Tapioca Pudding

One of my favorite desserts growing up was tapioca pudding. You don’t see it that much anymore. Kids get pre-made over-sugared puddings from the grocery store. My parents don’t make it that often as it requires too much (for them) careful stirring while the tapioca cooks. And you won’t find tapioca on any low-carb diets as it is pure starch, from the same plant as cassava. Yet tapioca pudding is one of those comfort foods that conjures up happy childhood memories. It’s actually really easy to make.

Tapioca Pudding Recipe

Look at the instructions on the package of tapioca that you buy. Some small pearl tapioca requires overnight soaking in water. If your package has that requirement, reduce the milk in the recipe to 2 1/2 cups from 3 cups.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup small pearl tapioca (you can usually find it in the baking section of the grocery store, do not use instant tapioca)
  • 3 cups whole milk (or skim milk with cream added)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

Method

1 Combine tapioca, milk, and salt in 1 1/2 quart pan on medium high heat. Stir until boiling. Simmer 5 minutes, uncovered at the lowest possible heat, adding sugar gradually.

2 Beat eggs in a separate bowl. Mix in some of the hot tapioca very slowly to equalize the temperature of the two mixtures (to avoid curdling).

3 Return eggs to pan with tapioca. Slowly bring mixture barely to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and stir several minutes at a low simmer, stirring constantly until you get a nice thick pudding consistency. Cool 15 minutes. Add vanilla. Serve either warm or chilled.

Note: If you want to make a more light and fluffy, but still rich, tapioca pudding, separate the eggs. Use the egg yolks to stir in first to the pan with the tapioca. Once the pudding has become nice and thick, beat the egg whites in a separate bowl to soft peaks. Remove the pan of tapioca pudding from the stove, fold in the beaten egg whites into the pudding.

Serves 4-6.

tapioca-pudding-a.jpg

116 Comments

  1. aaron bruder

    MMMMM was my first comment. I saw a bag of tapioca pearls in a store and I had had instant tapioca pudding before but never the real deal. So for a buck I got it and came home to realize I hadn’t a clue how to cook it. I went on the Internet to find a recipe and what in the world a tapioca plant looked like. But this is all off track, the recipe is very easy to follow and do. I am a 15 year old boy nd I got it on my first try so i’m sure anyone can do it and it is worth it.

  2. Lynne

    This recipe is great! FYI, I also tried it without the eggs, it still comes out fine as the starch from the tapioca holds it all together. Lowfat/2% milk also works. :)

  3. Nancy

    I just made this recipe- almost- I used it as a guide for amounts- but I soaked the tapioca pearls for two hours before I put them in and found that I didn’t really need the eggs- I added a little bit of kudzu root in water and it held perfectly- and tasted SO good- I wonder if you can do a vegan variation and use coconut milk or other milks? I will try…

  4. elise

    Hi Nancy – Well that’s an interesting variation, using kudzu as a binder instead of eggs. Let me know how it works with coconut milk!

  5. elise

    Michelle – no, tapioca comes from the tapioca plant. You may be thinking of Jello or gelatin which is made from the hooves of cattle.

  6. kathy

    My father used to make tapioca (fish eyes in glue) and we’d eat it before it ever cooled. His was always very “fluffy” not like a thick pudding.Does this recipe turn out the same?

  7. Lodoiska

    For the Vegan out there, I did make tapioca pudding with rice milk, and it works nicely. I can’t drink milk… :(

  8. Victoria

    My mom made this when I was a kid with coconut milk, and without eggs, it has a runny consitency, and we always ate it hot!.
    I saw the picture, and I have to get some tapioca, I only have coconut milk, and I was looking for tapioca recipies. The picture looks good enough to eat.

  9. Craig MacLellan

    Elise,
    You might want to try adding something my father added to it. Canned whole cherries in juice. Tapioca is good, but that just made it a whole lot better.

  10. inge

    I loved this as a kid and my kids loved it too. They called it fish eggs but loved it anyway. Now Grandpa and I eat it and love it, especially with crushed fresh strawberries on top with a dollop of whipped crm. YUM YUm

  11. Vanessa

    I got this bag of tapioca hoping I could come home, boil it up, and add this and that and that would be it. Hoping my kids would love a taste of my childhood, and guess what? The bag had no directions. I got so excited when I purchased it I got more than one bag with different colors but no dirrections on either bag! Help ! So do I have to soak them over night? Help I have a lot but really do not know where to begin.

  12. Elise

    Hi Vanessa,
    If I were in your shoes I would try out soaking a 1/2 cup of tapioca pearls overnight and then following the directions above. Without directions you’ll need to experiment.

  13. roseanne Sullivan

    All the other tapioca recipes I could find require soaking the pearls overnight
    and beating the egg whites and yokes separately. Too much trouble. I have
    some pearls I soaked all day according to the package directions,
    and now I’m going to try following your recipe from this point on.

    Next time, I’ll try it without soaking. I am going to serve mine
    with fresh blueberries. I had that combination at a restaurant,
    and I liked it, and I happen to have a box of fresh blueberries. So
    here I go.

    Thank you for this recipe!

  14. jim

    I had a wonderful appetizer at The Spice Market Restaurant in New York City. Chef Jean Georges Vongerichten created a cold Tapioca Pearls with Shaved Tuna dish. I believe that coconut milk was used. Does anyone have a recipe for this?

