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How to Cook Tapioca Pearls | Family Cuisine

Tapioca is a starchy root from the cassava plant. It's made by boiling it in water and then drying it out. The dried tapioca can be ground into flour or cut into small pieces and boiled again to make

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How to bake boiled tapioca

In recent years, tapioca pearls have become a favorite in bubble tea, shaved ice desserts, and sweet dessert soups across Asia and in Asian communities in the West. But what if you want to cook your own tapioca pearls at home?

Some store-bought tapioca pearls can be cooked in a matter of minutes, but dried white tapioca pearls require longer cooking.

Reading: how to bake boiled tapioca

We noticed that these packaged tapioca pearls often come with few to no instructions on how to prepare them, so we thought we should publish a post specifically about how to do it. Then you can add them to milk tea to make bubble tea or whatever dessert you like!

(We’ll be coming out with some awesome desserts in the next couple weeks that do use these as well!)

How to cook tapioca pearls,

What Are Tapioca Pearls?

Tapioca pearls, also called tapioca balls or boba, are small translucent spheres. Their cooked size is usually somewhere between a pea and a marble, and they’re made with tapioca starch, which comes from the cassava root.

They are also pretty flavorless, added to drinks and desserts solely for their delightfully chewy texture (they’re similar to mochi, but a little less soft and sticky).

Important Tips for Cooking Tapioca Pearls

Before we get into the recipe, here are some key tips for properly cooking dried tapioca pearls:

  • Do NOT wash or rinse tapioca pearls before cooking. They must go from the package directly into boiling water.
  • You must pre-boil the water before adding the tapioca. Do not add them until the water is at a rolling boil.
  • The size of tapioca pearls can vary, and you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly. For these white/clear tapioca pearls, you’ll know they are cooked once they are completely translucent, without any opaque white center. You can also taste them throughout the process to test for the right texture.
  • You’ll need to use a lot of water when cooking tapioca pearls, as they are quick to absorb water and also very starchy. Not using enough water may cause them to become starchy and sticky, which we don’t want!
  • Because they are so starchy, you’ll have to change the water a couple times and discard batches of starchy water.
  • Note that 1 cup dried tapioca pearls yields roughly 2 1/2 cups cooked tapioca pearls.

Dried white tapioca pearls,

How to Cook Tapioca Pearls: Instructions

Read more: how to store siopao after steaming | Family Cuisine

Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a deep pot, and add the tapioca.

Adding tapioca pearls to boiling water,

Bring it to a boil again, cover, and turn the heat down to medium low. Cook covered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Stirring tapioca pearls in boiling water,

Boiling white tapioca pearls,

After 15 minutes, turn off the heat, keep the pot covered, and allow to sit for another 15 minutes.

Partially cooked tapioca pearls,

Drain the tapioca pearls and rinse under cold water.

Draining tapioca pearls,

Read more: how to stop boiled sweets sticking together | Family Cuisine

If the tapioca pearls still have opaque white centers, repeat STEP 1 and STEP 2 until all the tapioca balls are translucent.

Partially cooked tapioca pearls,

You may have to repeat a few times depending on their size.

In the meantime, dissolve 3 tablespoons sugar into 1 cup warm water.

Once the tapioca pearls are cooked, drain and rinse under cold water one more time.

Cooked tapioca pearls,

Then put them into the sugar water to prevent them from sticking together.

The cooked tapioca pearls lose their chewiness rather quickly, so it’s best to use them within 1-2 days.

Cooked tapioca pearls in sugar water,

Read more: how to get my boiled peanuts soggy and soft | Family Cuisine

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