The Coconut Tapioca Experiment
I was fiddling around in the kitchen when I came up with this! For once, my winging-it-eyeballing-it-and-might-as-well-add-this-to-it method of cooking paid off! I have no idea what it is ...but it was yummy and rewarding: Tapioca pearls are gently cooked in coconut milk until they form a custard, then fresh fruit is piled on top with some toasted almond flakes to add a bit of crunch. The coconut tapioca is more fragrant than sweet so as not to take away from the flavours of the fresh fruit. If you would like the custard to be sweeter, a drizzle of maple syrup or honey would do the trick!
Since this dessert is so simple, it is very important to have great ingredients; I made sure to use premium organic coconut milk and ripe, fresh fruit. In this case, persimmons, mango, lychee and asian pear were used, but this dessert is so versatile that any of your favourite fruit will be just as tasty. Pomelo would also be a great ingredient to include (as I had planned, until it was all eaten).
I have no idea what culture this dessert is derived from though. I would say that it's a cross between coconut sticky rice with mango from Thailand and a fresh fruit boba tea from Taiwan. A Thaiwanese dessert? However, many Asian countries have desserts that have similarities to this one, including Vietnam, China and Indonesia. This is why the category of "fusion" was created. For delicious food that we have no name for. Anyways, here's hoping you enjoy this ambiguous dessert!
Recipe for 6 servings:
1 cup Tapioca Seed or Pearls
1 cup of Water
1 can of Coconut Milk
Pinch of Salt
1 Persimmon, diced
1 Apple/Asian Pear, diced
1 Mango, diced
1 Can of Lychees in Syrup
Maple syrup/Honey (optional)
1) Combine the tapioca pearls and water in a bowl or a container. Let the tapioca soak for a few hours to absorb the water.
2) Once absorbed, the tapioca pearls can be added to a pot with the coconut milk. Cook gently over medium-low heat, while stirring occasionally. The tapioca pearls are cooked once they become translucent.
3) Add a pinch of salt and turn off the heat. Set aside to cool.
4) In a dry pan, over medium heat, toast some of the sliced almonds to be used as a topping.
5) When ready to serve, spread a layer of the coconut tapioca on a plate. Pile on the diced fruit and lychees. Sprinkle on some almond slices and drizzle over some maple syrup or honey.
Ingredients and brands used:
Tapioca pearls/seeds - Western Family brand found in aisle #4
Coconut Milk - Cha's Organic Premium Coconut Milk found in aisle #3
Lychee - Aroy-D Canned Lychees in Syrup found in aisle #3
Fresh Persimmon, Apple/Asian Pear, Mango and Pomelo found in our Produce section
Sliced Almonds - Dan-D-Pack brand found in aisle #4
Maple Syrup - Uncle Luke's Maple Syrup (Medium) found in aisle #3