  15. Heather Mary Cox

    Thanks for the recipe – I’m going to try it with soy milk and almond milk as I don’t drink dairy milk. Great reading all the comments.
    Tea shops in Sydney Aust. put tapioca into teas and call it pearl tea, it’s very popular. I’ll let you know how I went with the soy.

  16. Astrid

    This is so fun. Loved reading everyone’s comments. I never had tapioca pudding as a kid, though I remember people being of firm opinions, they loved it to pieces or they put it in the same category as liver. That made me want to try it for myself of course, one day. I have just made it for the first time and I am such a fan. I was also just in Southeast Asia two weeks ago where I had it once for dessert, but it was way too sweet for my tastebuds. Tonight I made to according to the directions on the box. My eggs curdled a little; it was still delicious. I had two bowls, I never do that with regular puddings! Also, to those of you who crave variation: I tossed a chopped peach in while it was cooking. That was good. For the second bowl I added a little white wine. If any of you have ever had “weinschaum”, this came pretty close. I might change my middle name to Tapioca if this doesn’t stop. Time for another bowl. Elise, thanks for an intelligent, attractive cooking website.

  17. aardvarknav

    My mother taught us to make tapioca using an almost identical recipe. However, my favorite use of tapioca was when she made a fresh blackberry pie using tapioca as a thickener. Her tapioca thickener was more than just the raw tapioca and became more pudding like as it cooked. I didn’t learn that and haven’t been able to duplicate it. I’ve tried using just tapioca as the thickener, but, speaking from experience, you have to watch the amount carefully or the pie can become almost like paste.

  18. rosie

    First thing to remember is that there are two sizes of Tapioca pearls out there – large and small. The large pearls are hard to cook all the way through and requires soaking. I have also seen recipes that call for a crockpot for the large pearl variety.

    Secondly, I have had tapioca “pudding” made with fruit juices at some Asian restaurants. They were very light and refreshing – so it might be something to consider as well.

    Heather-a couple tea shops here in Columbus, OH sell the tapioca tea and call it bubble tea. It is a really odd sensation to get a slimey lil ball of “stuff” through the straw if you are not expecting it!

  19. Robert

    This stuff is easy to make in the microwave. Just follow all the directions, place in large microwave safe bowl, nuke 2 minutes at a pop, stirring each time in between, till it’s finished.
    Easy, easy, easy.

  20. TurtleMom

    CHOCOLATE TAPIOCA
    Follow the recipe given above, and at the time you add the vanilla add 2-6 Tbs cocoa powder (to taste).
    I use extra vanilla when I make either vanilla or chocolate tapioca pudding. I use a tablespoonful (3 tsp) of the most concentrated vanilla I can find – because I like it that way!

    Cheerio!!

  21. Angela

    How do you know if you should soak tapioca pearls before using them? I have a bag of BUDDHA imported tapioca pearl from Thailand and it doesn’t contain instructions pertaining to soaking them.

  22. Tatiana

    This recipe looks fab! Although it’s funny … we had a maid from the Philippines while growing up, and she made the best tapioca pudding, but I can’t seem to find a recipe anywhere whose results resembled hers. She served it cold, and it had a firm texture such that it had a soft but solid shape that could stand on its own, much like cheesecake. The pearls were tightly packed together with some sort of gluing agent that was more white than cream. I think coconut milk was used rather than cow’s milk. Does anyone have any ideas?

  23. sha

    I read aaron’s comment and like him, I have a bag of tapioca pearls. I wanted to cook them in a slow cooker (crock-pot) but have no idea how to do that. Also the soaking–is it necessary if slow cooking? Help please.

    MMMMM was my first comment. I saw a bag of tapioca pearls in a store and I had had instant tapioca pudding before but never the real deal. So for a buck I got it and came home to relize I hadn’t a clue how to cook it. I went on the internet to find a recipe and what in the world a tapioca plant looked like. But this is all off track, the recipe is very easy to follow and do. I am a 15 year old boy nd I got it on my first try so i’m sure anyone can do it and it is worth it.
    Posted by: aaron bruder at June 17, 2004 12:26 PM

  24. Tsaria

    I just made this (sort of), and it tastes really good. It’s still hot though, and I’m gonna let it cool before I eat any more. I soaked the tapioca pearls for ~15 minutes, but I don’t think I was supposed to, because when I tried to drain it, it just didn’t work. (They were the small ones.) I made a double batch of chocolate flavor. Instead of adding the sugar, I added 1/4 C + 2 tsp of (3 parts sugar, 1 part cocoa powder.) I also used (2) 14oz cans of lite coconut milk (I am vegan), and I ommitted the salt. (Coconut flakes for garnish.) Very good recipe.

  25. obx184

    For the person who wanted to slow cook tapioca, if you search on foodtv.com there is a fabulous recipe for it. I’ve made it twice, and it comes out perfectly with a minimum of work. Leave out the lemon for a more traditional flavor, but to me the lemon adds something fresh and delicious. Also, I increased the sugar to 1/2 cup because of my wicked sweet tooth. But honestly it also tastes great as it is. Try it!

