, or chill in the fridge in an airtight container. Be sure to stir if serving from chilled, as the tapioca pearls may stick together. Optional, but highly recommended: top with fresh slices of mango, steamed taro, and/or sweet glutinous rice dumplings.
Tatiana Bautista is an assistant editor at TASTE.