Around The World In 50 Ingredients

What is Tapioca Flour + 16 Must-Try Recipes

January 28, 2017

Tapioca flour comes from South America and is made from cassava root. It’s totally gluten-free, grain-free and paleo-friendly. To prove you how awesome it is, I’ve collected 16 outstanding tapioca flour recipes for you to try!

16 Must-Try Tapioca Flour Recipes that will make you appreciate this gluten-free, grain-free, and paleo-friendly product coming from South America! #glutenfree | cookingtheglobe.com

New year – new post series on the blog! This time I’m going to travel the world in 50 exotic, and not so well known to the majority of us, ingredients. Every week I’ll publish 1 post dedicated to one ingredient. You can visit the special page devoted to this project to check the progress. Let’s do it!

The ingredient I would love to start these series with is Tapioca Flour. It is a grain-free / gluten-free and paleo-friendly flour made from cassava root, a woody shrub native to Brazil and the rest of South America. It can be also called mandioca, manioc, or aipim in some countries.

The flour is made by peeling, shredding, and pressing cassava root until starch appears. Then, the starch is either passed through a sieve getting tapioca pearls (I used them in Vietnamese Che Chuoi Pudding) or dried getting white powder / flour. So, basically, Tapioca Flour is a starch. That’s why sometimes you’ll see or hear it called Tapioca Starch or Cassava Starch. Not Cassava Flour, though! The latter is a different product and we won’t talk about it in this post.

This white South American powder is usually used, as other starches are, as a thickener for sauces, soups, desserts, etc. Tapioca flour is the main ingredient for Pao De Queijo – Brazilian Cheese Puffs I published a year ago. It’s also popular in baking, creating an interesting chewy texture. Mild, and slightly sweet, it’s a favorite in gluten-free cooking.

Tapioca Flour is also low in calories making it a good choice for those watching their weight.

Interested? I made a selection of 16 outstanding recipes for you to enjoy this South American product!

1. Pao de Queijo – Brazilian Cheese Bread

16 Must-Try Tapioca Flour Recipes that will make you appreciate this gluten-free, grain-free, and paleo-friendly product coming from South America! #glutenfree | cookingtheglobe.com

Crispy outside, yet super soft and chewy inside, these little guys make a perfect snack for any occasion!

Recipe by: Cooking The Globe

2. Bika Ambon (Indonesian Honey Comb Cake)

16 Must-Try Tapioca Flour Recipes that will make you appreciate this gluten-free, grain-free, and paleo-friendly product coming from South America! #glutenfree | cookingtheglobe.com

Squishy and rich tasting cake with wonderful aroma from kaffir lime leaves. A delicacy treasured by many in Indonesia!

Recipe by: What To Cook Today

3. Mint Paleo Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

16 Must-Try Tapioca Flour Recipes that will make you appreciate this gluten-free, grain-free, and paleo-friendly product coming from South America! #glutenfree | cookingtheglobe.com

Light and fluffy, naturally sweetened, Paleo Mint Chocolate Chip Cake with DARK, velvety smooth and RICHHH chocolate ganache.

Recipe by: Food Faith Fitness

4. Soft Gluten Free Tapioca Wraps

16 Must-Try Tapioca Flour Recipes that will make you appreciate this gluten-free, grain-free, and paleo-friendly product coming from South America! #glutenfree | cookingtheglobe.com

These easy, cheesy grain free gluten free wraps are made with simple gluten free pantry ingredients—plus they stay flexible even when they’re cold and freeze beautifully

Recipe by: Gluten Free On A Shoestring

5. Grain Free Rosemary Garlic Flatbread

16 Must-Try Tapioca Flour Recipes that will make you appreciate this gluten-free, grain-free, and paleo-friendly product coming from South America! #glutenfree | cookingtheglobe.com

Just a simple grain free flatbread with fresh rosemary and garlic. Drizzle some olive oil all over it and you are good to go!

Recipe by: Savory Lotus

6. Paleo Dim Sum

16 Must-Try Tapioca Flour Recipes that will make you appreciate this gluten-free, grain-free, and paleo-friendly product coming from South America! #glutenfree | cookingtheglobe.com

This paleo dim sum recipe uses a paleo pasta filled with flavorful ginger and pork and is steamed to perfection to make these amazing Asian potstickers.

Recipe by: The Things We’ll Make

7. 3 Ingredient Crispy Waffles

16 Must-Try Tapioca Flour Recipes that will make you appreciate this gluten-free, grain-free, and paleo-friendly product coming from South America! #glutenfree | cookingtheglobe.com

These waffles are ridiculously easy to make and require only three ingredients. They’re sweet, light and of course, crispy. Drizzle some maple syrup on top and you’ve got the perfect treat!

