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Authentic Laos Sweet Banana Coconut Tapioca Pudding Dessert (Nam Van Mak Kuay)

Learn how to make an authentic Laos sweet banana and tapioca pudding that is delicious and filling.

Desserts from Laos are a rare find in the United States unless you live around a Laotian community. Today, I’m bringing you one of my favorites so that you can make it right at home without the need to go to the Asian market (unless you really wanted to).

While most Lao desserts are usually founded on rice with added sweetness from a fruit, this one is a little different because it calls for the foundation to be tapioca pearls swimming in coconut cream along side bananas. 

So, if you have left bananas that are you are wanting to get rid of, this is a great recipe to use them up.

All About Laos Sweet Banana and Tapioca Pudding (Nam Van Mak Kuay)

Nam Van Mak Kuay is a coconut cream based pudding that has textures from the melding of the tapioca pearls along with sweet bananas. The fruity scent of bananas in this pudding along with the bouncy texture of the tapioca pearls are some great things you’ll find when eating this dessert.

lao tapioca banana pudding with coconut

What does Laos banana tapioca pudding taste like?

Laos banana tapioca pudding tastes is generally served warm as a sweet soup with chewy tapioca pearls and sweet, sliced banana pieces, providing layers of flavor and texture.

What are other names for Laos Banana Pudding Dessert?

Laos banana pudding dessert goes by many names due to translation. You can find it as:

  • Nam Van Mak Kuay
  • Kuay Namuan
  • Nam Van Kuay
  • Nahm Van May Kway
  • Banana in Coconut Milk
  • Nam Wan Kluai Nam Wa

What does Nam Van Mak Kuay, sweet banana coconut pudding, mean in Laotian?

The dessert when translated literally means water and sweetness of a banana. Nam refers to “water”, van or wan refers to “sweet”, mak refers to “fruit”, and kuay, kway, and kuoi refer to banana in Laotian.

How do you pronounce Nam Van Mak Kuay in Laotian?

Nam Van Mak Kuay is pronounced nahm-van-mak-kway.

What are some regional differences of this tapioca banana pudding?

Often, Thai and Lao desserts have both similar names and similar ingredients. Often, desserts as a whole will differ by 1-2 ingredients. Thai desserts are generally sweeter. However, in contrast, this recipe is specifically the same across Thai and Lao and is pretty much the exact recipe for the Vietnamese recipe called Che Chuoi with the exception of the added sugar (this lends itself to more of a Thai version, since Thai dishes are sweeter).

How is Lao Banana Coconut Pudding served?

This coconut cream based pudding when made fresh is served warm. However, you can also serve it chilled as well.

laos banana pudding with tapioca pearls nam van mak kuay

Asian Grocery Store List for Nam Van Mak Kuay

Tapioca Pearls

When you go to the Asian grocer, tapioca pearls can come in many shapes and sizes. You’ll find colorful zig zag ones along with the pearls (which also can be used for this recipe). For this recipe, I prefer the much smaller tapioca pearls. Generally, 1/5th the size of what you find in boba tea.

lao tapioca banana pudding with coconut

Coconut Cream

Make sure you get full fat coconut cream, as it is what provides the richness of this dish. Do not use coconut milk. I prefer the blue can.

Plantains or Pisag Awak Bananas

Most local western stores do not carry these bananas, but if you want to try other types of bananas, grab some plantains or pisaq awak bananas at the Asian grocer because they are more firm and a bit sweeter for this recipe.

lao tapioca banana pudding with coconut

lao tapioca banana pudding with coconut

Tips and Tricks Before Making Lao Banana Pudding with Coconut Cream

This Lao dessert is simple because it doesn’t require a lot of kitchen utensils to make and doesn’t have that many ingredients. 

Use Firm Ripe Bananas

Firm ripe bananas should be used to ensure that the banana maintains its shape in the pudding while being made. Plantains can also be used in place, as it often holds its shape better. Other types of bananas that can be used are pisang awak bananas as well because they can keep their firmness during the cooking process.

lao tapioca banana pudding with coconut

How to Make Authentic Laos Tapioca Pudding with Bananas Recipe

Ingredients for Nam Van Mak Kuay

  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 4 cups of water
  • 3 tablespoons of tapioca pearls
  • 1 14-ounce can of coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 3 cups of bananas
  • 4 cups of water
  • salt (to taste)

Instructions for Making Laos Tapioca Pudding with Bananas in Coconut Cream

  1. In a bowl of warm water, add tapioca pearls and allow them to soak for 20 minutes.
  2. Prepare bananas by peeling them and cutting them into ½ inch slices. Set the slices aside
  3. On a stove, pour in 4 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Add in the banana slices.
  4. After 20 minutes, drain the tapioca pearls in cold water to allow the pearls to separate from each other.
  5. Add the tapioca pearls into the the pot. Allow to simmer for 3 minutes or until the tapioca pearls turn clear.
  6. Next, add in sugar and pour in the coconut cream. Stir the ingredients gently for 3 minutes to incorporate the flavors.
  7. Add salt to taste.

Preserving Lao Tapioca Pudding with Bananas

Lao tapioca pudding when made can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refridgerator.

Frequently Asked Questions About Lao Tapioca Pudding with Bananas

Can I make this recipe without tapiocas?

Nam Van Mak Kuay cannot be made without tapioca pearls. 

Summary About Lao Tapioca Pudding with Banana Recipe

This dish is great when you want a filling dessert (or even snack). The sweetness of the coconut milk and the bananas with the chewy texture of the tapioca pearls make this dessert an absolute delight when you need a pick me up.

authentic lao tapioca pearls with coconut and banana

Authentic Lao Tapioca Pudding (with Bananas in Coconut Milk)

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This is an authentic and traditional Lao tapioca pudding recipe that is popular made from bananas, coconut cream, and tapioca pearls. It can be served warm or chilled that takes less than 30 minutes to make.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 4 cups of water
  • 3 tablespoons of tapioca pearls
  • 1 14-ounce can of coconut cream
  • 3 cups on plantains
  • 4 cups of water
  • salt (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar

Instructions

  1. In a bowl of warm water, add tapioca pearls and allow them to soak for 20 minutes.
  2. Prepare bananas by peeling them and cutting them into ½ inch slices. Set the slices aside
  3. On a stove, pour in 4 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Add in the banana slices.
  4. After 20 minutes, drain the tapioca pearls in cold water to allow the pearls to separate from each other.
  5. Add the tapioca pearls into the the pot. Allow to simmer for 3 minutes or until the tapioca pearls turn clear.
  6. Next, add in sugar and pour in the coconut cream. Stir the ingredients gently for 3 minutes to incorporate the flavors.
  7. Add salt to taste.

Notes

This dessert can last up to 4 days refridgerated in an airtight container.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 558Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 209mgCarbohydrates: 107gFiber: 3gSugar: 76gProtein: 2g

Other Thai and Lao Dessert Recipes You Might Like

Here are some additional authentic and delicious Southeast Asian recipes that you will love:

   

 laos banana pudding with tapioca pearls nam van mak kuay laos banana pudding with tapioca pearls nam van mak kuay

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