  26. Cas

    I wanted to make tapioca for a teenager that had never heard of it. I like it fluffy with the beaten egg whites and added peaches after it is cooked. I made a huge batch so that both families could have some but it turned out more scrambled egg texture. I followed the directions on the box and used large pearls. Now I am eating a half gallon of tapioca myself because it is just not up to par for someone who has never had it before. Any ideas what went wrong? It never scorched. It’s the first time I have made it in years. Usually I make it with apple juice and mandarin oranges and after it is cooked sometimes I add vanilla yogurt and Baily’s. Ohhhh yummmm!

  27. carol

    it sticks together sometimes when you don’t give it a stir while it’s cooling—-mmm—try adding fruit cocktail

  28. sarah

    Someone asked about a possible ‘vegan’ version. I assume this means without milk. Here is what they do in China/Hong Kong and possibly other Asian countries with their sago/tapioca:

    Put your tapioca in a pot with enough water to cover. Start to boil (or you can soak for a while before hand). Using a can of coconut milk/cream (usually the fatty cream is solid on the top), pour this in, with as much sugar as you’d like to taste. Of course the coconut is very healthy. You stir as long as you like, til pearls are clear. I’ve never seen it made into a pudding, instead they serve it as a dessert soup – either really chilled or quite hot. I suppose you could alter the amounts and thicken it enough to make a pudding, but I like it as the dessert soup.
    It is very light and refreshing.
    So, only 3 ingredients: tapioca, sugar, coconut milk. If you like you can add some milk too or soymilk.

  29. Mary Boone

    I don’t know what the big deal is about tapioca pudding recipes–buy a box at the grocery store and follow the directions–I make it at least once a week–I triple the recipe –We are a family of 3. You can find it where the jello and puddings are –there are two kinds reg or pearl–we like the regular.

  30. Pearlady

    My husband tells me that you used to be able to buy Orange Tapioca but I have never heard of it. His mother used to make it around the 1940′s. Anyone remember?

  31. trikki

    Tapioca is tapioca “balls” about the size of baby peas
    Sago is seed tapioca which is made of tapioca and the size of pin heads.
    Boba is a form of tapioca ball that is dark coloured and is made when molassas ( I think I spelled that right) is mixed in when making tapioca balls. This is used in bubble tea drinks

  32. ric

    I just used this recipe as base modifying ingredients with: rice/coconut milk (lite) instead of milk; and, using davinci sugar-free syrup (praline flavor) instead of sugar. My roommate enjoyed it (as did I). Little runny – will have to try adding kudzu and maybe full-fat coconut milk next time.
    BTW, there are many flavors of davinci’s sugar free syrups that are quite nice, and, most are vegan (http://www.davincigourmet.com/749.html).
    Peace.

  33. Pat

    Yeah, fish eyes in glue! Thought I was the only one that called it that! Most delicious when made fluffy with a spoon of jelly or strawberies on top! Will try blueberries next. What a great site, loved the letters and comments. And yes, I eat it straight from the pot and am lucky to have any left over! I make mine from Minute tapioca box recipe.

  34. Sharon

    I wanted to make my husband his favorite dessert and was having trouble find a recepie for tapioca pudding that was fairly simple. then I found this web site! The pudding turned out great! and my husband was very greatful. I think this will be a frequently visited site for me.

  35. Mary Jane Baier

    I bought a bag of (what looks like) the pearl tapioca(at a bulk food store – no recipes anywhere) at the instance of my nephew (I love tapioca pudding . . . my sister and I have always said, “let’s have some taps” before I make it and we’d gobble it up). I’ve only used the instant/minute type and can’t wait to try this yummy looking/sounding recipe. I agree that seeing this picture made me want to run out and make it this very minute . . . can’t wait!

  36. Derek

    Call me crazy, but I always toss in a generous handful of dried raisins during the cooking process of tapioca pudding. The raisins soften and plump up, adding a nice flavor and texture to the pudding.

  37. Frank

    This can be made as a halloween dessert.Try adding green food coloring and pomegranite seeds and tell the kids that it is frog and fish egg pudding, and is a favorite of witches and goblins at halloween.

  38. Anonymous

    A simple Google search will reveal the differences between sago and tapioca. The former is made from a palm trunk and the latter is made from cassava root (which is not a palm).

    My mother would often whip up the egg whites (as one might for angel food cake) and fold them into the still hot tapioca pudding which had just been removed from the heat. This extra work is well worth the result — a fluffy lighter product. A bonus feature is that because the volume is quite a bit larger, which results in more servings with fewer calories for each serving.

    An absolutely delicious dairy free variation is to cook 3 TBS tapioca in 2 cups orange juice with about a 1/4 cup of sugar and a dash of salt. When thickened remove from the heat and fold in slices of ripe banana. Ummm tapioca ambrosia.

  39. laulani

    Actually, sago is not a palm either, itʻs a cycad. But the idea is correct, & thus tapioca is much more “renewable” and thus environmentally friendly(tapioca roots grow incredibly fast while cycads, some of the oldest plants on Earth, grow really really slow). But I think small-pearl tapioca may be called “sago” colloquially, too, so donʻt freak out!

  40. Celeste

    I just made this vegan using soy milk and about 2T arrowroot as a sub for the eggs. The soymilk was vanilla flavored, so I ommited the vanilla. It is wonderful!

