Spicy Coconut Tapioca with Mango & Blackberry Salad

Except I used peaches instead of mangos (they're local and they are in season - as are the blackberries)

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At Mesa Grill Bobby Flay uses giant tapioca pearls; hard to come by around here so regular tapioca was used instead (pieces broken and irregular - yuck).

This dessert involves a few different pans going at once and a bowl or two but there's nothing too taxing about it; just read through the recipe first, and completely, before starting to work.

And... it turned out to have way way too much ginger in it for our taste. The following recipe has been tweaked to account to what probably should work better.

What I actually did was:

Spicy Coconut Tapioca with Peaches and Blackberries


Tapioca part
  • ½ cup tapioca
  • 2 C water
Coconut Milk Part
  • 24 oz unsweetened coconut milk (canned, in my case)
  • 2 small cinnamon sticks, from Mexico therefore it was probably Sri Lankan (Ceylon)
  • 1cm piece fresh ginger, whole, peeled [1/2 "] (do not grate, cut or crush)
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1 Serrano chile (yes!)
  • ½ whole nutmeg, crushed (use the side of an old large chef's knife for example)
  • ¼ cup sugar
Simple Syrup part
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/4 C water
  • 1/3 cup simple syrup (approx)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • some Peach and Blackberry Salad (below)


  1. Tapioca & water into a bowl
    • Wait 1 hour
    • Drain just before using
  2. Coconut milk and the rest of that group of ingredients into a saucepan
  3. Cook, simmering, for 20 minutes (let the flavours blend)
  4. In another pot/pan put the water and sugar for the Simple Syrup
    • Simmer for 2 minutes - until the sugar is completely dissolved - remove from heat
  5. Later, you will need a medium bowl in a larger bowl of ice water - get it ready now
  6. Prepare the Peach/Berry "salad"
  7. Strain the coconut milk into a medium pan
  8. Drain the tapioca, add to the coconut milk
  9. Simmer for 2 minutes
  10. Pour into the bowl in the ice bath and stir until cool; I used a spatula
  11. When cool, add the simple syrup and the sour cream
  12. Put into serving dishes - top with pear/berry salad


  1. The tapioca portion should be prepared not more than a few hours before serving (let's say…six) because the tapioca will jellify too thoroughly if prepared a day ahead.
  2. The Simple Syrup and the coconut milk parts can be done days ahead
  3. This originally called or a 1 inch piece of ginger, which I then sliced into discs - - and it had a hot gingery taste in the throat and the serrano pepper flavour seemed to have been lost.

Peach & Blackberry Salad


  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 2 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and cut to a similar size as the berries (ends up being about a cup and a half)
  • 2 T sugar
  • ½ t vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon very finely grated fresh ginger (microplaned)


  1. Put ingredients in a bowl
  2. Toss lightly
  3. Wait 30 minutes


  1. The grated ginger might have been overdoing it; what with the excess ginger originally called for in the tapioca part of this recipe. I might ease up on this next time.
  2. This keeps for a few hours
  3. I might, next time, put the peaches and ginger together but not toss with the blackberries; keeping the berries whole and pristine for topping the tapioca later.

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