proof is in the pudding.

I had tapioca pudding for the first time 2 weeks ago in Mexico.

I’d argue that my childhood wasn’t deprived at all; it’s just that I grew up on a Chinese version of this. Sai mai lo (one of my favourite desserts since childhood) is a thinner, non-custard soup-like dessert served warm or cold. Taro is a common ingredient, there’s often coconut milk involved, and it’s sweetened with rock sugar. I’m adamant about the taro part, so I never make sai mai lo unless there’s taro in the kitchen.

Being in London, I haven’t gone out of my way looking for taro. Which means we have tapioca pearls kicking around in the cupboard. Which means I can make tapioca pudding! I gave this recipe a try after borrowing sugar from a neighbour (I’d finished soaking the tapioca and realised we had none), adding a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon. I didn’t care for it warm: too custardy (my bias for sai mai lo), too salty (I’ll half the salt next time), to milky (sai mai lo incorporates water). Chilled overnight, all of that unpleasantness disappeared. I’m looking forward to tweaking this till perfection…

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