International Recipes and Cooking Around the World


Bunch of bananas

(Tahitian fruit pudding)

Image Creative Commons by ppdigital

Average: 4 (26 votes)

Po'e (POH-eh) is a popular fruit pudding found at all traditional Tahitian tamara'a barbeques. Originally the pudding was wrapped in banana leaves and baked in the fire pit. This simple baked version is easier in the modern kitchen.

4 to 6 servings


  • Ripe bananas, peeled and cut into chunks -- 6-8
  • Brown sugar -- 1/2 cup
  • Arrowroot or cornstarch -- 1 cup
  • Vanilla -- 2 teaspoons
  • Coconut cream -- 1 cup


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Puree the bananas in a blender or food processor. There should be enough puree to make 4 cups.
  2. Mix together the brown sugar and arrowroot or cornstarch. Add this mixture and the vanilla to the bananas and process well. There should not be any lumps of starch. Adjust sugar to taste.
  3. Butter a 2-quart baking dish and pour in the puree. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the pudding is firm and bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled.
  4. Cut into cubes and place into a large serving bowl or in individual bowls. Top with a dollop of coconut cream, a little more brown sugar and serve.


  • Try substituting papaya, mango, pineapple or other tropical fruits for some of the bananas. Just make sure there is a total of 4 cups of fruit puree. Ripe plantains can also be substituted for the bananas. For juicier fruits, you will probably have to add more arrowroot or cornstarch.
  • Try wrapping the pudding in buttered banana leaves and baking it for a more original presentation.


  • Coconut cream is the thick coconut milk that rises to the top of a can of coconut milk. Don't shake the can before you open it and you can skim it right off the top.


This recipe is very authentic. I swapped out the cornstarch for tapioca starch & used fresh pumpkin instead of bananas. It brought back memories of being in Tahiti :) Try it! It is also great for anyone avoiding gluten.

Does this need 6 to 8 bananas or 6 to 8 chunks of banana? Should I buy 6 to 8 bananas or less?

The recipe calls for 6 to 8 bananas, each peeled and cut into chunks. Hope that helps!

I use yams and it comes out DELICIOUS- use to go to Tahiti in the 60s and 70s and eat alot of this and poisson cru- yummy!!!

is it supposed to look really gross?

I suppose that depends on your perspective. Some people think bleu cheese looks really gross and tastes even grosser.

i followed this recipe to the T and it still didn't come out. I used 4 cups of pureed papayas and when I took it out of the oven it was mush. I even put it back in for another 30 minutes and thought maybe it needed to be cooled. After cooling overnight it's still mushy under. I'm not sure if this is the texture the recipe calls for. My memory of poke was a bit more firm and tot... maybe I should try again with tapioca? Or maybe at a higher heat? Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

It's probably because papaya has more liquid than bananas. You would need to add more cornstarch to thicken it better. I would try 1/4 to 1/3 cup more cornstarch or arrowroot. Thanks for pointing this out. I have updated the recipe to mention this.

when you use potato starch, do you need to ue less?

You should probably use the same amount. Potato starch has about the same thickening power as both arrowroot and cornstarch.

I love Po'e whether its Pumpkin, Banana or any other. I grew up eating Po'e that my Tahitian Aunty would make and now that I'm older I find myself wanting to make it. In fact, my Mom dropped off a local Pumpkin from her backyard and I have Coconut Cream ready to be used, yummy! Aloha

Tahitian ladies living in Noumea make poe using tomatoes ... I bought it from a market stall..... absolutely delicious, refreshing .... good as a salad extra beside the usual lettuce things, and I enjoyed it
as just snacking, too! How do I treat tomatoes to prepare this dish please.

How will this recipe change if I substitute the bananas for mangoes?