Tapioca Pudding

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.

  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6


  • 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 teaspoon of vanilla extract


1 Cook the tapioca in milk with salt, slowly adding sugar until the tapioca thickens: Combine tapioca, milk, and salt in 1 1/2 quart pan on medium high heat. Stir while bringing to a bare simmer. Lower the heat and cook uncovered, at the lowest possible heat, adding sugar gradually, until the tapioca pearls have plumped up and thickened.

Depending on the type or brand of tapioca you are using and if you've presoaked the tapioca as some brands call for, this could take anywhere from 5 minutes to 45 minutes of cooking at a very low temperature.

Stir occasionally so that the tapioca doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.

2 Temper the eggs with a little hot tapioca: Beat eggs in a separate bowl. Whisk 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. Increase the heat to medium and stir for several minutes until you get a thick pudding consistency. Do not let the mixture boil or the tapioca egg custard will curdle. Cool 15 minutes. Stir in 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.

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  • Suzanne Chesser

    WHERE do I find tapioca ??? I’m finding instant & other stores don’t have it at all! I’ve tried Albertsons, Sprouts & Walmart.

  • Parker clevenger

    So good, I recommend it


  • Cindy

    The recipe is smooth and creamy just like i remember. Great tip to cut back the milk if pearls were soaked. It made a big difference in the texture and pudding consistency.


  • Denica

    I made it, but the eggs curdled even if the pan was at medium heat. I did mix in some of the tapioca into the beaten eggs so that the temperature was equal for both the mixtures. I mixed them together, stirring constantly. At the end of the whole process, including the cooling, the texture of the pudding was not appealing. What did I do wrong?

    • Summer Miller

      Hi, Denica, I’m sorry your eggs curdled. It sounds like maybe you added the milk mixture to the eggs too quickly. When you temper eggs, you need to pour the warm milk in very slowly in a thin stream. The “medium” of your burner might have also been a bit too high if your saucepan isn’t very thick. If you try this again, when you return the mixture to the heat do so at medium low instead of medium, and temper the eggs with the milk slowly. I like to use a soup ladle and pour it in a stream that is thinner than a pencil. In the end, however tapioca is a thick, textured pudding. Good luck.

  • Deb

    The taste was good but the consistency was very thick and not at all like a pudding. What did I do wrong?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Deb, tapioca pudding typically is pretty thick. If you want it thinner next time you can add more milk when making the custard, or fold in some beaten egg whites.

  • Brenda

    We called it Fish Eyes.

  • Laura

    Thank you for this perfect pudding!

    Burnt milk/pudding on the bottom of the pot happens way too easily. A double boiler is really the best way to go.

    But, being a kitchen gadget minimalist and not owning a double boiler, here is my hack:

    Put tapioca pearls + salt + low fat milk + sugar (yes, sugar too) in a stainless steel salad bowl and whisk to combine.

    Place on top of a large pot half-filled with water and cover mixture with the pot lid (doesn’t matter if the lid isn’t big enough to cover the whole salad bowl). Bring water to a boil over high heat – the beauty of this method is that the pudding will never burn, no matter what.

    Turn heat down to medium (but keep the water at a slow boil) and whisk the tapioca / milk mixture every few minutes as it thickens – my brand of tapioca pearls took 45 minutes but I didn’t have to stand over the stove the whole time.

    In the meantime, I beat 1 egg with a half cup of water and the vanilla (rich enough – doesn’t need 2 eggs) and set aside. When the tapioca pearls became translucent, I tempered the egg and finished as recipe states.

    Love in a bowl and no burnt pot to clean up!


  • Laurie

    I make this and fold in the egg whites at the end. Then I add some drained crushed pineapple. Delish!!


  • Antonia

    I made it anda was so yummy!!!! The best recipe!!!


  • Valerie

    My husband loved it but it was a bit too sweet for me and definitely sweeter than the tapioca pudding I remember from my childhood. Next time will try halving the sugar and vanilla and perhaps serve with a little jam instead.