  41. TLC

    I just posted my recipe and went to check if any others were like my crock pot recipe and found this site. Luckily, none are like my and definately not as easy as mine is. I will never go back to instant. I buy my tapioca small pearls from Bulkfoods.com and this recipe requires no soaking.

    Slow Cook Tapioca

    A classic pudding made with very little hassle. Easy afterschool cooking activity for children to serve up for a dinner desert. There is no need to presoak small tapioca pearls prior to cooking. Another plus is that there is occasional stirring required vs. standing over a hot stove making instant tapioca. Gluten Free.

    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 3 1/2 hour
    Servings: 8

    ——————————————————————————–

    INGREDIENTS:
    4 cups milk
    2/3 cup sugar
    1/2 cup small pearl tapioca
    2 eggs

    ——————————————————————————–

    DIRECTIONS:
    Add all ingredients to your favorite crock pot.
    Stir using a whisk, until top is bubbly.
    Set the crock pot to medium heat.
    Cover and stir occasionally.
    Cook for 3 hours.
    Thicken to your desire by removing the lid, up to 30 minutes, and stir frequently.
    Serve warm.

  42. Ramona Rung

    Thanks. Haven’t had it since I was a kid but bought a pkg. when teaching English in China but am unable to red a word of dir. Now I know what to do with it. My DAD said once to Mom, “You haven’t made FROG EGGS for years!” “When you called them that I thought you DID NOT like them”, she said. “so I did not make them anymore.” He REALLY DID like those frog eggs so we then had them weekly. Thanks again. Now I can let my grandchildren try them.

  43. Bethany

    Thank you for the recipe. I’m going to try it with Soy Milk, and possibly egg replacer. Also, thanks for all the comments- very informing. (:

  44. Deanna

    I made this today for a friend who just had a hysterectomy. She wanted it to take her meds with and it was the ONLY thing that sounded good. She absolutely devoured it! (I’ve never made tapioca pudding before)… YUMMY! I doubled the batch and the only thing was you couldn’t really tell when the “boiling” was happening… but that’s just because there was so much in the pot.. Thank you Thank you!

  45. Graham Day-Myron

    Just for the record; sago and tapoca are not the same thing. Sago is made from the starchy core of a certain type of palm tree, and tapioca is made from the roots of the cassava/manioc plant. These roots must be treated to remove the hydro-cyanic acid which they contain. Indigenously, this is done by pounding the roots, commercially a similar technique is used but on a larger scale. However, as both sago and tapioca are basically no more than refined starch, the outcome of both dishes when cooked is very similar.
    The method that my mother used to make it, involved bringing the pearls to a boil in sweetened milk, and then left overnight to thicken, no eggs or other binder was used. On occasion she would use the large pea sized pearls as a change, but the final result was much the same. Local oriental grocery stores carry both types, today I picked up two packs weighing 3/4lb each for 79 cents, they also had tapioca flour 2 x 1lb packs for 99 cents, both originate in Thailand. Tapioca flour can be used to make a wonderful mango pudding, perhaps I’ll post the recipe later.

  46. Margaret Finnegan

    Hi there from Australia,
    Here is another tapioca recipe which is not on your list. I like to soak the tapioca first . If I don’t soak it, the mixture often sticks to the bottom of the pot.
    In researching this subject (tapioca) I found that it is rich in folate and vit. B12., as well as calcium. Recent studies into dementia have found that people with dementia are lacking in folate and B12. My father had dementai so I think I shall put tapioca on my regular food plan.
    Here is the recipe.

    1 cup tapioca
    5 cups water
    1 cup sugar. (I use a little less)
    2 tabs. golden syrup. (A strong tasting syrup like honey made from sugar cane.)
    The juice and rind of 1 lemon.

    I soak the tapioca overnight in the water. Drain off the excess water, measuring it in a jug, then replace that amount with fresh water.
    Bring the mixture to the boil, then turn to very low heat and add the sugar, golden syrup, the grated rind and juice of 1 lemon. I stir the mix very often. After a while I get tired of standing over the hot pot, so I put my timer on for 4 minutes then go and do a crossword. I keep repeating this process, until it is cooked. making sure the heat is very low. I have in the past become frustrated with the time it takes tapioca to go completely transparent. So I turned up the heat and ended up locked in battle with a lump of gluey stodge which was almost impossible to stir!

  47. DeLos Biddle

    Hi, I didn’t know so much could be written about Tapioca. Have enjoyed the prospect of consuming tapioca for many years. Nice to visit here, Many thanks, DeLos.

  48. Mary D

    My mother-in-law made special orange tapioca pudding. Use any regular recipe such as this one posted, separate the egg(s) using only the yolk(s) in the cooking process. Add 1/4 cup orange juice concentrate (for single recipe) to the tapioca mixture while it is cooking. Beat the egg white(s) until stiff. Add to the cooked mixture after it has cooled a litte. Add 1 can (small for single recipe) pineapple tidbits, drained. On our first visit to her home after we were married, she had made one large bowl for my husband and a second large bowl the rest of the family shared. Sweet memories…we miss her.

  49. Penni

    My mom used to add drained crushed pineapple after it was cooked and then chilled before serving. YUMMY

  50. Lisa

    I have always loved tapioca. I ate once at an Amish restaurant and it was on the menu so of course I ordered it! To my surprise and delight they added a little shaved chocolate to the cooled pudding. That was great news to this chocoholic.

