For a long time, tapioca pearls were considered a food for Asian people. If you’re not familiar with it, tapioca is made from the root of the cassava plant and has many uses in cooking and desserts. Nowadays, tapioca pearls are used more often in Western countries as well because they have a unique taste and texture that makes them perfect for lots of different recipes. But what about eating tapioca pearls? Can you eat these little balls of starch? And if so, how do they taste? We’ll answer all these questions (and more) right here!
Can You Eat Tapioca Pearls?
The answer is yes — but only if you’re careful about how you prepare them. To make sure your tapioca pearls are safe to eat, follow these tips:
Only use freshly cooked tapioca pearls that haven’t been sitting out at room temperature for more than two hours before serving.
What Are Tapioca Pearls?
Tapioca pearls are a common ingredient in Asian cuisine, most often served as a side dish. They’re also used to make desserts, such as bubble tea, which is made with tapioca pearls and sweetened milk or fruit juice. The main ingredient in tapioca pearls is cassava flour (also called manioc starch). Cassava is a starchy root vegetable that grows in tropical climates worldwide.
The cassava root has a coarse outer skin that needs to be removed before it can be used in cooking. The roots are peeled and boiled until they’re soft enough to chew, then dried and ground into flour or starch. This flour is used to make tapioca pearls — the same way cornstarch is used to make cornflour in Western cooking.
The traditional way of making tapioca pearls involves mixing the flour with water and letting them boil for several minutes until they reach the right consistency (which will depend on your recipe). After they’ve cooked, you can add flavorings like vanilla extract or cinnamon before drying them out completely in an oven at low heat for several hours or overnight.
Benefits Of Eating Tapioca Pearls
Tapioca pearls have a number of benefits that make them an excellent choice for healthy and delicious food. They are filled with iron, calcium, and vitamin B1 (thiamine). These vitamins can be easily absorbed by the body when eaten in their raw form.
Although tapioca is a starch, it has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels due to its high fiber content. This makes tapioca pearls an especially good choice for people who want to adopt a low-carb diet or lose weight while still getting all of their essential nutrients.
What Do Tapioca Pearls Taste Like?
Tapioca pearls are basically little balls of starch that come from the cassava plant. They have a mild, nutty flavor, and they’re often used to make desserts like tapioca pudding! But they’re also used in savory dishes like congee (rice porridge), or bubble tea.
How To Cook Tapioca Pearls
You can cook tapioca pearls in a wide variety of ways, but we recommend boiling them because it’s the easiest and fastest method. For every cup of cooked tapioca pearls, you want to end up with, use two cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring the water to a boil in a pot with high sides (think pasta pot). Add the tapioca pearls and stir once or twice so they don’t stick together before lowering the heat and letting them cook for about 10 minutes until they’re soft all the way through—no more than 15 minutes though!
After they’re cooked, rinse them off under cold water until they feel smooth again. Then drain them very well on paper towels; if there’s any excess moisture left on them after draining, toss ’em back into hot water for another minute or so before draining again just to be safe.
Once you’ve prepared your pearls this way, store them in an airtight container with no moisture present at all (like Tupperware) for up to three days at room temperature or about two months if refrigerated (change out your containers every few months). Or freeze leftover prepared tapioca pearls: simply pour them into an ice cube tray and freeze them overnight so that each one is individually frozen when ready to use!
What Can You Do With Tapioca Pearls?
Tapioca pearls can be used in a variety of ways, both sweet and savory.
- In Asian cooking: Tapioca pearls are often used as a substitute for rice or potatoes. They are also commonly added to puddings and jellies for texture and flavor.
- To make boba tea (boba): These tapioca balls are added to a tea base with fruit flavoring, then served cold with light syrup on top. The chewy texture of the balls makes them a fun addition to this popular drink!
- In savory dishes: If you like your carbs with some kick, you might want to try making taro chips with them—they’re basically just fried slices of taro root (similar to potato) that are seasoned with salt or chili powder before being baked at high heat until they become crispy around their edges while remaining soft inside—yum!
Making tapioca pearls might seem like a lot of work, but I promise it’s worth it. And if you don’t want to spend time making them from scratch, you can always buy them from a grocery store or Asian market.
Kate has been in the food business for over 20 years. Worked as a cook at several buffets which include Old Country Buffet, Five Star Buffet, and Ichiban Buffet. Now, I’m mostly at home cooking for my family, caring for chickens and ducks, and tending the garden.