Vietnamese Banana Tapioca Pudding {Chè Chuối} | The Good Hearted Woman

Vietnamese Banana Tapioca Pudding {Chè Chuối}

Inspired by a dessert served at Duc’s Bistro in Honolulu, Hawaii.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Renée B. ♥ The Good Hearted Woman


  • 3 cups water
  • 1/3 cup small tapioca pearls
  • 4 medium bananas
  • 1 – 13.5 oz can coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tablespoons sugar


  • Finely chopped peanuts or cashews
  • Toasted coconut See below
  • Mint leaves


Preparing Coconut Cream & Milk: (This sounds WAY more complicated than it really is.)

  • You will need 3 small bowls for this. In the end, you will have one bowl of coconut milk with a little coconut cream in it for adding directly to the pudding, one bowl of coconut cream with a little coconut milk in it for topping the finished tapioca mixture, and one empty bowl. Proceed as follows:
  • Open the can of coconut milk. (DO NOT shake the can before opening.)
  • Bowl #1 - Pour out the thin coconut milk/liquid from the can into this bowl.
  • Bowl #2 - Scrape the coconut cream from the can into this bowl.
  • Bowl #3 - Measure out 1/2 cup coconut milk from Bowl #1 and put it in this empty bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the coconut cream from Bowl # 2 and set aside.
  • Add the remaining coconut milk from Bowl #1 to the remaining coconut cream in Bowl #2. Stir until smooth. Stir in 2 tablespoons of sugar and set aside. (Bowl #1 should now be empty.)

Prepare Pudding:

  • Cut bananas into ¾-1 inch pieces. Set aside.
  • In a medium pot, bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Add tapioca and reduce heat. Simmer for 12 to 14 minutes, until the tapioca nearly cooked, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Do not overcook: at this point, the tapioca should be thick, and individual pearls should be clear on the outside, and have a very small dot of white in the middle.
  • Add the salt and the coconut milk mixture from Bowl #3 and to the tapioca stir to combine.
  • Increase heat to medium. When the tapioca mixture begins to simmer, add the banana pieces and stir. Reduce heat and simmer for until the bananas are tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in vanilla. Add sugar one or two teaspoons at a time, tasting between additions, until it is sweetened to your tastes.

Toasted Coconut:

  • Vietnamese Banana Tapioca Pudding {Chè Chuối} | The Good Hearted Woman
  • To toast coconut, place ½ cup sweetened flaked coconut in a small ungreased non-stick pan. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until coconut is lightly browned. Immediately remove from pan and cool on paper towels.

To Serve:

  • Vietnamese Banana Tapioca Pudding {Chè Chuối} | The Good Hearted Woman
  • Distribute individual servings of banana-tapioca mixture into small bowls. Pour a thin layer of prepared coconut cream (from Bowl #2) over the top of each serving. Garnish with finely chopped nuts, toasted coconut, and mint leaves. Serve warm.
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