Burmese Tapioca Refresher (Moh Let Saung)

(Photo by flappingwings/Flickr)


185 g/6 oz/1 cup tapioca pearls
1.5 litres/3 pints/6 cups boiling water
250 g/8 oz chopped palm sugar
ice cubes
coconut milk


Wash and soak tapioca in cold water for 1 hour. Drain, drop into a large pan of boiling water and simmer over medium heat until the tapioca grains are clear. Cool and chill. Put palm sugar into a small pan with 1 cup of water and dissolve over low heat. Cool and strain the syrup. (Or buy palm sugar syrup from an Asian grocery.)

For each serving, put 3 or 4 tablespoons of chilled tapioca into a tall glass, add the same amount of syrup and mix well. Add 2 tablespoons crushed ice or 2 ice cubes and fill the glass with coconut milk which has been diluted with water if very thick and rich. Add a pinch of salt, stir and serve.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)