Homemade Sai Mai Lo – 西米露

Home Made Chinese Coconut Tapioca Dessert Recipe

There’s nothing more refreshing on a hot day, or just a blah day than a bowl of tapioca pudding (or better yet, soup) which is thick, flavourful and creamy!

Ingredients (makes 2 Chinese bowls)
1/4 Tapioca Pearls – 西米 (dried)
1/4 cup rock sugar
1 can coconut milk (165mL)
1/2 can 2% milk or evaporated milk (about 82.5mL)

First, rinse the tapioca pearls off well, it helps with getting rid of the “tapioca starch” sediments, so rinse with cold water. Then, let the pearls sit and soak for a few hours until it has at least doubled or tripled in size. The longer they soak, the less time it takes for them to cook!

I like to rinse the pearls again, before putting them in a pot of boiling water. So, bring some water up to a boil and pour the pearls in there. Don’t step away long if you have to, these pearls do cook up fast! The pearls will become clear or translucent – but pour them through a fine mesh strainer when there is a bit of whiteness still in the centre! Rinse WELL under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Meanwhile, pour the can of coconut milk and half a can (the can the coconut milk was in) of either milk or evaporated milk. Dissolve some brown rock sugar in the milk making sure the milk never comes to a full boil – otherwise, you’ll start getting a film on top when it begins to cool. You can also dissolve the sugar in some boiling water if you’re afraid of the film.

Once the mixture has combined thoroughly, stir in the pearls and you’re ready to enjoy! I like my sai mai lo both hot and cold, and since I can make 2 bowls with this recipe, I normally eat one right away and the other goes into the fridge!

If you don’t really want to make your own, a delicious option would be to get it at T&T Supermarket! They make a really good one, and it comes in a convenient cup, and it’s the same portion size! Their Sai Mai Lo is actually not bad at all!