Tapioca Coconut Dessert Soup

The delightful Tapioca Coconut Dessert Soup is a scrumptious and enjoyable sweet delicacy that the entire family can relish. This delectable dessert soup is prepared using calabasa, tapioca pearls, and coconut milk, which makes it an exciting and flavorful treat. The creaminess of this dish is absolutely divine, and its deliciousness is unparalleled. It serves as the ideal conclusion to any meal with an Asian-inspired theme.

Tapioca Coconut Dessert Soup

No matter how much I indulge and partake in an excessive amount of salt and pepper shrimp during my visits to Chinese restaurants, I never fail to leave some space for Xi mi lu. At the moment when the bill arrives, and my stomach is already completely full, I find myself stretching my neck like a giraffe, eagerly anticipating the arrival of the waiter with the delectable complimentary bowls of tapioca coconut dessert soup.

This delectable dessert is incredibly smooth and rich, boasting an abundance of tiny, chewy sago pearls. It serves as the perfect sweet conclusion to a truly gratifying Asian feast. Furthermore, it is both suitable for vegans and free from gluten.

What you’ll need

This delectable and mouth-watering soup is conventionally prepared by blending together luscious coconut milk, chewy tapioca pearls, and starchy taro. For this particular recipe, I opted to utilize kalabasa in lieu of taro, and to my delight, the outcome was equally as delectable! In my imagination, I can picture that camote, which is also known as Japanese yam, or the vibrant purple yam called ube, could both serve as excellent alternatives.

Certain variations of tapioca dessert pudding exclude the utilization of starchy root crops entirely and instead incorporate succulent fruits. One option is to incorporate a variety of fresh, seasonal fruits into your meals. For instance, you might consider including juicy mangoes, succulent melons, and vibrant berries in your diet.

Tapioca Coconut Dessert Soup

Preparing the mini sago

The culinary instructions necessitate the utilization of diminutive sago pearls. Place the ingredients in a pot of boiling water and allow them to cook until they become translucent. As the cooking process progresses, gradually add coconut milk to the mixture. Once you have finished the cooking process, it is highly recommended that you thoroughly rinse the food item under a stream of cold running water. This will effectively eliminate any surplus starch that may be present.

Helpful Tips

  • Cut the calabasa squash in uniform size to ensure even cooking.
  • When the squash is tender, remove from the pot and coarsely mash with a fork while leaving whole pieces, or process in a blender until completely smooth depending on the desired texture. Return to the pot.
  • For a smooth consistency, cook the coconut milk at a gentle simmer and do not allow to boil lest it curdles and separates.
  • Sugar is the choice sweetener, but feel free to use maple syrup, honey, molasses or other sweeteners.
  • The dessert soup will taste sweeter when hot but will mellow out as it cools, so adjust the amount of sugar accordingly.

How to serve and store

  • Tapioca coconut dessert soup is delicious for breakfast, snacks, or dessert and can be enjoyed hot or cold.
  • It can be made ahead of time and will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Allow to cool completely and store in a container with a tight-fitting lid.
  • To reheat, place in a saucepan and simmer until heated through. Add water or coconut milk as needed to loosen the consistency.

Tapioca Coconut Dessert Soup


  • 8 cups water
  • ¼ cup small tapioca pearls, uncooked
  • 2 cans (13.5 ounces each) coconut milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups calabasa, peeled, seeded and cut into ½ inch cubes


    • In a pot over medium heat, bring 4 cups of the water to a boil. Add tapioca pearls and cook, stirring regularly, for about 10 to 15 minutes or until translucent.
    • Remove from pot and using a fine-mesh sieve, rinse under cold, running water. Drain well.
    • In a pot over medium heat, combine the remaining 4 cups water, coconut milk, and sugar. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved.
    • Add calabasa. Lower heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 to 15 minutes or until calabasa is fork-tender.
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove some of the tender squash. In a bowl, mash with a fork and return to the pot.
  • Add tapioca and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 to 5 minutes or until dessert is slightly thickened. Serve hot.

Tapioca Coconut Dessert Soup


  • Cut the calabasa squash in uniform size to ensure even cooking.
  • For a smooth consistency, cook the coconut milk at a gentle simmer and do not allow to boil lest it curdles and separates.
  • The dessert soup will taste sweeter when hot but will mellow out as it cools, so adjust the amount of sugar accordingly.

FAQ Tapioca Coconut Dessert Soup

Certainly! Here’s a FAQ-style guide to making Tapioca Coconut Dessert Soup:

Q: What is Tapioca Coconut Dessert Soup?

A: Tapioca Coconut Dessert Soup, also known as “Sago Gula Melaka,” is a popular Southeast Asian dessert made with tapioca pearls cooked in a sweet coconut milk soup. It is often served with palm sugar syrup and pandan leaf for added flavor.

Q: What ingredients do I need to make Tapioca Coconut Dessert Soup?

A: The main ingredients for Tapioca Coconut Dessert Soup include small tapioca pearls, coconut milk, water, palm sugar (gula melaka), pandan leaves (optional), and a pinch of salt.

Q: Where can I find tapioca pearls?

A: Tapioca pearls are commonly available in Asian grocery stores or online. Look for small tapioca pearls specifically for desserts, as they cook faster and have a more delicate texture.

Q: How do I cook tapioca pearls for the dessert soup?

A: To cook tapioca pearls, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the tapioca pearls and cook them until they become translucent and soft, stirring occasionally. This process usually takes around 8-10 minutes. Once cooked, drain the pearls and rinse them under cold water to prevent them from sticking together.

Q: How do I make the coconut soup for the dessert?

A: In a separate pot, combine coconut milk, water, pandan leaves (if using), and a pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Let it simmer for a few minutes to infuse the flavors.

Q: How do I sweeten the dessert soup?

A: Traditionally, palm sugar syrup, known as gula melaka, is used to sweeten the dessert soup. To make the syrup, dissolve palm sugar in a small amount of water and heat it in a saucepan until it forms a syrupy consistency. You can adjust the sweetness to your liking.

Q: How do I assemble the Tapioca Coconut Dessert Soup?

A: In serving bowls, place a spoonful of cooked tapioca pearls, then pour the warm coconut milk soup over them. Drizzle some palm sugar syrup on top for sweetness. You can also garnish with pandan leaves for added aroma and a touch of grated coconut for texture.

Q: Can I add other toppings or variations to the dessert soup?

A: Absolutely! Tapioca Coconut Dessert Soup is versatile, and you can add various toppings to enhance the flavor and texture. Some popular additions include sliced fresh fruits like mango or jackfruit, toasted sesame seeds, or crushed peanuts. You can also experiment with different syrups or sweeteners, such as honey or maple syrup, if palm sugar is not available.

Q: Can I serve Tapioca Coconut Dessert Soup hot or cold?

A: Tapioca Coconut Dessert Soup is traditionally served warm or at room temperature. However, you can also refrigerate it and serve it chilled if you prefer a cold dessert.

Q: How long does the dessert soup last?

A: The dessert soup is best consumed on the day it is made for optimal taste and texture. However, you can store any leftover cooked tapioca pearls and coconut soup separately in the refrigerator for a day or two. Before serving, gently reheat the coconut soup and combine it with the tapioca pearls.

Enjoy your delicious Tapioca Coconut Dessert Soup, and savor its creamy and sweet flavors!

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