How to Make Tapioca Balls (Tapioca Pearls)


tea leaves

Keyword: Tapioca balls

Tapioca Pearls are commonly used in Taho, which is a traditional Filipino breakfast made of soft Tofu in syrup. Tapioca pearls are used in many other desserts such as Puto, Embutido and Tadyang ng Taro. Tapioca pearls are very simple to make; it just involves boiling and draining the tapioca pearls, then mixing with sugar syrup (other variations include coconut milk or coconut cream). Tapioca Pearls can be made at home by anyone.

Before starting, here are some Tapioca Pearl facts:

Tapioca Pearls (also known as Tapioca Balls) are made of Tapioca, which is a root crop, and the Tapioca pearls/balls we use in making Taho and other dishes are made from Tapioca starch. Tapioca comes from the Cassava plant (Manihot Esculenta Crantz). According to Wiki Answers, Tapioca Pearls may be called “Bolitas de Mani” (“Balls of Mani”) or “Bolitas de Yugo” (“Yogurt Balls”).

According to Philippine Online Chronicles:

TAPIOCA PEARLS: A Lesson on How To Make Tapioca by Bernie Cervantes

Tapioca pearls are indeed easy to make. Tapioca starch is mixed with water and heated in a big pot or casserole until it congeals into nice white balls. The balls are scooped out of the pot, rinsed with cold water, drained, and transferred to another container. The Tapioca balls may now be boiled in syrup (or coconut milk) to produce Tapioca pearls in coconut milk.

Ingredients for Tapioca Pearls:

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Tapioca Starch

Sugar

Water

Coconut Milk/Cream (optional)

1 cup Tapioca Starch

1 cup Sugar

2 cups Water

½ – 1 cup Coconut Milk (or Coconut Cream)

How to Make Tapioca Pearls:

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Soak Tapioca starch in water for 15 minutes.

Transfer Tapioca Balls from the soaking water into a pot and add fresh water, stirring until Tapioca Balls are completely separated from each other.

Bring Tapioca balls and water to a boil over high heat, then simmer until Tapioca Balls appear translucent, about 5 minutes or so if cooked through. Drain Tapioca pudding in a strainer and rinse with cold running tap water until it’s no longer sticky to touch, which normally takes less than a minute of rinsing under the tap.

In another pot, combine Sugar and Tapioca Balls.

Pour in water and stir until Tapioca Balls are covered with water and Tapioca Balls appear translucent.

Bring Tapioca balls and water to a boil over high heat, then simmer until Tapioca Balls appear translucent, about 5 minutes or so if cooked through. Drain Tapioca pearls into a strainer and rinse with cold running tap water until it’s no longer sticky to touch, which normally takes less than a minute of rinsing under the tap. Transfer Tapioca pearls to another container after draining out the syrup/water mixture completely from Tapioca pearls (to prevent Tapioca pearls from getting too sticky). Tapioca pearls may also be soaked in coconut milk/cream instead of water.

Tapioca Pearls can now be cooked with sugar syrup to produce Tapioca Pudding, Tapioca Balls in Coconut Milk or Tapioca Balls in Cream, or boiled further to make puto/bibingka.

Tapioca Pearls are good for up to a week stored inside the refrigerator if kept submerged under cold tap water (to prevent Tapioca pearls from getting sticky). Tapioca balls are best consumed immediately after removing them from the stovetop and rinsing with cool water. Tapioca pearls may also be coated with Tapioca flour and fried for Tapioca fritters.

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