Desserts made with a combination of taro root and coconut milk are popular in parts of China and Hong Kong, and have been on my wish list of foods to try for a while. When one of my children selected taro root as a new food to try, dessert soup came to my mind right away.
This recipe took some tinkering to get just right because it contains tapioca. For me, tapioca can be a little finicky. If I’m going to have imperfect tapioca, I’d rather it be a tad undercooked than even a speck overcooked. If you follow these directions, your tapioca (and your completed dessert soup) should turn out just fine!
1/2 cup fresh taro root, peeled and diced
1/2 cup small pearl tapioca
1/2 cup coconut milk
3 tablespoons sugar
lemon peel and/or raspberries for garnish (optional)
Step 1) Soak tapioca in cold water for 2 hours, then drain.
Step 2) Transfer tapioca to a saucepan and add water so that the water level is about 1 inch above the tapioca. Cook over a low setting (do NOT boil) for 15 minutes. Drain off excess liquid.
Step 3) While tapioca is cooking, add diced taro root to its own, separate saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently until the taro root is soft. The taro root should be done about the same time as the tapioca.
Step 4) Drain liquid from the cooked taro root. Mash the taro root with a fork (it doesn’t have to be completely uniform).
Step 5) Add coconut milk and sugar to the mashed taro root. Blend well. Gently stir in the cooked tapioca. This dessert soup may be enjoyed immediately as a warm soup, or refrigerated and served later as a cold soup. It’s a matter of personal preference. The soup will thicken to a pudding consistency when refrigerated.