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Tapioca – An Experiment

Last night, I did an experiment.

I should start before last night.  Two weeks ago, I found a little Asian market here, and went in and bought some strange things, including some squid-flavored crackers for my mom.  In any case, I also bought a bag of large tapioca pearls.  They are multi-colored, and chalky-looking.

I followed the directions on the bag, though I only made the few you see above in the bowl.  The directions are fairly vague.  For example, it says to turn the heat down to medium once the pearls are ‘plump’.  It doesn’t give any indication HOW plump they should be, or how long this might take.  I just winged it.  They did plump up nicely.

CLICK HERE for a riveting video of the pearls dancing around in the pot as they boil.

When they got about the same size as Trix cereal pieces, I turned it down to medium, and put the lid on for 5 minutes as the directions told me.  They had already been cooking for 15 minutes.  When the timer went off, I drained them, and dumped them back into their bowl.

They were pretty, looking very much like multi-colored fish eggs.  They were still opaque in the centers, and I remember tapioca being translucent to transparent. The first photo is without flash, the second is with.  I think the flash brought out their colors a little better.

They looked very much like gelatinous Trix cereal.  It seemed only right to follow the bag’s suggestion and serve them with sugar and milk, so I did.  I ate them all, and they were undercooked.  I am curious how long I SHOULD have cooked them to make them right.  They were close to being done, but weren’t quite there…still a little more ‘Al Dente’ in the centers than I would have wanted.  I WILL try again, though.  Maybe if I just soak them in some whiskey…

Thanks for reading and commenting!

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