Me: so, what do you think?

Jim: well, it’s interesting. I’m finding it a bit confusing, frankly.  Both the flavour and the texture.  It’s not horrible, but it certainly isn’t good.  It’s just… there.

Well, there you have it, folks.  My foray into creative tapioca pudding was sort of a deflated flop. Not even exciting enough to be dismal. Just sort of… confusing.

I’m a bit confused about tapioca, to be honest. My Mom decidedly does NOT like tapioca (she calls it “slimy little fish eyes”), so we didn’t eat it growing up. I’ve seen the Bubble Tea shops around the city and have passed them by with no real urge to sample.

According to the J of C, tapioca is the starch from the cassava root. The “pearls” (or “fish eyes” if you ask Mom) are just formed balls of tapioca (in my mind, similar to couscous, only different).

Today Jim and I went to a “Food Fight” fundraiser in support of Variety, the Children’s Charity. As we walked out the door, I said, “remind me to pick up a bubble tea today”.  Needless to say, after several excellent brunch courses and several more mimosas (we already know how much I love sparkling wine), a bubble tea was very low on my list of priorities.  Did I mention that River Rock put truffle in their hollandaise sauce? I love truffle just slightly less than I love duck. Or is it more? I voted for River Rock but Tigh-Na-Mara won, followed closely by YEW restaurant at the Four Seasons. Both deservedly so; they were in my top 3.

So. Brunch = 1; Bubble Tea = 0. I was going to have to start from scratch.

I admit, I eyed up the plastic cup tapioca (not sure if it was Jell-O or not) and kind of thought, “why not”?  I also checked out tapioca flour but with dinner already planned, could not at the precise moment in the grocery store, figure out a way to factor it in.

So. I made coconut-lime-cardamom tapioca pudding.  From scratch. Using Kraft “Minit” Tapioca (because the IGA by my house does not carry tapioca pearls, which apparently you need to start a day ahead anyway). I adapted a JofC recipe pinching ideas from several I found on Epicurious.


Per Jim’s comments, it was sort of beige-ish meh.  The cardamom didn’t have time to come through in the few short minutes it takes to cook “Minit” tapioca. The pudding went into the glass sort of soupy, but came out quite glutinous, and the coconut-lime needed to be both sweeter and creamier to carry it off. Neither one of us ate more than a bite or two, so I won’t share the recipe here. It was not my finest cooking hour. Not even my second-finest.

tapioca in the back yard

I kind of thought it looked pretty, though. In a glutinous, fish-eye kind of way.

~ Eva