Not a chia seed pudding that you have to prepare the night before but a warm cream with coconut milk and lemongrass that you have served in a few minutes.

Chia seed pudding … a bit suspicious I have followed this “healthy trend”. Everyone suddenly seems crazy about this slippery substance with the small eyes.

“The same texture as the warm Asian dessert with small tapioca pearls that our guests not really liked so many years ago.”

We have tried all kinds of versions to adapt the mouthfeel of the tapioca to Western preferences. We made it less thick and used a crispy garnish as a nice contrast. Or we made it firmer, sweetened with ginger caramel, cinnamon and vanilla. And also a fresher version with lemongrass and lime leaves.

But despite all our good intentions: people kept complaining about the slippery texture. “Tapioca? Asian frogspawn?” A guest once asked when I had perked up the pudding with vanilla-flavoured, very green pandan sauce. This frogspawn was the last straw that made the tapioca pearl disappear from our dessert menu.

Texture of the chia seed dessert

Now I have embraced chia seed. For real. The texture and neutral taste of chia seed and the small tapioca pearl almost match. But if we look at the differences, chia seed wins with flying colours. It has more nutrients than tapioca, which only consists of starch. And chia seed is much easier to prepare.

So here is the recipe for a warm chia seed cream with Asian flavours that I could not even give away 12 years ago.

I used less chia seed for this recipe than in other recipes that you can find on the internet. This way you get a thick creamy cream instead of a firm pudding. In this ratio the mouthfeel is more full and velvet soft than slippery. Add more chia seed if you want a thicker pudding. Peanut, sesame, brown palm sugar and coconut grater give the cream a delicious crunch.

Flavours of a Thai dessert

For this recipe I used coconut milk, palm sugar, lemongrass and lime: the same ingredients that I would use for a quick tapioca dessert. The sweet papaya is boosted with some honey or agave syrup (vegan) and lime. The dessert is perfectly sweet, fresh and fruity, with a savoury touch of peanut and sesame. The combination of warm pudding and cold papaya gives an extra kick. You don’t have to eat the chia seed cream directly from the pan, it is also delicious when lukewarm.

“Hip and healthy chia seed in the shape of a traditional Asian dessert.”


Warm Chia Seed Pudding With Lemongrass And Papaya

Not a chia seed pudding that you have to prepare the night before but a warm creamy cream of chia seed, coconut milk and lemongrass that you have served in a few minutes.

  • Author: Kamwoj
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: dessert, sweet, vegan
  • Method: cooking
  • Cuisine: Asian


A – Peanut-sesame crunch 1:

  • 1 tbsp chopped peanut (not raw)
  • 2 tbsp coconut grater
  • 1 tbsp white sesame
  • 1 pinch of fine kitchen salt, optional


1 tbsp brown (palm) caster sugar 2


  • ½ ripe papaya, diced
  • ½ tbsp honey or vegan liquid sweetener, quantity to taste 3
  • ½ tsp lime juice, amount to taste
  • Lime grater, optional
  • Chopped and/or small Thai basil leaves, optional

Chia seed cream:


  • 200 g/ ml water
  • 25 g lemongrass (2 thin stems), crushed and halved
  • 50 g white palm sugar
  • 45 g chia seed (3 tbsp), or more for a firmer pudding
  • 1 can or 400 ml coconut milk


Juice of half a lime


Peanut-sesame crunch:

  1. Put all A-ingredients in a small dry pan and set on a low or medium-high heat. Bake the ingredients fragrant in a minute or two. Allow to cool in a bowl, not in the hot pan. The coconut grater burns due to the residual heat.
  2. Add the sugar to the cooled mixture and set aside.

Marinated papaya:

  1. Grate the lime peel over the papaya.
  2. Mix honey (or a vegan sweetener) with lime juice. Gently stir this through the papaya cubes. Put the papaya aside.

Chia seed cream:

  1. Put all C ingredients in a pan and put on medium heat. Make sure the whole does not boil too much. Turn down the heat when the coconut milk is almost boiling. Keep stirring.
  2. The chia seeds will be soft after a few minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the lemongrass from the pan.
  3. Serve in 4 individual bowls with garnish. Or pour the chia seed cream in a nice, large bowl and let your table companions do the work themselves 😉


  1. Make more of this crunch if you think you will make an Asian dessert more often. Store in a well-sealed jar. Is also very tasty about vanilla ice cream or Greek yogurt.
  2. Do not use slices of palm sugar that you need to chop. It just doesn’t give a crunch like caster sugar.
  3. Vegan: if you use a vegan sweetener instead of honey, then this recipe is your vegan friend!

Lactose free: suitable
Gluten-free: suitable

Keywords: sweet, vegan, healthy, papaya, chia seed, coconut, pudding, dessert, lactose free, gluten free, low in fat

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