When the weather gets hot, I dream of a tapioca milk drink that I used to pick up from a Taiwanese cafe outside of LA called Phoenix. Alongside yummy bowls of noodles and rice dishes, they also have a menu full of Chinese desserts and drinks. Milk isn’t the first thing I think of on a hot day, but chilled with ice and sweetened with fruit, it’s surprisingly refreshing!
Last month, I started experimenting with this recipe trying to copy the drink my husband and I crave so much during the summer. The drink from Phoenix uses coconut milk mixed with regular milk to make this drink so addictive and a tad bit thicker. I wanted to lighten the recipe a bit since the summers in Tokyo get so much hotter, and I can benefit from a little less fat! I still love the consistency of the drink thickened with a bit of honey, but feel free to add coconut milk in yours.
I use mango in my recipe since it was my favorite and brings back fond memories, but this recipe works with many types of fruit. Depending on the season and what’s available, you can use all types of berries, pineapple, papaya, red apples, peaches, and figs. You can even use mixed fruit from the can, just drain the syrup. Enjoy!
Honey Tapioca Mango Milk
2 Tbs White Tapioca Pearls
2 cups low-fat milk
2/3 – 1 cup coconut milk (optional)
2 tsp Honey
1 cup Mango diced, frozen or fresh
1. Place the tapioca pearls in a bowl and cover with cold water. Soak for 15 minutes.
2. Prepare a large bowl fitted with a mesh strainer.
3. Boil 250ml of water in a pot. Drain the tapioca pearls and boil on low until fully translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir the pearls to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Drain using the mesh strainer, throw out the hot water, and fill it with enough cold water to cover the tapioca. Place the mesh strainer filled with tapioca back on the bowl so that the tapioca soaks in the cold water.
4. Assemble the drink: Pour a cup of milk and half of the coconut milk, if using, in each glass. Add 1 tsp honey to each glass, stirring to incorporate. Divide the tapioca pearls and mango between the 2 glasses. Add a few ice cubes and stir. Serve with spoon or straw. If your fruit is diced larger, use the thicker straws like these.
*Tapioca tends to like to stick to each other and form huge ugly clumps. To keep them separated after cooking, store them suspended in liquid (water, milk, or coconut milk). They will keep in the fridge for 2 days in an airtight container.