Two forms of mango get into the act here: Fresh cubes of mango are layered with the tapioca, and the dessert is garnished with a homemade slice of candied mango. If you really want to shave off prep time, skip the homemade mango garnish.
1 cup sugar
1 firm-ripe mango
1/3 cup regular pearl tapioca (not instant)
2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ripe mango
1. Make the mango chips: In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Cook until sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside to cool.
2. Preheat the oven to the lowest setting. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Cut the mango into very thin slices with a mandoline-style slicer. Dip each slice into the cooled sugar syrup, shaking off the excess. Place slices on baking sheet and place in warm oven for several hours or overnight, until the chips are firm and crisp.
4. Meanwhile, make the tapioca: In a small saucepan, combine tapioca and cold water to cover by at least 2 inches. Let soak for at least 1 hour so it will absorb a lot of the water.
5. Drain the tapioca, return to the pan, and add the milk, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring a few times so the tapioca will not stick to the bottom of the pan. Turn off the heat and let the mixture rest for about 30 minutes.
6. Bring to a boil again, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring from time to time so it doesn't stick, until the mixture has thickened and the tapioca balls have a glassy, transparent look. Off the heat, stir in vanilla. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the pudding and let it cool.
7. Meanwhile, peel and dice mango. To serve, place a small amount of pudding into a martini glass, add a layer of cubed mango, and repeat the layers, ending with a mango chip garnish.