Brigitte's Vietnamese Tapioca Pudding
If you cannot find sago pearls, which soften in boiled water in about 5 minutes, you’ll need to soak the larger pearl tapioca overnight before use. You can serve this pudding warm, room temperature, or cold, and this makes a delicious breakfast treat.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 4
- ½ cup small sago pearls or pearl tapioca
- 2 fresh or frozen pandan leaves, knotted together
- 4 cups coconut milk
- 2 to 3 yellow-ripe plantains, peeled and cut on the diagonal into 2-inch lengths
- 2 to 2½ tablespoons sugar, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Crushed peanuts for garnish
Bring 2 cups water to a boil, remove from the heat, and soak the ½ cup sago pearls.
Meanwhile, heat the pandan leaves in the coconut milk and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the sago or tapioca and reduce the heat to low.
Add the plantains and stir in the sugar and salt. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat, discard the pandan leaves, and serve or set aside for later use.
Before serving, sprinkle the pudding with crushed peanuts.
What Is Pandan?
Pandan leaves, beloved by many Southeast Asians for the distinctive pale green it lends to the cooked dish and for its unforgettable, delicate piney aroma and flavor, are sold frozen and sometimes fresh in Asian markets. In many Asian markets, you can even find pandan extract, known as kewra, and if all else fails, simply substitute vanilla extract. Because the leaves are long, cooks typically knot them together before adding them to the cookpot.