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Tapioca Pudding with Caramelized Banana and Salty Roasted Peanuts

This delicious tapioca pudding recipe is inspired by Chè Chuối, a popular Vietnamese dessert. Easy, creamy, and made in just 30 minutes, we put our own spin on this dish by caramelizing bananas, which adds an extra level of sweetened toastiness alongside the savory flavors of salty roasted peanuts.


Servings: 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


For the Creamy Tapioca Pudding:

  • 1/3 cup small pearl tapioca (not instant)
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cinnamon stick 
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Caramelized bananas (see recipe below)

For the Caramelized Bananas:

  • 3 ripe but firm bananas
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt

For the Salty Peanuts:

  • 1 cup raw peanuts
  • 1½ teaspoons vegetable oil
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste


1.  Soak the Tapioca: 

In a large bowl, soak the tapioca pearls in 1 cup of room temperature water for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours, depending on the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat the Milk Mixture:

In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, heavy cream, cinnamon stick, sugar, and salt. Slowly heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it’s hot but not boiling.

2. Cook the Tapioca: 

Add the soaked and drained tapioca pearls to the milk mixture. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until the tapioca pearls are fully translucent and the mixture has thickened, about 25 to 30 minutes. While the pudding cooks, prepare the caramelized bananas and toast the peanuts. 

3. Temper the Eggs: 

In a small bowl, whisk the beaten eggs. Take a cup of the hot tapioca mixture and slowly whisk it into the eggs to warm them up softly. Then, slowly whisk the warm egg mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the tapioca. Remove the cinnamon stick.

4. Finish Cooking:

Increase the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the pudding thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Do not let it boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and the sesame oil. 

5. Toast the peanuts:

Place the peanuts on a baking sheet, drizzle with the oil and toss to coat. Cook the peanuts in a 350°F oven until golden and fragrant, about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once toasted, immediately sprinkle with ½ to 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt, or to taste, and stir to coat evenly. Let cool and then chop, either using a food processor or a knife. 

6. Caramelize the bananas:

Peel the bananas and slice them into 1-inch slices. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Cook for a minute until the mixture becomes bubbly. Place the bananas in the skillet. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they are golden and caramelized.

7. Assemble:

Set aside some of the caramelized bananas to use as a topping. Stir the rest of the bananas into the warm pudding. Scoop about a cup of pudding into a bowl and top with caramelized banana slices and sprinkle generously with the salty roasted peanuts.