Tapioca Pudding

In Seattle we have this glorious, glorious store called Uwajimaya’s. It’s an expansive Asian grocery in the International District where I get nearly all of my ingredients for making the husband’s favorite Thai and other Asian dishes, like Pad Thai and Bulgogi. My most frequent purchases are rice noodles, tamarind concentrate, and limes. At the ‘Waj this runs me about $3.50. At almost any other grocery store, that would only buy you the rice noodles. As you can see, I am incredibly thankful to have this store in Seattle.

The ‘Waj is a really entertaining place to explore. They have the largest variety of tofu and pocky, and so many different kinds of sauces that it makes your head spin. Oyster sauce, All-Purpose sauce, Thai Chili Garlic sauce, Plum sauce, etc. It takes an entire aisle, and it’s a long aisle.

But their seafood and produce sections are my most favorites. The seafood section has quite a few tanks with crabs crawling over each other, in addition to a prawn tank and a line of open tanks that look like tide pools with oysters, geoducks, and live sea cucumbers (only $4.99 each!).

Photo by Gexydaf.

Photo by Gexydaf.

Fish heads! Photo by Gexydaf.

The thing I love most about this store is that some items are dirt cheap, like the aforementioned rice noodles. On my most recent trip I found small tapioca pearls for .69/14 oz. bag. Now that is cheap. Subsequently I bought a bag and made tapioca pudding that night.

Photo by 3liz4.


Tapioca Pudding

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks.

3 cups whole milk, divided (coconut milk is another option)
1/3 cup small pearl tapioca
2 extra-large egg yolks (be sure that these are extra-large)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean

1. Soak tapioca pearls in 1 c. milk for 30-45 minutes in a heavy (important!) saucepan. I found 45 minutes to be more than plenty, though some soak there’s overnight.

2. Take a whisk and stir in the yolks, salt, sugar, and the rest of the milk (I used whole milk, I couldn’t say if this will be as good with a lighter milk). If you’re using a vanilla bean, scrape the bean lengthwise and put it all in the saucepan. If you are using extract, wait and stir it in at the end.

3. Bring the pot to a light boil over medium heat, don’t rush it. You don’t want to scorch the pudding, and that can happen in just a moment. It could take up to 20 minutes for this to reach the barely boiling point. Stir often.

4. Bring the pudding down to a simmer for around 20 minutes (be sure to keep stirring at this stage, scorching is an even higher risk now), you will know when it’s done when the tapioca floats up and becomes translucent. Additionally the pudding will thicken, but it will still seem too soupy for proper pudding. When it cools it will thicken more. Be careful not to overcook it or your pudding could become too gelatinous. I had that problem when I made this recipe the other night, it also might be the low quality tapioca pearls (but I’m not really a tapioca expert).

5. Stir in the extract if you didn’t use the vanilla bean route, let cool till it’s just warm, and enjoy! Also delicious with cinnamon sprinkled on top or a little lemon zest stirred in.

Serves 4-6.


Oh yeah, and who doesn’t want to wake up to a can of Boss every morning?

Photo by heath_bar.


2 thoughts on “Tapioca Pudding

  1. i LOVE tapioca pudding! now i just need to get the hubby on board so i don’t eat the ENTIRE batch!

  2. Stevie says:

    I love the ‘Waj. I also like Ranch 99. It’s in North Seattle, on Aurora.

    One of my favorite things to do in those stores is to look in other people’s carts and see what they’re buying, then I ask them what they’re making with those ingredients (they’re usually items that I would never think to buy). I’ve gotten several new recipes this way!

    And I LOVE how cheap everything is.

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