  • Richard Slubowski

    Wonderful recipe. I usually get irritated by others who make changes and then complain about the results. However, this time I made one little change and I liked the result. I split the eggs into yolks and whites, beating the whites and adding at the last minute as you suggested. The only adjustment, was to add the zest and juice from one small lime. Delicious!!! True comfort food!


  • mary ann

    BRING BACK CREMOLA PUDDING so I can have it alternating with TAPIOCA.
    iI thank you and Regards
    Mary Ann

  • Kate

    Yum! My toddler and I just made this and it’s delicious! It reminded me of times my grandmother made it when I was a little girl. Thank you!


  • [email protected]

    Just made it ….wow love it reminds me of being a kid


  • Bob

    So many recipes are variations on the instant tapioca. This isn’t that. It is tapioca from scratch. It is forgiving – I forgot to add the sugar until late in the process. Yes it’s comfort food. Very comfortable


  • Linda

    Best Tapioca Pudding recipe


  • Kathy

    Awesome and easy


  • mary sherwood

    Great flavor, easy recipe.


  • Penny

    OMG!!! I made this yesterday and it took forever(didn’t scortch tho). It is so pastey and starchy, not smooth and creamy like my Mom’s at all. The flavor was great but really yucky consistency. What did I do wrong? Did I cook it too slowly? Not happy!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Penny, The amount of time it takes to cook really depends on the age/brand of tapioca pearls you are using. You can soak the pearls in milk ahead of time to get them to plump up better before cooking them. As for the consistency, that long cooking time probably contributed to more liquid evaporation, which could have made the pudding too thick. If this happens again, just loosen it with a bit more water or milk.

  • stephen

    Easy recipe – however do you not put apricot jam in your pudding? That’s how I grew up with it and it just doesn’t taste the same without the apricot jam.


  • Valerie Stapleton

    I love Tapioca Pudding. We used to call it frogs eyes at boarding school. Some girls did not like it so two serves for me. Yay.

  • JudyG

    I made it once and just couldn’t stop making it! It’s very easy and quick, not to mention delicious! I use the large tapioca pearls because I like things with more texture. I’m going to try Jaime’s (another commenter) suggestion of using brown sugar next time. :) This is definitely a “winner”. I’d like to know what the nutritional information is though, but it won’t stop me from making and eating it!! :)


    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Judy! So glad you like the recipe! We don’t currently calculate nutritional info on our recipes. I’d suggest using an online calculator like this one. Enjoy!

  • Steve

    Great recipe.


  • jaime

    I made this for my lactose intolerant friend without knowing that she was lactose intolerant. She ate roughly three servings and suffered happily. I added cinnamon and used brown sugar instead of white sugar and fell in love. Thank you for this nostalgic recipe.


    • JudyG

      Thanks for the idea of using brown sugar rather than white, even though I use organic raw sugar, I’m looking forward to trying the recipe with brown sugar.

  • Sky

    When I was a kid, my Grandmama would purchas tapioca pudding, much like this, from an old fashioned local deli. The pudding was delicious, with nice size pearls, much better than the instant stuff! I am sure the deli staff made it themself. I am pleased how closely this resembles the same food.

    Grandmama is a salty old lady. She got a kick out of calling the pudding “old fish eyes.” Luckilly, a nasty name does not affect the flavour.

    For a chocolate variety, I like to reduce the sugar to 1/3 cup and add 1/4 cup cocoa powder just as the milk reaches a simmer.

  • Crystal Sperber

    Can I use the tapioca pearls, like the ones they use in the drinks, for this recipe?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Crystal! Emma here, managing editor. Those large pearls used for drinks cook differently than the smaller pearls called for in this recipe, so I wouldn’t recommend substituting them here.

  • deedee

    Thank you for the recipe! It’s easy to cook and it has the great result.
    Will save this page for the future use )


  • Rene

    So much better than instant! In our house we call “happyoca”!

