COCONUT TAPIOCA DESSERT WITH SWEET RICE BALLS
After so much attention is paid to dinner during Chinese New Year, many people simply give up when it comes to dessert. Our family has experienced this firsthand. The only thing left for dessert is usually a piece of fruit or no dessert. To honor the lunar new year, we’ve decided to make atonement for the past year’s mistakes. Make this Coconut Tapioca Dessert with Sweet Rice Balls for your Chinese New Year party, and you won’t be disappointed.
CHINESE NEW YEAR SUGAR BALLS
Traditional Chinese New Year desserts include Tang Yuan () and Sweet Nian Gao. The usage of sweet rice (also known as sticky rice) and/or sweet rice flour is a common thread in many of these confections (aka sticky rice flour).
Even though it contains Tang Yuan, this dessert isn’t a traditional Chinese New Year’s treat. I’ve given my own twist on some of the most popular Asian sweets that incorporate chilled milk, fruit, and other toppings.
DESSERT IDEAS FROM ASIA
Honeymoon Dessert, a well-known franchise in Asia, is where I got my ideas. A thousand of these outlets can be found all over mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Singapore. Traditional desserts like Black Sesame Soup are available on their menu, but I prefer their more popular desserts, such as the black sweet rice with fresh blueberries (we previously released a black sticky rice dessert recipe for this!).
Tapioca and sweet rice, two classic Chinese ingredients for dessert, are an excellent complement to the fresh flavors and textures of seasonal fruit, coconut milk, and ice cream. They’re also the perfect sweetness level for the average Asian palate.
SERVE WITH FRESH FRUIT AT ROOM TEMPERATURE.
The easiest way to enjoy this Coconut Tapioca Dessert with Sweet Rice Balls is to keep it cool or at room temperature. In place of the blueberries and strawberries, you can use raspberries, blackberries, mango, or a combination of these.
This coconut tapioca dessert isn’t difficult to make, but you’ll need to wash a pot a few times to finish it. Even though these aren’t authentic, Chinese New Year treats, I’ve made every effort to make the recipe as simple as possible. I hope you enjoy it.
- 380g of coconut milk
- 1½ cups of milk
- ½ cup of sweet rice flour
- ½ cup of mini pearl tapioca
- ½ cup of sliced fresh strawberries
- ½ cup of fresh blueberries
- ¼ cup of condensed milk
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Put the coconut milk, milk, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract in a small saucepan. Watch it carefully to prevent a boilover as you stir and bring the mixture to a boil. When it starts to boil, remove it from the fire right away. Place the mixture in the refrigerator to chill after allowing it to gently cool. This action can be completed beforehand!
- It’s time to assemble the tiny rice balls. Using your hands, combine the sweet rice flour and 1/4 cup of water in a bowl. Once the dough reaches a play-doh-like consistency—not too moist but malleable—add 1/2 teaspoon of water at a time. The dough is too dry if it crumbles when you roll it between your palms; the dough is too moist if it grows drier as you roll it between your palms. Then, if you have a scale, weigh out a small piece—about 3 grams—and form it into a tiny ball. Put it on some parchment paper or some transparent plastic wrap. Continue until all of the dough has been used. While you make the remaining dessert, place the sweet rice balls in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap.
- Boil 4 cups of water. Mini pearl tapioca should not be added until the water has reached a full boil. Stir it, then reheat it to a boil. Set your timer for 18 minutes, turn off the heat, and cover the pot with a lid. The pearl tapioca should become entirely translucent after 18 minutes, at which point they are finished cooking. The pearls should be strained, rinsed in cold water to stop them from adhering, and placed away.
- The sweet rice balls should be added to the boiling saucepan of water along with another 4 cups of water. They should be stirred and cooked for a short time on high heat. They are finished when they reach their peak. To avoid sticking, strain them and rinse them with cold water.
- Divide and add the cooked sweet rice balls and pearl tapioca to the four bowls of the prepared coconut milk soup. Serve after adding your favorite fresh fruit on top!