A Coconut Tapioca Worth Waiting For

Betty Shimabukuro's Slow Cooker Coconut Tapioca PHOTO COURTESY COOKING HAWAIIAN STYLE

Betty Shimabukuro’s Slow Cooker Coconut Tapioca

Betty Shimabukuro writer, author and cook. If you don’t know Betty, you probably recognize her name from her columns in Honolulu Star-Advertiser or her many cookbooks.

I always had the utmost respect for her because of what she does for a living but now also for her cooking. I am a dessert freak, and her slow-cooker coconut tapioca from her new cookbook from Mutual Publishing, Hurry Up & Wait hits the spot!


* 1/2 cup small pearl tapioca (sold in Asian markets)

* 3 cups water * Pinch salt

* 1 (13-ounce) can coconut milk

* 1/2 cup sugar

* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* 1/4 cup passion fruit juice

* 1 cup chopped fruit (mango, banana, strawberries, honeydew melon, kiwi or lychee are all good)

Place tapioca pearls and water in 2-quart slow cooker. Add salt. Cook on high until pearls turn from white to translucent, 2 to 3 hours.

Don’t be concerned if nothing seems to be happening for the first hour. The heat has to rise enough for the water to simmer.

Mixture will be thick and sticky; stir well, then add coconut milk and sugar. (If coconut milk has been chilled, warm in microwave before adding.) Stir until sugar dissolves. Add vanilla.

Taste, adding more sugar if necessary. Divide among 8 dessert cups. Chill until firm.

Pour a thin layer of juice over each cup of pudding. Top with fruit.

Watch episodes of Betty and other guests on Cooking Hawaiian Style on OC16 On Demand channels 15 and 1015 or on Channels 12 and 1012 at the following times: Monday: 2 a.m. and 7 p.m., Tuesday: 1:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Wednesday: 4:30 a.m., Thursday: 9:30 a.m., Friday: 12 p.m., Saturday: 5 p.m., Sunday 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Visit for more recipes.