  • Marie | Just Plain Living

    Tapioca pudding is one of those comfort foods that I love but my husband – who never had it until I made it for him – dislikes. I can’t understand him at all. My mother always made the quick minute tapioca, and it was an Old Order Mennonite lady who showed me how to make the old fashioned kind on the back of her wood stove.

    She was so very insistent – you can’t do anything else when you’re making tapioca. Just stand by the stove and mind your pot. :)


    • Carol Grover

      Instead of minute tapioca do you know if there is a different way to make using large pearl tapioca?

  • Penny Krieger

    Excellent recipe. I used all organic; tapioca, milk, eggs, vanilla but followed your directions very closely. One change, I did substitute honey for sugar, decreasing the milk slightly.

    All worked perfectly and it was delicious! Saved the recipe to make again sometime.


  • Jessica

    Made this recipe today and used almond milk. Tapioca Pudding is a family favorite but being lactose intolerant I wanted to make it so everyone could enjoy! I used unsweetened vanilla and then omitted the vanilla not wanting the vanilla flavor to be over powering. The family loved it ! Thank you!


  • Grandpa, Ansonia , Ohio

    Just made this today 12- 24- 17 for our Christmas . It is so good, just like my grandma made. You have to try it.


  • Andy Clark

    Finally after years of hit and miss, this recipe provides ‘secret answer’. Simply put: once Egg mix is added DO NOT let it boil or it turns grainy.

  • Cindy Christie

    Just wondering how long this will keep for, or can if be frozen? Am just making if for myself so there will be leftover pudding.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Cindy, great question! I don’t think it will last in the fridge for more than a few days. I haven’t tried freezing it, but you do, please let us know how it works for you!

      • Cindy Christie

        Ok so i made this and put some in the freezer to see how it would go. Am pleased to say it freezes great.

  • maureen

    is it good for someone with stomach problems?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Maureen, good question! I guess that depends on the nature of the stomach problems. I usually shy away from rich desserts when I have indigestion. I would recommend something like applesauce instead.

  • ossie

    My husband loves tapioca pudding. Have been trying several recipes, all met with “not bad, but not quite” reaction. Finally, a winner!! Used small tapioca pearls, followed the recipe to the letter with one minor change – used granulated Splenda instead of sugar (diabetes…). The reaction this time – “this is it!”. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!


    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Ossie, I’m so glad the tapioca pudding worked for you with Splenda. Thanks for letting us know!

      • Donna

        I made this the other evening and it was delicious. My husband especially loves tapioca pudding. Do you think that I could substitute honey for the sugar and still get good results?

        • Elise Bauer

          Hi Donna, honey has a strong flavor, so if you use it instead of regular sugar (which is relatively flavorless), you’ll have a strongly honey tasting tapioca. I haven’t tried it with honey, but if you do, please let us know how you like it!

  • Russ

    I made this, and added minced Marachino Cherries, Almond & Vanilla extract after cool down. I call it Cherry Amaretto Tapioca.

  • Margarita Rowley

    Response to ghudler. I like your helpful comments with regard to this recipe, but I’m not quite sure how you stir constantly with the pot covered.

  • Linda

    I made this and followed this easy recipe. I doubled the recipe to make a lot. It came out awesome and I sprinkled it with cinnamon. Next time I will put some coconut milk in it also.I also used sugar-free sugar as I am diabetic.

  • Sheila B

    I made this for my 92-yr-old farmer uncle who raved that this favorite of his was better than he remembered from his childhood. That’s big shoes to fill. Thanks for the recipe & giving him a taste of home!