  51. June

    I had a really delicious puddings at a Persian friend’s house recently. It was a Sago (Tapioca Seed) puddings flavoured with rosewater.
    She said she just boiled the Sago in milk until it thickened like creamed rice. She added sugar and rosewater then put in dish and chilled it. It was quite firm when cold but very refreshing after dinner.

    By the way, my pack of Sago says Tapioca Seed in brackets so I am presuming that although it is called Sago it comes from the Tapioca root as opposed to the actual Sago palm.

  52. Chicago Fred

    My grandmother used to make us tapioca pudding, the fluffy kind, apparently with the egg whites folded in after boiling.
    My younger sister has always made it for me recently.
    Just tonight I made some for my wife because she has been sick with a virus for the last 3-4 days. It is a great comfort food.
    By the way, I normally double the recipe. It makes a couple of quarts, BUT it only makes ONE SERVING ! ! !

  53. Deb from Kansas

    Hi!

    I am looking for a recipe using fruit juice (i.e., apple juice or pear nectar) instead of milk and eggs. My son can’t have eggs, dairy, coconut, lemon, orange or wheat/gluten/rice due to allergies…. I want to be able to make him a special treat… and tapioca is on his okay list! When I was growing up, my mom used to make a clear tapioca pudding with fruit juice but she lost the recipe and can’t remember the juice/tapioca/sugar ratio. Anyone have any experience with this?

    I’m going to try soaking the small pearls, not minute tapioca,overnight in pear nectar…. I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out but if anyone has any recipes or ideas, please let me know!

    Thanks!
    Deb from Kansas

  54. ellgee

    Wow, just made this and it is divine on a rainy night in Costa Rica. I too, bought the large pearl tapioca at the health food store with no directions, and had to start googling. This recipe is the best I’ve found. Next time I think I will try turbinado/raw sugar for a more golden color and maybe give coconut milk a try. Thanks!

  55. Marie-Francoise

    Well, I needed a dish for church tomorrow morning.
    I thought of TAPIOCA pudding my mom usued to cook for us with real vanilla beans and cane-sugar, but did not remember how to do it…
    Thank you for the receipe and tips.It looks delicious.
    I’ll let you know how it turned out.

  56. baglady

    Brings back memories of staying over with Grandma back in the 50′s. She would make us warm tapioca with strawberries before bed. I’m soaking the pearls now. I know what I’m having tonight. :)

  57. "Doc"

    I live in Florida and can’t find Island Brand Tapioca Pudding in the box. I hope there is someone out there that knows where I can find it in anyone of the stores in the area in North Central Florida. I need to have it soon, I am starting to have withdrawls and need this real soon before I end up in rehab by not having it. So if there is anyone out there with a good heart and would like to help a tapioca addict, please let me know where I can buy the Island Brand.
    Thank you,
    Doc

  58. Jeff

    I tried soaking and cooking Tapioca (Cassava) according to directions. The pearls dissolved into nothing. I just discovered Sago Pearls and they have held up and not dissolved. I also use coconut cream (from my local Thai grocery) for a wonderful flavor and a golden colour. I also have put diced mangos in for a refreshing taste. currently fixing sago with Dragon eyes. And i still use a double boiler for cooking so I don’t have to worry about scorching. :-).
    Jeff

  59. tara

    Instead of the vanilla extract you can use any flavor of extract cherry, banana, maple, whatever. It tastes wonderful. I love tapioca and make it often. One day I was out of vanilla and didn’t realize it until the tapioca was done so I put in banana flavor; it was great.

  60. sally

    I just made this with coconut milk, and agave nectar for the sugar. I added nutmeg. No eggs. a dash of ginger… It was a little runny, but who cares, it was delicious! On my 4 day ALCAT rotation, this will be on day 4 for a while. yummy.

  61. Noreen

    I found a pack of Tapioca in the cupboard this evening, but couldn’t remember how my Mum used to make it (I bought it some time ago to use in a Philippino Pork Recipe). I could have rang her of course, but I googled and found this wonderful recipe. I haven’t had Tapioca for about 30 years!! I’m making it for my husband & son tonight and using this recipe. I love the idea of using coconut milk for a change and will try that next time.. I hope that my son will like it and therefore create nice memories for him, like it has for so many of us. :)

  62. Joseph D Storer

    I love Tapioca pudding as my Mother used to make it and Rice pudding as regular desserts.

    I have never been successful in making it but will try your recipe.

    What I have discovered is that in most all major Supermarkets you can purchase Cozy Shack Tapioca pudding both in regular and European style. They are as good or better than most recipes that I have been served. So if you love Tapioca but are lazy like me, just pick up some Cozy Shack in your Dairy case and enjoy. Also if you are like me an love great old fashion Rice Pudding you can also find it in your local market and eat until your hearts content.

  63. Tamara

    If you love an asian style tapioca pudding, use coconut milk and throw in a couple of cardomon pods while cooking. Remove the pods when fully cooked and add slivered almonds or cashew pieces (unsalted).

