Tropical Tapioca

by Karin Calloway

Vacationing on the Hawaiian island of Oahu is paradise to be sure. The perfect weather, beautiful scenery and sunny beaches are beyond imagination. Couple all of this with a plethora of international and local cuisine, and this food writer was in heaven for a week.

I came away from the trip with a bevy of recipes and ideas, and this recipe for Tropical Tapioca is my recreation of a dish I sampled in, of all places, a hotel fast food restaurant. The delicious combination of pearl tapioca and coconut milk surrounding sliced ripe bananas was absolutely heaven. When I came home, I discovered that it takes a trip to a specialty market to locate pearl tapioca, so I used the more readily available quick tapioca found in the pudding sections of most supermarkets.

Serving this luscious dessert in demitasse cups is a pretty presentation, and offers diners just the right amount of "sweet" after dinner. A sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg or ground cinnamon would be a nice finishing touch.

  • 3/4 cup 2 percent milk
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk*
  • 3 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 ripe bananas, thinly sliced just before using
Combine milk, coconut milk, tapioca, sugar and egg in a saucepan. Stir and set aside for 5 minutes. Place saucepan over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, remove heat and set aside to cool for 20 minutes.

Layer some of the pudding in 6 demitasse or small parfait cups, then arrange some banana slices over top. Layer with remaining pudding and refrigerate, covered in plastic wrap, until ready to serve.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Tropical Tapioca

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