  • ghudler

    I determined that you must have the milk or water boiling before you add certain tapioca pearls (including bubble tea pearls). Sometimes, if you add them while the ingredients are cold, the pearls disintegrate into a gummy mess. I heat half the milk VERY slowly to boiling, with a tbs of sugar, before I add the pearls and it works every time. Cover the pan and stir constantly while cooking. On the side, mix the egg yolks with the remaining milk, salt and sugar while the pearls cook. Once the pearls are almost all clear, add them slowly to the remaining milk/sugar/yolks. Then place everything back into the pan, stir and stir constantly, while covered, and cook on the absolutely lowest setting until the pudding is thick and the pearls are all clear. Stirring constantly – got it? :)

    • Diane

      Ghudler, thanks for that tip! I’ll have to try it next time. I’ve always been dismayed by how the pearls disintegrate in the liquid, especially if you pre-soak them as seems to be the direction in many recipes (or at least on the package). Although they disintegrate and that seems to be what thickens the mixture, I do end up with pearls–but never as many as I think I should have. So maybe this is the key, along with not pre-soaking! I’d like my recipe to look like the picture, not like vanilla pudding with a few pearls in it.

      However, for lazy people (like me, who made pudding from scratch countless times as a child and teen) who get tired of constant stirring, just use a double boiler! That’s what my grandma and mom always did for tapioca pudding and it works great.

  • Sophie

    I subbed one 14 oz can coconut milk and 1 2/3 cup half and half because I didn’t have any milk on hand. Also, I used coconut palm sugar instead of white sugar, simply for a flavor experiment. It turned out smooth and creamy with a delightful hint of coconut, and my family loves tapioca pudding with a touch of nutmeg sprinkled on top:) Thanks Elise!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Sophie, thanks for letting us know about the substitution, so glad it worked for you!

  • Isa

    This recipe was a disaster. So thick. Like cement. Way too much tapioca pearls for the amount of milk. Now fed to the dog. I will try again tomorrow with 1/4 the amount of tapioca.

  • Christine

    Just used this recipe with organic ingredients…..very good! I only used 1/3 of the amount of sugar and it turned out just fine. Thank you!


  • Amber

    Oh! This was so good! I also used less sugar and 1/2 coconut milk. My first time making tapioca pudding. Thank you for good easy to follow directions.


  • Michele

    Yes, good recipe….I did use less sugar for a more spicy tapicoa and used brown sugar, cardamom and then added cocoa nibs! SO delicious! Thanks.


  • Philippa

    Made it. Loved it! But next time I’m going to try it with less sugar as it was a bit too sweet. Maybe coconut sugar. My son has asked for a chocolate version.

  • Rose

    I was taught to make this by G-ma who just cooked….. no recipe. Recently made it for a work potluck. Everyone liked it.
    Thank you for putting into words what I couldn’t. Your method is what I just do. For my work pals who want the recipe, I’ll send them here

  • J.D. Staton

    For those whose tapioca pudding has turned out “scrambled egg-like” in consistency, this is the result of not “tempering” the eggs (causing them to curdle), with a very small amount of the cooked milk mixture, first – prior to fully folding the eggs into the cooked ingredients. If you put cold, raw eggs into hot, cooked liquid, the result will be “scrambled eggs”, unless you very slowly and in small amounts, introduce the raw eggs to the hot liquid (look up the term “tempering eggs” on the Internet, for more instructions, if you’re still confused about this).

    One of the very best tapioca pudding recipes I’ve ever eaten was at a SE Asian (Vietnamese/Thai) restaurant. They served warmed tapioca pudding, made with coconut milk (instead of dairy milk as many people of Asian descent cannot tolerate/digest dairy products) and slices of cooked banana. There is no greater “comfort food” than warm coconut-flavored tapioca pudding with bananas! YUM! When I’m sick or down, I crave this dish like crazy. It’s as gentle on the digestive system as any dish could possibly be.

    For those who were wondering, tapioca comes from the root of the cassava plant. It comes in two different sizes of “pearls”, with the smaller pearls used as a thickener (in place of corn starch or flour in a variety of dessert recipes). The large pearls are generally used in a huge range of delicious “bubble tea” recipes, though can be used for making dessert concoctions, as well. It’s far harder to locate places to buy the large pearls (look at Asian food stores or on the Internet), while the small pearls can be found in any standard grocery store (in the baking aisle). Recipes for “bubble tea” can be found on the Internet and You Tube. Enjoy!

