Southeast Asian Tapioca Pudding

Requested by Corinne Lee | Submitted by Lina

Tapioca is a very common ingredient made from cassava root, used for making dessert in Asia, especially Southeast Asia. You can buy cassava root in most fresh markets or supermarkets. Cassava is used to produce baking and cooking ingredients called tapioca, but in most Asian countries, cassava root is somehow being referred to as tapioca (only when calling it in English language).

This pudding or cake is steamed and not baked, and it's served cool with tea of coffee, as an afternoon treat or after dinner. This recipe has been requested by a user, and we sought two variants. You can take a look at a different way of making Tapioca Pudding.


  • 500 gm fresh cassava root
  • 150 gm Gula Melaka (Gula Melaka in English is palm sugar. It is widely used in many Southeast Asian desserts, as a substitute to sugar for traditional cakes and beverages.)
  • 50 gm brown sugar
  • 150 ml water
  • 200 ml thick coconut milk/cream (or grate and squeeze from 1 fresh coconut)
  • 40 gm wholemeal rice flour
  • A pinch of ground coarse sea salt to taste


  1. Peel the cassava root, grate it into fine pulps and squeeze dry.
  2. Finely crush the Gula Melaka (palm sugar), cook it over low heat in the water with the brown sugar. Stir well till it is all dissolved, then strain and leave to cool off.
  3. Mix the palm sugar syrup with the cassava pulp, rice flour, coconut milk, and sea salt.
  4. Pour the mixture into a 20 cm pre-greased cake tray, and steam it for about 30 minutes.

Versatility Note:

  1. The sugar used in this recipe has been modified to suit a healthier measure. If you do have a very sweet tooth, feel free to readjust the amount to suit your taste buds.
  2. Every family may have a different way of cooking this dessert. Some may even mix all ingredients together and steam it all at once.