Bubur Cha Cha

Bo Bo Cha Cha (Asian Coconut Milk Dessert Soup)

Bubur Cha Cha

“Mind me, this is a ‘Sinfulicious’  week!”

Another ‘sinful’ (but delicious) recipe today, the Asian dessert soup, Bo Bo Cha Cha!

I am surely not a fan of coconut milk based dessert, but not sure why, I was craving for this Bo Bo Cha Cha the other day. Missed the feeling of chewing the super chewy tapioca flour cubes in this dessert soup! I loved having yam cubes and different types of sweet potatoes altogether! So, I cooked it yesterday. Yummy!

Bo Bo Cha Cha (Bubur Cha Cha) dessert soup is an Asian dessert, porpularly sold at hawker centers and food courts in Singapore and Malaysia. I heard the original name of Bo Bo Cha Cha in Malay words is, Bubor Cha Cha. Bubur means ‘porridge’, and I guess it was due to its thick consistency of soup base resembling texture of porridge.

Coconut milk in this dessert soup has to be the main character as its soup base is completely made of coconut milk! Hence, the choice of coconut milk, from its texture till the brand used, is important, in that sense. The best and most fragrant coconut milk soup base is, of course, cooked completely with coconut milk. However, as you know, I am one of the ‘healthy freak’. So, even for the food I craved for is sinful, I tried my best to make it less (laugh). Yes, I used lots of water (and less coconut milk) in my soup base cooking. Thus, please expect less thick and fragrant consistency in my dessert soup, unless you adjust the thick coconut milk cream from 300 gram to 400 gram, or use just 1200 gram of thin coconut milk without water to cook this. Two methods for your choice! Both are fine, so depends on what coconut milk you could get.

And, here I present… My Bobo Cha Cha Recipe, and the Making of Tapioca Flour Cubes!

½ portion of medium yam (also called taro), peeled and diced into cubes of your desired sizes
1 medium (about a palm-sized) orange-flesh local sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 medium (about a palm-sized) yellow-flesh local sweet potato, peeled and diced. (*If getting Japanese (yellow-flesh) sweet potato, use 2 as they are usually smaller size)
**1 cup of tapioca flour cubes

1 packet of THICK coconut milk cream (300 – 400 gram) with ½ pot of water (about 800 ml), (OR: 1200 – 1500 gram of THIN coconut milk, squeezed from 2 coconuts)
200 gram of sugar (*may adjust amount to your desired sweetness)
4 pandan leaves (tie into a knot)

**Ingredients for tapioca flour cubes:
150g of tapioca flour, sieved
70 – 80 ml of hot boiling water
Few drops each of red, yellow and green food colourings
Gentle touch of salt
1 pot of water (to precook the cubes)

**Method (to prepare colourful tapioca flour cubes):
i) Sift tapioca flour if lumpy flour found in it. Then, please tapioca flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Slowly stir-in hot boiling water and combine well until mixture turns dough-like texture. When mixture is cooled, form it into dough on a well-floured table top.

ii) Flour your palm, and divide dough into 4 parts. Mix each portion with 3 different colouring prepared and leave one portion as ‘white‘ original colour (no colouring added). Knead to combine well and become non-stick dough. Then, roll and shape each portion out into long and squarish thin stripes. Thereafter, dice into small cubes.

iii) Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. When boiled, reduce heat, and put in tapioca flour cubes to cook for about 30 minutes, or until all the cubes float up. Texture of cooked tapioca flour cubes should be chewy, and look bright (in colour) with a little translucent appearance.

iv) Dish up and plunge cubes into a bowl of iced water for few seconds. Drain and remove cubes from iced water. Reserve for later.

Method (to prepare complete dessert soup, with thick coconut milk cream):
1) Boil water in a pot over high heat. When boiled, add in Pandan leave, sweet potatoes and yam cubes, and bring them to a boil again. Reduce heat to medium fire, and let them cook for 20 minutes, or until ingredients are cooked and soften with right texture (not too soft).

