Have you seen the movie Spirited Away? Don't these remind you of the food that the little sootballs eat? (If you haven't, why are you still here reading?! Go watch it now! It's so good!) Anyway, these are actually tiny tapioca pearls, and when I was standing in the grocery, are you surprised that I bypassed the plain white ones and went for the colorful ones? No, me neither.
Besides, they're so much fun to take pictures of! Color!!! They are *really* small tapioca, only slightly larger than the nonpareils I sprinkle on top of cupcakes. As such, they cook very, very quickly. Perfect! Anyway, I decided to make a coconut tapioca drink/dessert soup based on the one we get at Safran (now called Jasmine), one of our standby restaurants when the girls get together.
I actually ran out of canned coconut milk, but fortunately it's easy to make it yourself if you have shredded (unsweetened) coconut on hand. I've had a pack in the freezer for months, so this ended up being kind of a pantry-clearing dessert. To make coconut milk from dried, shredded coconut, you simply put two cups of coconut in a blender with two and a half cups of hot water, whizz for a minute or so, and then squeeze through some cheesecloth. Presto, thick coconut milk! (You can add another two cups of water to the squeezed out coconut and repeat for thin coconut milk.) The coconut milk is then mixed with ginger syrup and chilled.
Here's the tapioca after it's cooked. It's not as colorful, but I love the pink glassiness of it.
And here's the soup put together--coconut milk, tapioca, and diced fruit--strawberries and mangoes, because that's what I had on hand. By the way in case you are curious, I now have 8 mangoes left, so I'm making pretty good progress.
Refreshing and light, perfect for hot weather. Which is exactly why I made it on this weekend, when the weather has unexpectedly taken a turn for the cold (it's supposed to get down to the mid 40s F tonight!). Oh well, no one ever said I had a knack for timing! It's been a nice weekend all around, quiet and relaxing, and I even managed to get over to our local bakery, Silver Moon yesterday to pick up a few things.
I love their fig bread and I'm slowly trying out all the other varieties--this time, I picked up a pain au lait, a palmier, and a lavender cookie. The lavender cookie confirmed that I do not, in fact, like lavender flavored food. The palmier and the pain au lait were great though! In fact, the pain au lait reminded me of my schoggibroetli, except with raisins.
Hope everyone had a great weekend too!
For the sugar syrup:
1 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
3 slices fresh ginger, smashed
1 can of coconut milk, shaken (or make your own, above--you'll need about a cup and a half)
1 1/2 cups small tapioca pearls
1 cup diced fruit of your choice
For the sugar syrup, combined the water, sugar, and ginger in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside and let cool to slightly warm.
If you are using canned coconut milk, give it a good shake and make sure it hasn't separated. If it has, warm it slightly and give it a good whisking to make sure it's homogeneous. Stir sugar syrup in, including the ginger slices. Cover and refrigerate until very cold.
Meanwhile, soak the tapioca pearls in cold water for about 20 minutes. Bring a saucepan full of water to the boil, drain the tapioca, and cook for 5 minutes or until the tapioca are translucent. Drain and let cool. Add to the coconut milk and stir in your diced fruit. Serve in small bowls or glasses and enjoy, preferably on a hot day!