Tapioca comes from the cassava root. Tapioca starch is a thickening agent often used in pie fillings, puddings, soups and sauces. It helps bind the ingredient together so the final product isn't syrupy or watery. Tapioca also provides a sheen to the cooked food, which gives cherry pie filling or a chocolate pudding its glossy appearance. Unlike cornstarch, tapioca starch freezes well. This makes it the best choice for foods you plan to freeze for later.
Things You'll Need
Fruit juice or liquid
Add 1 tsp. tapioca starch to every 1 cup fruit juice or other liquid in the food. Whisk the tapioca into the liquid until it's completely dissolved.
Heat the liquid over medium heat,. Stir occasionally so it doesn't stick to the pot.
Remove the pot from the heat as soon as it begins to boil. Boiling makes the tapioca gummy and stringy.
Let the sauce stand for two minutes, then stir thoroughly. Allow it to stand an additional two to three minutes, then stir a second time. The tapioca thickens as the mixture cools, and stirring prevents lumps.
Add the tapioca-thickened liquid to your recipe once it has cooled and thickened. Add any other ingredients, such as fruit slices, after the tapioca thickens.
Tapioca pearls are made from tapioca starch, but they are used to provide a slightly lumpy texture in puddings.