Tapioca Coconut Dessert Soup

Tapioca coconut dessert soup is made with calabasa, tapioca pearls, and coconut milk for a fun and tasty sweet treat the whole family will love! It’s creamy, delicious, and the perfect finish to an Asian-themed meal.

Regardless of how I overeat and consume more than my fill of salt and pepper shrimp when I dine out in Chinese restaurants, I always have room for Xi mi lu. I’d be paying the bill, already stuffed to the gills, and my neck would still be craned like a giraffe, on the lookout for the waiter to bring over the complimentary bowls of this tapioca coconut dessert soup.

Creamy and delicious with loads of mini sago, it’s a sweet end to a satisfying Asian meal. And it’s vegan and gluten-free, too!

What you’ll need

This sweet soup is traditionally made with coconut milk, tapioca pearls, and taro.  I used kalabasa in this recipe in place of taro, and it turned out just as delicious! I imagine camote (Japanese yam) or ube (purple yam) would be great substitutes as well.

Some versions of tapioca dessert pudding skip the starchy root crops altogether and use juicy fruits. You can add fruits in season, such as mangoes, melons, and berries.

Just when we think Pandesal can’t get any more special,  chocolate pandesal with Nutella filling proved otherwise.  Soft and fluffy and an intense chocolate flavor, they’re sure to be a hit with kids and adults alike.

They’re a decadent treat everyone would love for breakfast, dessert, or anytime snack.


Preparing the mini sago

The recipe calls for mini sago pearls. Cook them in boiling water just until they turn clear as they will continue to cook in the coconut milk. After cooking, rinse well under cold running water to rid of excess starch.

When Lalaine told me she’s planning a pandesal series and needs my help, I readily jumped to the challenge! Pandesal is the quintessential Filipino bread and I’m excited to showcase it in many unique varieties.

This series has been a total fun project and so far, we have ube pandesal, red velvet, and pandan up on the blog with more coming soon! If you have a specific flavor in mind,  let us know in the comments below.


How to serve and store

  • Tapioca coconut dessert soup is delicious for breakfast, snack 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.


  • 8 cups water
  • 1/4 cup small tapioca pearls, uncooked
  • 2 cans (13.5 ounces each) coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups calabasa, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 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.

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