• SE Market Foodie

Coconut milk with tropical fruit and boba

I have a sweet tooth.  And when I get my cravings I usually want two things Boba or a Lao dessert called Nam Wan.  Nam wan is a traditional and common Lao dessert served cold.  It literally translates to “Sweet Water”.  And boba pearls are tapioca balls boiled until they are soft and chewy.  Wanna know what’s even better than Nam wan or Boba??? Nam wan WITH Boba!

This is such a refreshing and easy dessert to make.  It’s made from simple syrup, coconut milk, and a mixture of fruit.  Traditionally it is made with cantaloupe, grass jelly, melon dew, and corn.  I’m adding boba pearls to my mix.   But you can use whatever you like.  It’s even better in the summer served with ice.  I love it.  And I’m pretty sure you will too.

Servings 8-10


  • 1 box coconut cream powder (or 1 can coconut milk)

  • 1 box coconut gelatin

  • 3 cups simple syrup

  • ½ cantaloupe

  • 2 cups strawberries

  • 1 can jackfruit drained

  • 1 can lychee or logan drained

  • 1 bag boba

The first step is to make the coconut gelatin.   Follow the steps on the box.  Refrigerate for 2 hours to set.  Once firm, cut into cubes.

The next step is to make the coconut milk.  In a bowl mix coconut cream powder with 4 cups of hot water.  The box says 1 cup of water but I find it too rich.  Add a pinch of salt and mix until powder is dissolved.  You can use canned coconut milk.  But my mom and my aunts and grandma have always used coconut powder instead of the coconut milk.  Don’t ask me why it’s better.  It just is.

**Note:  You can store extra coconut milk in the fridge.  The cream will solidify.  Just add a little hot water to reuse.

Set the coconut milk aside and make the simple syrup.  Simple syrup is one part sugar and one part water.  I think it’s a little too sweet for this dessert.  For this recipe, combine 3 cups water and 2 cups sugar in a medium saucepan.  This will make about 3 cups of simple syrup.  Bring to a boil, stir until sugar dissolves, and reduce to medium heat.  Let it simmer for another 15 mins.

Now start on the boba.  BTW it’s pronounced BO-BA not BOB-A.  The instruction on the bag says it takes 5 mins to cook.  I disagree.  The pearls are not soft enough after 5 mins.  I boil the boba for about 15-20 mins.  The longer you boil them the softer they become.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the boba.  Once they puff up, cover the pot.  Remember to stir occasionally.   Once the boba is ready, rinse a few times in cold water.  Leave it in water to keep the pearls soft.

While the coconut milk, syrup, and boba cool, cut your fruit.  There are large diameter straws made especially for boba.  You want to cut the fruit small enough to be able to pass through the straw.  If you don’t have a boba straw laying around like I didn’t, just use a spoon.

Mix the coconut milk and syrup together.  To assemble, start with the boba at the bottom (do not use the reserve boba liquid).  Layer with your fruit and coconut gelatin.  Top off with the coconut milk simple syrup mix and serve cold with ice.

And here it is….


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