Orient Express


  • Serves 6 people

  • 100 gm (½ cup) tapioca pearls, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes, drained, rinsed under cold running water (see note)
  • 185 gm dark palm sugar, finely chopped
  • 50 ml strong-brewed jasmine tea
  • 200 ml coconut cream
  • To serve: toasted shredded coconut
  • Star anise ice-cream
  • 450 ml pouring cream
  • 375 ml (1½ cups) milk
  • 5 star anise
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 150 gm caster sugar
  • Lychee and ginger sorbet
  • 380 gm lychee flesh
  • 200 ml sugar syrup
  • 2 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • Cucumber and coriander jelly
  • 500 gm Lebanese cucumbers (about 4)
  • ½ cup (firmly packed) coriander
  • 2 titanium-strength gelatine leaves, softened in cold water for 5 minutes
  • 1½ tbsp caster sugar
01   For star anise ice-cream, bring cream, milk and star anise to the boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale. Pour in cream mixture, whisk to combine, return mixture to pan and stir over low-medium heat until mixture thickly coats the back of a spoon (5-6 minutes). Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, refrigerate until chilled, then freeze in an ice-cream machine until required. Makes about 1 litre.
02   For lychee and ginger sorbet, purée ingredients in a blender until smooth and freeze in an ice-cream machine until required. Makes about 750ml.
03   For cucumber and coriander jelly, juice cucumber and coriander in an electric juicer to yield 850ml juice (see note), skim scum from surface and transfer 200ml (reserve remainder) to a small saucepan and warm over medium heat. Squeeze gelatine to remove excess water then add to pan with sugar, stir to dissolve, transfer to a container, add remaining juice, stir to combine and refrigerate until set (4-5 hours).
04   Cook tapioca in a saucepan of boiling water, stirring occasionally, until translucent (10-15 minutes). Drain, rinse under cold running water, transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until chilled. Meanwhile, stir palm sugar and jasmine tea in a saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves, simmer until slightly thickened (8-10 minutes), then set aside to cool to room temperature. Add tapioca, stir to combine and refrigerate until required.
05   Divide tapioca mixture among chilled glasses, pour coconut cream over, top with cucumber and coriander jelly and scoops of lychee and ginger sorbet and star anise ice-cream, scatter with toasted shredded coconut and serve immediately.
Note Tapioca pearls are available from Asian grocers. If you don’t have a juicer, purée the cucumber and coriander in a blender then pass it through a fine sieve.

This recipe is from the February 2013 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.







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