Clarissa’s tapioca pudding and pan-fried bananas

An old favourite, with a Malaysian twist.
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For a delicious dessert that’s like an old favourite, but has a Malaysian twist, look no further than Tapioca pudding with pan-fried bananas. You’ll often see this dish on Malaysian menus or on home dining tables. Not only is it super tasty but easy to make because it really only has three main ingredients, and the rest are included to enhance the flavour and texture. Give it a go, you won’t be disappointed.

Note: in addition to the 20 minutes preparation time listed above, you will also need to set aside 2 1/2 hours to chill your pudding.




Put tapioca in a sieve and wash under cold running water for 10-15 seconds to wash off excess starch.


Bring water to boil in a large saucepan on high heat. Add tapioca, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium, cook, stirring constantly for 5-10 minutes, adding more water if necessary, until water is starchy and tapioca is nearly translucent.


In a sieve, rinse tapioca in small batches, under cold running water for about 30 seconds, stirring pearls with a wooden spoon, until water is clear. Transfer to a large bowl. Refrigerate for 21/2 hours, or until cold.


Meanwhile in a small saucepan, bring coconut milk and 1 pandan leaf knot to a simmer on medium heat. Remove from heat. Season with salt. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours until cold. Remove leaf.


In a small saucepan, melt palm sugar and remaining pandan with extra water on low heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes until syrupy. Remove from heat. Season with salt. Set aside to cool slightly. Remove pandan.


Slice bananas diagonally into 1cm slices, sprinkle both sides with sugar.


Heat coconut oil in a non-stick frying pan on medium. Cook banana for 2-3 minutes each side until golden.


Divide tapioca between serving glasses and top with infused coconut milk, syrup and banana. Decorate with extra pandan leaf (remove leaf before eating).

tapioca pudding pan fried bananas in glass trifle bowl

Cook’s tip

  • Remove the tapioca from heat when some of the pearls still have an opaque or white dot in the centre, as they will continue to cook upon standing.
  • Pandan leaves and dark palm sugar can be purchased from most Asian grocers. 

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