How To Recreate Grilled Banana Pandan Rice, A Viral Vietnamese Dessert

Photo: Marc Kharrat // Foodbeast

Earlier this year, we shared a video of this vibrant and comforting Vietnamese dessert that everyone went nuts for.

It's grilled banana pandan rice, a sweet and crispy roll of charred sticky rice stuffed with banana, and served with a warm coconut tapioca pudding and crushed peanuts.

Foodbeast Marc got this from the Little Saigon Night Market in Westminster, California, and it's a dessert that he couldn’t stop talking about in the office for weeks afterward:


Honestly, this dish was pure magic and a welcomed surprise when I tried it. I heard an older Vietnamese lady waiting for other items talking about how delicious it is and it piqued my interest.

From there, Marc was hooked as soon as he knew it was coconut and bananas, but it was the process of the rice rolls being grilled, cut up, and topped with tapioca pudding that was even more of a surprise.

Tons of y'all felt the same way, and asked in the comments for us to make the recipe for the dessert. Marc turned to Foodbeast friend, Chef Jason Quinn of Detention in Santa Ana, California, to do just that.

Chef Quinn was able to take Marc's request and make a copycat that looks very similar to what Marc had at the night market.

Flavor wise, you'll need to watch above to see how close the recipe gets, but Marc had nothing but high praise.

You get everything from sweet and nutty coconut tapioca, the tang of a banana, and texture from the grilled rice, crunchy peanuts, and warm coconut milk to bring it all home.


To get all of these flavors in your next dessert escapade, peep the recipe below to get the full ingredients and instructions, courtesy of Chef Quinn himself.


For the Sticky Rice Rolls:

  • 2 cups steamed Thai Sticky Rice (steam according to package instructions)
  • 1 cup warmed coconut milk
  • 1-2 tsp pandan extract
  • 2 tbsp sugar 
  • 2 whole bananas
  • Cooking spray


For the Tapioca:

  • 1 cup tapioca pearls
  • 2-3 cups hot water
  • 2-3 cups coconut milk
  • ¼-½ cup sugar (to taste) 
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Toasted peanuts to garnish


  1. Combine your warmed coconut milk and sugar until dissolved. Add pandan extract until thoroughly combined for a bright, vibrant green color.
  2. Fold your coconut milk mixture into the steamed Thai Sticky rice. Knead until combined and the mixture forms a dough. You should still be able to see grains of rice, but it should all be kind of smushed together.
  3. Divide your mixture into four and flatten into a rectangle. Add roughly a third of a peeled banana to the middle, then encase it with the sticky rice. Use saran or plastic wrap to help wrap it like a burrito. 
  4. This should make 4-5 rolls that then need to sit for about 30 minutes to firm up. 
  5. In the meantime, hydrate your tapioca pearls in warm water. Heat up the 2-3 cups of coconut milk on a medium-low heat, and dissolve in sugar and salt to taste.
  6. Once the tapioca pearls are hydrated, add to the coconut milk and continuously stir so they don’t sink to the bottom. Cook for about 5 minutes until the tapioca and coconut mixture combine to make a loose tapioca pudding. 
  7. Grill the sticky rice rolls over charcoal until all sides are blackened. Each roll is one serving. Cut into equal pieces in a bowl, pour over a generous ladle of your coconut tapioca mixture, and garnish with chopped toasted peanuts.