Tapioca – what is it, what to replace in cooking

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In countries with a tropical climate, cassava is cultivated – a shrub plant of the euphorbia family with tuberous edible roots. Tapioca is made from it – a product with a high starch content, similar to cereal, which is actively used by cooks.

What is tapioca

Tapioca groats are called pearls, and they write on the package: “Tapioca Perl”. Pearl grains consist of starch, washed from the crushed roots of cassava. Cassava roots themselves contain toxins and can cause serious harm to health. To get healthy and nutritious food from hazardous raw materials, they are kept in water, dried, crushed to separate starch, which is then modified into cassava sap – tapioca.

Tapioca grains come in different sizes. Very small ones are used as flour. Dough is prepared from them, which is then boiled or fried. Larger pearls serve as an excellent thickener for puddings, marmalade. Large pearl balls make colorful, used to decorate cocktails, transparent jelly-like desserts. Yes, tapioca is exotic, but today exotic foods are no longer overseas curiosities.

Tapioca groats in a deep plate

How to cook tapioca

Tapioca is increasingly available in domestic supermarkets. It can be sold as Tapioca Perl (tapioca pearls), or Tapioca Starch (tapioca starch). Groats and tapioca starch are used in foods of varying complexity, from soft drinks to high-calorie cereals. You need to prepare tapioca, given that its ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates is 1: 0: 443. Get to know three simple dishes where tapioca balls play a leading role: pearl pudding, iced tapioca coffee and exotic porridge.

Tapioca Pudding

  • Cooking time: 20 minutes.
  • Servings Per Container: 6-8 servings.
  • Calorie dishes: 369 kcal.
  • Purpose: dessert.
  • Cuisine: Thai.
  • Difficulty making: easy.

In different tropical countries, tapioca pudding recipes are different. Some of them are made with eggs, milk of cows and goats, others are exclusively vegetarian. The dessert recipe described below will be offered in Thailand. “Pearls” here can vary in size, be any shades and colors of the rainbow. Vanillin, if desired, can be replaced with a zest of lemon or orange, a mint sprig. The main thing is to give starchy balls a bright taste and aroma.


  • medium sized tapioc balls – 1/2 cup;
  • coconut milk – 1 cup;
  • sugar – 1/2 cup;
  • vanillin – on the tip of a knife;
  • bright fruit for decoration – 1 pc..

Cooking method:

  1. In a wide pan, bring to a boil two glasses of water. Rinse the “pearls” quickly under running water on a sieve (in a colander), transfer them to boiling water, add sugar and vanilla.
  2. Cook until cooked for about 10 minutes. Identify it by appearance. Welded balls become transparent.
  3. In another container, heat coconut milk until hot, but do not boil.
  4. At the bottom of each bowl put a spoon of ready-made “pearls”, fill in with two tablespoons of coconut milk, lay on top a few fruit pieces.
  5. Chill the dish and serve as dessert.

Tapioca Pudding in Dessert

Vietnamese ice coffee with tapioca

  • Cooking time: 40 minutes.
  • Servings Per Container: 6 servings.
  • Calorie dishes: 85 kcal.
  • Purpose: dessert.
  • Cuisine: Vietnamese.
  • Difficulty making: easy.

Incredibly beautiful and amazingly delicious ice coffee with tapioca is a wonderful way to surprise friends. You can cook it in advance, boiled balls will perfectly remain in the cold for several hours and will not stick together if they are filled with water. Keep the coffee and milk sweet mix refrigerated too. When guests arrive, the assembly of cold coffee will take several minutes.


  • Tapioca Perl – 100 g;
  • ground coffee – 30 g;
  • brown sugar – 2 tbsp. l .;
  • condensed milk – 85 ml;
  • cream – 125 ml;
  • ice – 2 glasses.

Cooking method:

  1. Pour tapioc balls into boiling water (0.7-1 L), cook for a quarter of an hour.
  2. Throw away the “pearls” in a colander, rinse with cold water. Transfer to a bowl, fill with water to the level of balls, cool.
  3. In another bowl, boil water (650 ml), brew coffee, boil it for 5 minutes and filter.
  4. Add sugar and condensed milk to coffee liquid, stir, cool.
  5. At the bottom of the glass, put two tablespoons of tapioca mass, fill with ice cubes on top, slowly pour in the coffee-milk mixture.

Ice coffee with tapioca in cups

Tapioca porridge

  • Cooking time: 20 minutes.
  • Servings Per Container: 3-4 servings.
  • Calorie dishes: 85 kcal.
  • Purpose: sweet breakfast, baby food.
  • Cuisine: Argentinean.
  • Difficulty making: easy.

Granular tapioca porridge with fruit mix is ​​good. She is one of the most beloved in the diet of children in Latin American countries, in the homeland of cassava. It is boiled with coconut milk, seasoned with all kinds of sweet fruits, which grow in abundance at a generous tropical latitude, benefiting the locals. For its preparation, small and medium “pearls” are used. Offer your children a marvelous overseas dish, they will be interested to know: tapioca – what is it?


  • tapioca balls – 1/2 cup;
  • coconut milk – 2 cups;
  • agave syrup – 1 tbsp. l .;
  • grated coconut – 1/2 cup;
  • banana – 1 pc.;
  • frozen berries – 1.5 cups.
  • salt, vanillin – on the tip of a knife.

Cooking method:

  1. Soak tapioca grains in a glass of coconut milk, salt, add vanillin, let stand for about fifteen minutes. Put the saucepan on the fire, cook after boiling for 10-15 minutes (until the “pearls” become transparent). Cool mass, add grated coconut and agave syrup.
  2. Berries, banana puree with a blender. Introduce a glass of coconut milk while continuing to whisk.
  3. Put a few spoons of “pearl” porridge in a deep plate (bowl), pour fruit mixture.
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