Friday, April 13, 2018

Nam Vahn Sakoo- Tapioca Pudding with Taro Root

Nam Vahn Sakoo- Tapioca pudding with Taro root.

Nam Vahn Sakoo is a tapioca pudding in coconut milk with tender pieces of taro in it. I've seen it in Lao, Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine. Nam Vahn Sakoo or Nam Van Sakoo is the Lao pronunciation. Generally this dessert is served warm with toppings like sesame seeds, crushed peanuts, or coconut flakes. I prefer it with no toppings, and will even eat it out of the fridge cold. This isn't an overly sweet dessert but you can add more sugar if you prefer it sweeter.

This picture shows a 16 ounce carton of coconut milk, I have used both this carton and canned pictured below. The recipe is forgiving.
If you cannot find pandan leaves, just omit them. I love the pandan flavor but I make this dessert with and without depending on what I have on hand. My family prefers without. I don't recall my mom adding pandan leaves. Taro Root can be found at most Asian markets alongside potatoes and sweet potatoes
I prefer using cane sugar over brown sugar or rock sugar. The Coconut Syrup is great as a topping if you want your bowl a little sweeter and don't want the whole pot sweeter.

Use tapioca pearls that are smaller, not these big Boba/Bubble Tea ones. Do not use quick cooking Tapioca. I added Chia seeds to one of the batches pictured, this is not a traditional ingredient in this dessert but I added them for the extra nutrients and because I have a three pound bag of Chia seeds from Costco in my pantry. Chia seeds coming out of my ears y'all.

This batch has pandan leaves and Chia seeds in it.

For a vegan version of this dish use water and not cow's milk as noted in the recipe. I have used both water and milk, the end result is similar. The dairy makes it creamier, but using canned coconut cream makes the vegan version just as creamy. My mom used water.

Taro Root.
Find more Instant Pot recipes HERE.
Don't be alarmed if your tapioca looks like this after soaking. They will look mushy. It's fine!

Nam Vahn Sakoo- Tapioca Pudding with Taro Root

535 grams Taro root, dark bark peeled and discarded (1 pound 2 ounces)
1 can coconut milk OR coconut cream (about 14 ounces)
1.5 cans of water or milk using coconut can to measure
95 grams brown sugar, or white sugar (3 and 3/8 ounces, 2/3 cup)
2 pandan leaves (optional)
120 grams tapioca pearls, small NOT quick cooking (4 and 1/4 ounces, 2/3 cup)
Water for soaking tapioca pearls

Optional Toppings:
Sesame seeds
Crushed peanuts
Coconut flakes
Coconut Palm syrup
Coconut cream
  1. Cut Taro into bite sized pieces and soak in water while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Pour water over the tapioca pearls in a bowl. Stir so they don't get clumpy. Use about 1:4 water to tapioca pearl ratio. Set aside.
  3. Place coconut milk or coconut cream, 2 cans of water, sugar, pandan leaves, and chia seeds* (see note below) into the Instant Pot. 
  4. Rinse and drain the taro root and place it into the Instant Pot liner.
  5. Close the lid of the Instant Pot and cook on Manual HIGH pressure for two minutes.
  6. After the two minutes is up, let this pot naturally release for about 20 minutes. Turn off Instant Pot.
  7. Stir the tapioca pearls, they will look like they are mushy and almost clumpy.
  8. Open the lid of the Instant Pot carefully.
  9. Remove and discard the pandan leaves
  10. Stir in the tapioca pearl mixture, adding 1/2 cup of hot water if you feel the pudding is too thick.
  11. Close the lid of the Instant Pot and let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes.
1 teaspoon of vanilla can also be used for a non traditional flavoring, add it to the pot in step 3
22 grams Chia seed (3/4 ounces, 3 tablespoons)

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