The summer heat always makes me crave tropical flavors, and what is more tropical than coconut and mango?
This Coconut Mango Tapioca Pudding mimics my favorite Thai dessert, Mango and Sticky Rice, with one bonus difference: a lot less sugar! Using unsweetened coconut milk and a mere third cup of sugar, versus the traditional sweetened condensed milk, makes it much healthier. It is a more delicate sweetness by comparison, but it’s still absolutely delicious!
NOTE: Don’t be tempted to skip the first step of soaking the tapioca. It really makes a difference in evenly cooking the pearls and can negatively affect the final texture of the pudding.
NOTE: If you can’t get fresh mango, it is perfectly fine to use canned.
TIP: In a hurry? Did you know you can toast coconut in the microwave? Simply sprinkle it on a microwave-safe plate and microwave in 30-second increments, stirring between each increment, until nicely browned.
TIP: These store/travel beautifully as single-serving desserts in half-pint Mason jars. Once sealed, they will last in the fridge for up to a week.
Coconut Mango Tapioca Pudding
(Original recipe: Milk Street)
14.5 oz can coconut milk, unsweetened
2/3 C water
1/4 C small tapioca pearls
1 large egg yolk
1/3 C white sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped
1/3 C sweetened coconut
2 TBSP shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted
Pour 1/4 C of the coconut milk into a small bowl and add the egg yolk. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine the remaining coconut milk and water. Stir in the tapioca pearls, and let them soak for 30 minutes.
Once soaked, add the coconut milk/egg mixture, sugar, and salt.
Set the saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to simmer at the edges, about 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer, until thickened and most of the tapioca pearls are completely transluscent. This will take 12-15 minutes.
Once thickened, stir in the sweetened coconut.
Divide the pudding among serving dishes. Refrigerate until cooled. Spoon chopped mango onto the pudding, dividing it evenly. Sprinkle the tops with the toasted coconut and serve.