Green is the New White: Saksak, or Tapioca and Banana Dumplings

When I first crossed this recipe for saksak, a tapioca and banana dumpling, on Global Taste Adventure, I was into it, and not initially as weirded out by it as my lovely predecessor. A lunch or dinner treat from coastal PNG, this recipe only contains four ingredients, all relatively normal, and sounded pretty good.  After I made that corned beef thing, “weird” had an entirely new definition.  Shrugging my shoulders, I got to work.

I made my way up to the Asian supermarket to pick up the remaining ingredients and it wasn’t until I purchased the tapioca when things got weird. The market was out of normal, white tapioca, so I was left to decide between green, pink and rainbow. Um…okay.  I’m typically against eating things with unnecessary additives, and the coloring required to make green, pink or rainbow fit that bill.  Given time constraints and laziness, I didn’t have time to go to another store to secure normal tapioca and deciding that green seemed to be the least offensive in my mind, I went to home to prepare the saksak.

The recipe is very straightforward, and took all of 5 minutes to throw together.  Mix, wrap and steam.

Once the finished, cooled product emerged from my fridge, I realized the full extent of the weird.

The green coloring made it look like ectoplasm residue left by the GhostbustersBut would pink or rainbow have been less weird?  Jury’s out.

Once these are cooled and unwrapped, they’re topped with coconut milk.  The taste? Actually tasted really good, which again, given the ingredients isn’t at all surprising.  A great light dessert for summer, and not at all unhealthy (using light coconut milk).

Recipe from Global Taste Adventure


2 cups tapioca pearls (preferably white…)

3 bananas, chopped

3 TB sugar

banana leaves or aluminum foil for wrapping

1-2 cans coconut milk, as desired for serving



1.  Prep the tapioca:  Measure it into a bowl and cover with water. Immediately drain off what you can without using a strainer. This will leave enough water in the bowl to get them hydrated.

2.  Add in the sugar and banana. Using your hands, squish it all together so ensure it’s all well blended.


3.  Scoop by the ½ cup on banana leaves and wrap in a rectangular packet.


Note from Global Taste:  banana leaves must be passed over a flame for a few seconds to soften before use. This will make sure they don’t crack as you fold and roll up your banana sago packets. You’ll see the banana leaf change color to a shiny green when it’s ready to use.


4.  Steam the packets for about 15-20 minutes. You can peek into one of them to check for if they’re done. The tapioca will be translucent and no longer appear as little balls.

5.  Refrigerate until cool. If you don’t’ cool them off, they’ll be impossible to unwap (learned the hard way)

6.  Warm up and serve with coconut milk poured atop.


So, who’s going to try it??


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