  64. Leeza D

    Ack!! I just tried this recipe with “small pearl tapioca” and it just wouldn’t cook. I followed the recipe until the sugar was added (maple syrup instead) and realized that the pearls were still pretty opaque; so I continued simmering and stirring and things didn’t change… Then I re-boiled it and still! the pearls are half-opaque. A half-hour later, I finally gave up and added the eggs. Now it’s grainy and chewy; but at least it’s milky and sweet…

    What did I do wrong? Help!
    (Please email me your response)

    Thank you!
    Leeza
    ps – these were organic tapioca, if that makes a difference.

    For some tapioca it is required that you soak the pearls overnight. Check the instructions on your package. ~Elise

  65. pat

    This is a very good recipe. the directions are simple and easy to follow. I am 15 and I made the tapioca very well.

  66. Wallace Johnson

    Where can I buy INSTANT Tapioca Pudding? I have looked everywhere and can only find the kind that has to be cooked.

    Instant tapioca pudding still needs to be cooked. You can find it sometimes in the baking section of your grocery store as it is often used as a thickener for pies. ~Elise

  67. Drake From New Mexico

    Good day everyone, A few days ago I came across this link eager to find the means to duplicate a tapioca I had at a Thai restaurant. With all of the above information at hand, I have had tapioca in so many ways, I cannot even remember what the tapioca from the restaurant tasted like. But, I have not had this much fun experimenting in the kitchen for a long while. I found tapioca that does not need to be soaked, it is Asuka Brand. I think out of everything I tried…the strangest combination was mixing the Thai style – using the coconut cream – with the chocolate…it tasted like a Mounds candy bar… Well, thank all of you for your ideas…and happy cooking. Oh by the way, I used soymilk in all of the desserts I made…worked wonderfully.

  68. Simone Ramel

    I’m so glad you mentioned what to do about the curdling…..that’s how I found this site. I’m glad I found your blog! Thanks. I look forward to exploring it more.

  69. jane baxter

    Hi, can anyone tell me where I can buy tapioca in Australia? I would love to use it but can’t find it anywhere.

  70. mary

    I make my tapioca with coconut milk and I always add some lime zest, a little lime juice and some dessicated coconut. It is SO good. I recently had to cut out eggs from my diet so I am looking forward to experimenting by using some kuzu instead of egg for a thickener.

  71. Ruth

    I have a very simple recipe for tapioca pudding done in the microwave.
    Soak 1/3 cup large pearl tapioca in water for several hours – to cover, plus a bit more. When softened, drain off the water and put pearls in a 2-2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Add 1 3/4 cup milk, 1/3 cup sugar and a dash of salt. Stir and heat in microwave on high power for 3 minutes. Stir. Continue heating and stirring every 30 seconds until the top develops a thick foamy texture, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 minutes more. While waiting for the milk mixture to heat, whisk together: 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 cup cold milk. Slowly stir the egg mixture into the hot milk mixture once it has reached the foamy texture stage. Heat in microwave for another 1 1/2 minutes, until it looks somewhat cooked around the outside edges. Stir well, cover the top of the casserole dish with a paper towel(absorbs the steam) and then the glass lid (this procedure prevents the forming of a “skin” on the pudding). Set aside to cool. The pudding will thicken as it cools. Serve at room temp or refrigerated with fresh strawberries. Serves 4.

  72. carole

    This was a regular pudding both for school dinners and home cooking. We called it FROG SPAWN. Some children ( like me ) loved it and some hated it. Also, when l was a teenager, living in Singapore we used to buy raw tapioca root and shave it,then roll the shavings into a small nut/ball by hand and use it for fishing bait. It worked a treat and was also tactile.

  73. Michelle

    Yum! I just made this with Rainbow colored Boba. I can’t wait for my kids to wake up and try it – we might have to have a little with breakfast!

    Thank you so much!

  74. Pudding Wife

    I’ve been using this recipe for at least three years now. Interestingly, each time I’ve followed it exactly but I’ve had varied results. The first time I made it, my husband (a bona fide Tapioca Pudding Expert) told me it was the best he’d ever had. Not to toot my own horn, but I had to agree- it was creamy and flavorful. The elusive perfect consistency!

    Unfortunately, subsequent attempts to recreate the magic of that ideal pudding have all failed to varying degrees. For instance, tonight’s trial netted a gluey mess… So what gives? Does it have to do with the environmental conditions of my kitchen? Is AC the key? Or perhaps the stove was too high- or too low? Any thoughts on how to avoid a gluey consistency would be greatly appreciated…

    No idea what the problem could be. Using a different brand of tapioca each time? Perhaps there is some inconsistency in the tapioca being used? Never had to deal with a gluey consistency. ~Elise

  75. ANITA

    Just reviewed all of the above comments. Thanks for the info, HOWEVER, does anyone know where I can buy “fish egg” tapioca around Santa Clara/San Jose? Can find all kinds of Kraft Minute Tapioca on the baking isles, but no large tapioca. I don’t mind soaking it overnight—am retired. My mom used to make it years ‘n years ago before Minute Tapioca was invented—-in fact, before anything was invented—almost.

  76. janice

    When I made it, it tasted fine. But is the egg suppose to be chunky?

    Hello Janice – no, the egg should not be chunky. If it is, it means that the pudding curdled. Next time bring it to a boil much more slowly, and as soon as it bubbles reduce the heat. Also stir constantly. ~Elise

  77. Kiah

    For this recipe, do you still have to soak the tapioca pearls overnight?

