Pressure Cooker Coconut Lemongrass Ginger Tapioca

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Pressure Cooker Coconut Lemongrass Ginger Tapioca is an Instapot tapioca recipe, infused with fresh lemongrass and ginger, then garnished with crystallized ginger, cashews, and Thai basil. Subtle Thai flavors provide a tasty twist on an American classic.

Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Coconut Lemongrass Ginger Tapioca

Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays from Texas’ Rio Grande Valley! It is a privilege to bring you a recipe that is sure to please this holiday season. I’m Tamara from Beyond Mere Sustenance here with a Thai-inspired twist on a beloved classic – tapioca pudding. I love to encourage people to enjoy healthy food with global flair around the table… regularly.

red dessert spoons hold Pressure Cooker Coconut Tapioca With Lemongrass and Ginger

Making Coconut Lemongrass Ginger Tapioca in an Instant Pot

An Instant Pot is one of the most popular brands of electric pressure cookers. They are easy to use and your Instant Pot can help you create this delicious Coconut Lemongrass Ginger Tapioca!

Perhaps you’ve tried Pressure Cooker Tapioca Pudding? It’s so good! My Pressure Cooker Coconut Tapioca With Lemongrass and Ginger took off from there… With Thai flavors, coconut milk is a great dairy-free option. A bruised lemongrass stalk and some minced ginger cook along with the coconut milk beverage and small pearl tapioca.

Important note: Don’t use quick tapioca! You need a tapioca that requires a soak and longer cooking time. I used Bob’s Red Mill Small Pearl Tapioca. After the tapioca is cooked in the pressure cooker, canned coconut milk and egg yolks get whisked in, and it thickens after being returned to a boil. While the tapioca cools, you prepare the garnishes.

clear dessert cup with Pressure Cooker Coconut Lemongrass Ginger Tapioca garnished with cashews and crystallized ginger

I have shown two options for serving this tapioca dessert. Given that this recipe posted on the end of December, New Year’s Eve comes to mind. My local Asian market has these lovely red Asian soup spoons for $.89 each. The spoon holds a mini portion of the tapioca – perfect for your New Year’s Eve party.

Your guests can somewhat daintily eat them from the spoon. Seriously, you can! My husband and I did try them out… several of them! If your occasion is more formal, individual trifle cups make a pretty presentation. Either way, your guests are sure to enjoy the unique spin on this American classic!

red spoon full of Pressure Cooker Coconut Tapioca With Lemongrass and Ginger

What do you have planned for New Year’s Eve? I have to admit to a tendency to want to stay home, but I do love to entertain. That just means the party is on us. 🙂 My favorite way to entertain is with small plates or “tapas.” My Pressure Cooker Coconut Tapioca With Lemongrass and Ginger Will be right at home on the menu!

Coconut Lemongrass Ginger Tapioca Recipe:

Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Coconut Lemongrass Ginger Tapioca

Pressure Cooker Coconut Tapioca With Lemongrass and Ginger

Yield: 8 servings


  • 1 cup pearl tapioca (such as Bob's Red Mill) *see notes*
  • 4 cups coconut milk beverage *see notes*
  • 1 6" piece lemongrass, smashed
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk *see notes*
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper +/- (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • crystallized or candied ginger, sliced *see notes*
  • Thai basil leaves
  • prepared cashews


Rinse pearl tapioca thoroughly.

Add coconut milk beverage and pearl tapioca to the pressure cooker pot.

Use a mortar and pestle or meat tenderizer hammer to bruise the lemongrass stalk. Add to the pot along with the minced ginger.

Lock the lid in place. Bring to high pressure or select rice setting. Cook 6 minutes.

Allow to depressurize for 10 minutes naturally. Release remaining pressure.

Whisk sugar, salt, coconut milk, egg yolks, and salt together. Whisk into the tapioca. Return to a boil. *See Notes.*

Cool to room temperature. Once cooled, spoon into serving vessels and chill.

Meanwhile, prep the cashews. Add sugar to a small saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook until sugar melts.

Add the cashews. Using a wooden spoon, stir until coated. Add cayenne if using. Continue stirring until cashews begin to brown in spots.

Scrape coated cashews on to a piece of foil or waxed paper. Sprinkle with sea salt.

To Serve

Garnish with thin slices of candied/crystallized ginger, cashews, and chopped basil.


You cannot use quick cook tapioca for this recipe. I used Bob's Red Mill Pearl Tapioca. I rinsed it, but did not do the soak. This works great in the pressure cooker.

This recipe uses coconut milk "beverage" (in a carton with almond and cashew milk), and coconut milk in a can. You can certainly substitute milk for the coconut milk beverage.

We love the hint of heat on the cashews, but the cayenne is totally optional. If you don't love heat, leave it off!

Candied or crystallized ginger is pretty widely available. Slice it thin to garnish. You can also make your own. It's pretty easy. The lovely byproduct is a ginger simple syrup. I used this recipe: How To Make Crystallized Ginger.

Visit Beyond Mere Sustenance for more great pressure cooking recipes. 

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photo collage of pressure cooker coconut lemongrass ginger tapioca




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originally published September 21, 2016 — last updated January 1, 2019
Categories: Dessert