  • Julia

    will the pudding have raw eggs if you separate the eggs and fold the egg whites in later?

    • Elise Bauer

      Yes, unless you use pasteurized eggs.

    • JuJu

      Hi, Elise and Julia:

      Per the USDA guidelines and Egg Board, as long as eggs are added to any mixture 165 F or hotter, any harmful microorganisms are killed.

      Based on chemistry makeup of tapioca, it sets at ~180 F, lower than the setting temp of, say, cornstarch, which is ~208 F.

      Hope this helps.

  • 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!


  • Diggory Scott

    Awesome recipe! Absolutly tasty and easy too!


  • 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!


  • 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


  • 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!


  • 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!


  • Biser

    Thanks for the recipe,
    I tried it and it’s delicious..


  • pasadena

    I came here via Cata’s craft. It’s a fantastic recipe! Thank you


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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. :)

  • 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?

  • 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.

    • Yama

      I buy from Indian store but also turkish and Brazilian sells it. The Brazilian one is very nice.

  • 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 (:

  • christine

    Rice Milk does not work to make Tapioca. I have no idea why, but it doesn’t set up.

  • 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!

  • Pomme


    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!

    • Russ

      Red Maraschino cherries minced, with some almond and a little vanilla make a wonderful Amaretto Cherry Cream Pudding.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Mike Loutris

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

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

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!!!

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • Judith

      Rote Grüze is as the Name said rot=red, red. It is made out of red berries Not grape juice.

  • 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

  • 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


    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.

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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!
    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

  • 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).

  • 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. :)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. :-).

  • "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,

  • 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!

  • Deb from Kansas


    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!

    Deb from Kansas

  • 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 ! ! !

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Penni

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

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Anna

    This is great! :) I like using coconut milk instead of whole milk. Thanks for sharing!

  • Mike Yohe

    Q. Can I make tapioca without using the egg yokes, just the egg whites?

  • 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


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


    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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • 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

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • carol

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

  • 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!

    • Debi

      Did you introduce some of the hot mixture slowly into the eggs, a little at a time while stirring; then introduce back into the cooking tapioca mix. Doing it that way should prevent the eggs from curdling.

  • Anonymous

    Used this for dinner last night. Awesome!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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?

  • cheryl

    Are tapioca pearl = sago?

  • 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.

  • TurtleMom

    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!


  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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!

  • Elise Bauer

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Craig MacLellan

    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.

  • Elise Bauer

    HI Lodoiska – thanks for the tip!

  • Lodoiska

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

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Kathy, it does if you separate the eggs and whip the egg whites separately, then fold them back into the pudding.

  • 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?

  • Elise Bauer

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

    • Marie

      Elise, I don’t think I have seen it referred to as the tapioca plant. It comes from the root of the cassava plant introduced into the Caribbean, South America, Asia and Africa by the Portuguese and Spanish explorers during their 15-16th Century voyages across the Globe. It is an alternative to other low-protein starches such as corn, rice and potatoes.
      It is referred to by various names in all those cultures, Yuca in South America, Manioc in Western French Africa, Fufu in Niger and Ghana, Sago and Boba in Asian cultures. Thailand is the world’s largest producer.

  • Michelle

    Is it true that Tapioca Pudding is made with animal bone marrow?

  • Elise Bauer

    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!

  • 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…

    • Marie

      what is kudzu root water?

    • Marie

      Nancy, I have tried it with Almond Milk and that way it is more nutritious, as with Coconut Milk. Someone else tried it with Rice milk. I try and find protein replacements to cow’s milk other than soy and Almond is my go-to vegan yummy alternative.

  • 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. :)

  • 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.