    It depends on the brand of tapioca pearls you are using. Check the box. ~Elise

  78. Deb

    For those looking for a recipe that is dairy free, there is a dish called Rote Gruze which is 550 ml of grape juice and 2 tablespoons of sago. (Maggie Beer’s version) I’ve made this with mango juice, but dilute it a little with water. You could use any juice you like. It was a bit liquidy for me, so i’ll use 4 tablespoons of sago next time. Put both ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Then simmer for 3O or 40 minutes until sago is clear. Cool and serve with cream or yoghurt, or coconut cream or soy milk thickened with arrowroot powder.

  79. robin

    The Bob’s Red Mill website has a great recipe for old fashioned tapioca pudding. It requires the pearls to soak 1/2 hour. I believe that is for the small pearl.

  80. Betty Moody

    I bought the small size tapioca thinking it would be easy to prepare and to find a recipe. Surprise! I could not find a single one in my cook books. I found this site with a search. I have been watching my calories so do any of you have the calorie content for the recipe listed above ( one that calls for separating egg whites from the yellow and folding in the whites after whipping)? I was diagnosed with demetia recently and I read above that this is good for dementia. Is it? Thank you.It is very interesting to read all the comments.

    Hello Betty, so sorry to hear about the dementia! I have no idea if tapioca pudding is good for that. Don’t know about the calorie count either. We don’t count calories over here so I wouldn’t know where to begin with figuring it out, also don’t have the time. You might be able to find an online resource to help you with it. ~Elise

  81. Kenda

    I love tapioca pudding. Reading all of these comments have convinced me to quit buying the pudding cups (of which I normally eat 2!), and get some pearls!!!

  82. Sheri

    Another cooking option for tapioca is to follow the directions but cook it in a slow cooker on the high setting. I can’t give you times because cookers tend to have varying heats and you can’t just set it and forget it as the eggs have to be added part way through however it does eliminate the need to stand over the pot and stir constantly.

  83. LHall

    Grated apple tapioca pudding recipe?
    My mom made this in the 60s and 70s. I remember grating the apples for the pudding. The liquid ingredient was apple juice. I think it was sweetened with a little brown sugar and it had lemon in it too. It was a beautiful clear amber color. It was divine, especially when served with fresh whipped cream.

  84. Melinda

    Another gem! I used soymilk and added unsweetened cocoa and a dash of cinnamon – delish! Also, I followed the soaking instructions for the Red Mill small pearl tapioca that I used and would reduce the soaking time – the tapioca was a little gummy.

    Thanks so much Elise! I really appreciate you. Your blog has become a cherished source of recipes and ideas.

  85. Leigh

    I tried making lemon sago tonight, using what seems to be the small ball kind. It just came out like thick, sticky glue. There were hardly any balls in it by the time it was clear. WHat went wrong? Can anyone help?

  86. Mike Loutris

    Hello Elise,
    I’m not much of a cook. Are we supposed to stir the pudding after adding the vanilla?
    Thanks,
    Mike

    Yes, stir the pudding after adding the vanilla. ~Elise

  87. Gretchen Martini

    This was a disaster. The first time I tried making this pudding without separating the eggs. I ended up throwing out a double batch because of curdling. I would not recommend this recipe.

  88. Charlotte

    This is a great recipe. I love to cook, and have prepared many gourmet dinners, but never tapioca pudding. I’m from the South and for some reason, my mother never prepared it. For those asking where to find pearls, go to your health food store, or any store that sells bulk grains and spices. It is higher quality and fresher than the boxed varieties. I soaked the small pearls for two hours, made a double batch to share with friends, brought to a boil very slowly, then down to simmer, stirring often. It was perfect. Next time, I’ll replace some of the milk with coconut milk, just for a different taste. I loved using the eggs, as the pudding was very creamy, and also replaced one cup of milk with cream. The result was fantastic and really took little time – 15 minutes after the boil.

  89. Dawna

    Yummy! I have tried to make tapioca before following the package directions and failed miserably! This recipe was very easy to follow – as long as you have basic cooking knowledge! I put the final product in a martini glass layered with sliced oranges – amazing!

  90. Lynae

    @Gretchen: It’s really important to temper the eggs and tapioca, as stated in the recipe. When I did it, I had the eggs in a 2-cup measuring cup and added a spoonful of hot tapioca, stirred it, added 3 spoonsful, stirred it, then 5 spoonsful. Then I was able to just pour the whole mixture into the pot of tapioca, no curdling problems at all. Hope that helps!

  91. Meliss Hoddinott

    This was awsome, only my eggs turned it orange! They were free range eggs, maybe that’s why, anyways I added I can fruit cocktain and two mandrin fruit cups tasted soooo good, gonna try it with cocoanut milk next time and half the sugar!! Great recipe!

  92. Tonya

    I just made this with rice milk. I didn’t have normal sugar and used rapadura. I made a double batch and really screwed it up. It is curdled…it is like pure liquid on the bottom and the curdled mess is at the top. Aaaak! What did I do wrong?