2) Return tapioca flour cubes into the pot. Add in sugar and stir until dissolved. Lastly, add in coconut milk cream and stir well. Let it boil for another 5 – 8 minutes before heat off. Serve warm or chilled.

ALTERNATIVE METHOD – If you are using just thin coconut milk for this dessert:
1) No water is needed, in this case. Steam the yam and sweet potatoes cubes for 40 minutes, until cooked and soften.

2) Place thin coconut milk into a pot, and heat it up over medium fire. Add in sugar and stir until dissolved. Place steamed yam, sweet potatoes and tapioca flour cubes into the pot, and let them boil for 10 minutes. Heat off and serve. Warm or chilled.

Source of coconut milk fyi:
a) Thick coconut milk cream:
It is usually pre-packed and available at dry goods shelves.

b) Thin coconut milk:
There are different types of thin coconut milk, you may get the liquid types which clearly stated for dessert/ cake making use, available at chilled section in majoy supermarket. Or, those pre-packed powder form which you need to mix with water beforehand. Another type will be the freshest, freshly squeezed from coconuts, and available in Asian wet markets/ markets.

To serve chilled, keep dessert in refrigerator, once it is cooled. This is heavy coconut milked soup, best to keep it refrigerated as soon as possible, for maximum freshness.

A regular bowl of Bobo Cha Cha counts about 560 kcal.

Tips: * If those local orange-flesh sweet potatoes you have gotten are too big, use only halves.
* Purple-flesh sweet potato is not recommended as it will turn the soup into purplish colour instead of cream white colour.
* Thickness/ Consistency of the soup base always depends on type of coconut milk used. If cream type is used with adding of water is needed, adjust the amount of water added to your liking of thickness/ consistency of the soup.

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9 Responses

  1. Hi Patricia!

    I love to read your blog for ideas and new recipes =)
    I’m singaporean too haha..
    Actually tried your recipe for the sharkfin melon soup and hubby says its delicious when using slow-cooker.

    However I hardly have time to cook now. Sometimes i’m lazy to go and buy the ingredients or think about what to cook haha.

    How do you manage your home, housework, cooking and career so well? I live with my hubby and doing housework kills me already hehe, and i am also working full-time :P

    Anyway, do keep those super recipes and photos coming! :)


  2. Hi Traci,

    Nice to know you, and glad that you like my blog posts! It really motivates me alot!! :)

    Cooking is my passion, and I feel heartpain to have hubby and kid eating out too often. Instead of mind cracking about what to cook, I have hard time thinking what to eat out, if I don’t cook… haha.

    Supermarket and wet markets are everywhere in Singapore that marketing has never been an issue.. If really no time in weekdays, enjoy the cooking fun over weekends. The purpose of my blog is also to help my working readers in making their cookings easy and hassle free! :)

    I am trying my best to manage, but still struggle to do well at times. And I have to tell myself “be focus”. :p

    I will keep my work up!

  3. Hey Patrica!

    I think I love cooking too, but i hate the cleaning up part haha.. I used to cook dinner everyday after work but I got very tired after 2 weeks =P

    So i try to cook on weekends or at least bake once a month =)

    Oh one question, when i bake muffins, sometimes they rise perfect. But sometimes they dun rise as much and look funny. What went wrong? I try not to overmix the batter so i dunno why they turn out that way…

    thanks again :)


  4. Hey Traci,

    I am, too, in the exploring stage of baking..

    Hmm… I guess it probably was because you did not beat the butter long enough.. Try to beat it till really fluffy and soft creamy texture. It is important to do so, for muffin..

    That’s the reason I could think of, try it out first. Otherwise, let me find out more for you.. :)

  5. what brand you use for the tapioca flour .can use tapioca starch to make tapioca jelly ?i try ayam brand tapioca flour and really dont like the taste . is there other brand to buy ?

  6. Hi Patrica,

    Thanks for the recipe. I had some left over gula melaka from making avocado milkshake and decided to try out your recipe, replacing sugar with it. Unfortunately the thick coconut milk I bought from supermarket doesn’t taste fresh. If only the thin coconut milk readily squeezed from wet market is as readily available. Thanks for the share nonetheless :)

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