Tapioca Pearls with Young Coconut (Sakoo Ma Prow Oon)




Tapioca Pearls with Young Coconut (Sakoo Ma Prow Oon)

Photo, Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriot.

"Growing up, I would always make this pudding with young coconut meat. Make sure to use pearl tapioca, not instant. It is best to buy a fresh young coconut and scrape out the meat, or buy frozen young coconut strips at any Asian market." - Chef Nuit Regular


  • 4 cups water
  • 5 fresh or thawed pandan leaves , lightly bruise and tied into 1 knot
  • 1/2 cup small white pearl tapioca
  • 1/4 cup Thai cane sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt , divided
  • 1 cup fresh young coconut , (strips)
  • 1 cup well-shaken coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar


  • In a large saucepan over high, bring water and pandan leaves to a rolling boil. Remove the pot from heat to avoid burning your hand and slowly sprinkle in tapioca pearls. It’s important to sprinkle them in slowly to ensure pearls don’t clump and stick together. Return to medium and cook, stirring constantly, for 10 min. Scrape the bottom and sides of pot every so often to prevent mixture from sticking at the edges.
  • Remove from heat. Remove pandan leaves using tongs, and squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the leaves back into the pot. Discard leaves.
  • Stir in cane sugar, 1/2 tsp of salt and coconut strips. Continue to cook over medium, stirring constantly to prevent burning, for 5 min, scraping the bottom and sides every so often to prevent mixture from sticking. When done it should look similar to chia pudding. Remove from heat.
  • In a small saucepan, combine coconut milk, coconut sugar and remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil over medium to dissolve sugar and salt. Remove from heat.
  • To serve, divide the tapioca between 2 bowls, and top each with 1/2 cup sweet coconut milk.

The recipes in Chef Nuit Regular’s cookbook, Kiin, encompass her cooking life in restaurant kitchens and beyond: some of her restaurants’ biggest hits. The pad Thai noodles she used to make and sell in little plastic baggies for extra income as a student. The birthday curry her mother made every year. Her tapioca pearls with young coconut — the list goes on (and you’re going to want to try them all).

Excerpted from Kiin by Nuit Regular. Copyright © 2020 by Nuit Regular. Photography copyright © 2020 by Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott. Published by Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.