    I suspect that changing two ingredients of a recipe that only calls for six ingredients may have had something to do with it. Also making a double batch. Sorry, can’t help you if you change the recipe so much. ~Elise

  93. Christina

    Thank you for this! I soaked the tapioca pearls overnight in 1 cup milk and added 2 cups milk when ready to cook it. I used organic 2% milk and coconut sugar (ie the dried sap from coconut trees, like maple sugar I guess) and it was heavenly.
    =)

  94. KyMama2girls

    My husband bought the tapioca pearls & it was up to me to figure out how to cook into pudding. Found this recipe & like that it did not have whipped egg whites…also the hint about stirring hot tapioca/milk mixture into eggs to prevent curdling. I gave the recipe as a project to my 10 & 8 year old and it was a great success! Thank you!

  95. lucila

    Hello, I bought a large bag of black tapioca pearls (to prepare bubble tea) but it’s a lot. Can I use those kind of black tapioca pearls to do pudding? I’d aprecciate the help. Thank you

    Honestly, I don’t know. I kind of doubt it. But if you try it, please let us know how it turns out. ~Elise

  96. Pomme

    Hi,

    I randomly found your recipe on the interwebs, and tried this for the first time (I almost never cook sweet plates). It was a perfectly successful treat!

    I’m from France, and I hadn’t heard of tapioca pudding before, but we have something really similar : le “riz au lait” (rice pudding), where you’d replace tapioca with round rice. It also resembles a lebanese dessert, “mouhalabia”, a flan with orange blossom water.

    Next time, I’ll try with caramel, or fruits (melons! bananas!), or rum, or chocolate… Thanks!

  97. Vicki

    I’ve made a project of learning to cook tapioca, the past few weeks, because it is one of my husband’s favorite comfort foods. What I have discovered is that many recipes, while they may work if you don’t soak the tapioca, work better when you do, and overnight seems to work about the best. I bought small pearl tapioca at Winco in the bulk foods section. Winco buys much of their bulk foods at Bob’s Red Mill here in Portland, and I suspect that what I bought was Bob’s Red Mill. It looks identical to their packaged tapioca.

    How much tapioca you use may depend on whether you prefer to eat your tapioca warm or cold – the consistency of the pudding when warm will be much soupier than when it is chilled. If you prefer to eat your pudding warm, you may want to use the larger amounts of tapioca many recipes call for, so it will have some thickness. If, however, you prefer your pudding chilled, it may be better to use less tapioca.

    I currently use approximately 1T of tapioca and 1T of sugar, per cup of milk, and have considered using less. We tend to eat our pudding chilled, and don’t mind the thinner texture of the warm tapioca, when we have it that way.

    I find if I add the egg along with the milk and sugar, the tapioca makes up very nicely, and there is no need to temper the egg.

    I’ll post more complete directions (too lengthy for here!) for stovetop, microwave, and slow cooker versions of our tapioca, within a couple of weeks, when my blog is up, but the suggestions above should be helpful to anyone wanting to experiment. Have fun!

  98. Jeff Cooley

    I am not a fan of sweets whatsoever but let me tell you elise, this is absolutely fantastic. I have filed the recipe with my wife as a must for Thanksgiving haha :). The family is going to love it!

  99. Lori H.

    This is really good, and I mean REALLY good. I would suggest adding only one egg, though, because the final tapioca was a bit too eggy (:

  100. KitchenGeisha

    Well, I cannot find Pearl Tapioca in any of my local stores that I can use – it may be at the bulk food store, but as my son has a peanut/tree nut allergy I can’t use anything that has been open in bins alongside nuts.

    It’s really odd, because I live in an area with a large Asian community and I would have thought it would be readily available in the local grocery stores, but I can’t find a thing.

    I bought Minute Tapioca, which I know is instant, but I’m going to try it anyway. The directions on the package for their tapioca pudding closely resemble the recipe here.

    If nothing else it will be edible.

  101. VirgoGoddess

    I’ve only been able to find (and buy) Sago seeds. My local bulk foods store used to sell Sago tapioca, but has discontinued it and recommended I try an Asian grocery.

    I found them at an East Indian/Asian grocery store, and when I asked if it was a similar product, I was told it looks like gelatinous balls when cooked in puddings. Sounds similar to tapioca…

    When looking online, it seems that they are different sources, but can be used interchangeably for “most recipes”. Anyone have a clue if this would work?

  102. Rachel

    Elise, thank you for a lovely recipe. I did substitute soy milk (silk soy milk–it behaves in a milk-like fashion most of the time) for milk, as my husband is allergic to dairy, but this always comes out very nicely. I’m sure it’s even nicer with all original ingredients. :)

  103. Lance M

    very good recipe. i use the small pearls and they work quickly and to a T. I followed the recipe exactly (for a change) and it was superb!No need for the instant. and the big pearls take a long time to cook by the way.

  104. Neil Bresnahan

    I have looked for tapioca here in Germany for some time, unsuccessfully. today I was shopping at Kaufland and found a product from Müller’s Mühle (but not in the baking section with grain-based products, rather in the sugar section) called “Perl Sago” in the 250gram box. I tried your basic recipe and found it delicious. I would use a bit less sugar the next time, but otherwise all went well. I didn’t need to soak the sago pearls (pin-head size) at all and the whole procedure took only 30-45 minutes total. Thanks for helping me relive a childhood memory!

I apologize for the inconvenience, but comments are closed. You can share your thoughts on our Facebook page ~ Elise.