Recipe by: My Heart Beets

8. Crispy Halibut Orange Ginger Bites

16 Must-Try Tapioca Flour Recipes that will make you appreciate this gluten-free, grain-free, and paleo-friendly product coming from South America! #glutenfree | cookingtheglobe.com

Amazingly crispy coating holding succulent halibut with hints of orange and ginger coming through in every bite.

Recipe by: Sugar Love Spices

9. Paleo Dinner Rolls

16 Must-Try Tapioca Flour Recipes that will make you appreciate this gluten-free, grain-free, and paleo-friendly product coming from South America! #glutenfree | cookingtheglobe.com

This paleo bread recipe is nut free as well as grain and gluten free. It tapioca flour as well as coconut flour and a few other, simple ingredients.

Recipe by: Paleo Spirit

10. Rustic Paleo Breakfast Pizza

16 Must-Try Tapioca Flour Recipes that will make you appreciate this gluten-free, grain-free, and paleo-friendly product coming from South America! #glutenfree | cookingtheglobe.com

This breakfast pizza is made from tapioca flour. It’s easily digestible and provides good carbs to help keep you full.

Recipe by: Ancestral Nutrition

11. Melty Stretchy Gooey Vegan Mozzarella

16 Must-Try Tapioca Flour Recipes that will make you appreciate this gluten-free, grain-free, and paleo-friendly product coming from South America! #glutenfree | cookingtheglobe.com

Ooey, gooey, stretchy, melty vegan mozzarella. Just dip some tortilla chips in this bad boy and welcome to heaven!

Recipe by: It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken

12. 3 Ingredient Paleo Naan (Indian bread)

16 Must-Try Tapioca Flour Recipes that will make you appreciate this gluten-free, grain-free, and paleo-friendly product coming from South America! #glutenfree | cookingtheglobe.com

The three ingredients that make up this magical batter are: almond flour, tapioca flour and coconut milk!

Recipe by: My Heart Beets

13. Mango Chicken With Coconut Cauliflower Rice

16 Must-Try Tapioca Flour Recipes that will make you appreciate this gluten-free, grain-free, and paleo-friendly product coming from South America! #glutenfree | cookingtheglobe.com

This mango chicken is served over coconut cauliflower rice for a quick, easy and healthy spin on take-out that is ready in 30 mins!

Recipe by: Food Faith Fitness

14. Kuih Bangkit (Tapioca Cookies)

16 Must-Try Tapioca Flour Recipes that will make you appreciate this gluten-free, grain-free, and paleo-friendly product coming from South America! #glutenfree | cookingtheglobe.com

Light, airy, and fragrant Kuih Bangkit (Tapioca Cookies) are a Chinese New Year favorite in Malaysia and Singapore. Uses Only 5 ingredients required!

Recipe by: Malaysian Chinese Kitchen

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14 Comments

  • Reply Bintu - Recipes From A Pantry January 29, 2017 at 8:45 am

    In the UK many people think of tapioca as being part of school dinners and do not have many positive memories of it, but wow these recipes here look amazing.

    • Reply Igor February 3, 2017 at 8:29 am

      Oh, that’s interesting. Tapioca in school dinners 🙂

  • Reply Platter Talk January 29, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    You’ve just talked me into trying out tapioca flour. Pretty cool spread you have here! Thanks for all the work, information and great pictures.

    • Reply Igor February 3, 2017 at 8:30 am

      I am glad you liked it!

  • Reply Revathi January 29, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    I am used to eat steamed and tempered tapioca as a snack. However did not realize that such an amazing spread of recipes can be made with the tapioca flour. Each one of them look gorgeous and yummy 🙂

    • Reply Igor February 3, 2017 at 8:32 am

      I’ve never tried tapioca, only the flour. It’s not available in my country 🙁

  • Reply Willow | Will Cook For Friends January 29, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    I am in love with this idea — sharing 50 lesser-known foods each week! I’ve been aware of tapioca flour/starch for ages, but I almost never cook or bake with it because I’m just not super familiar with it. This has given me a ton of ideas! Can’t wait to see what food you cover next. 🙂

    • Reply Igor February 3, 2017 at 8:33 am

      Thanks, Willow! I am pumped to see myself what’s next!

  • Reply April J Harris January 29, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    What an interesting project – and what a great way to discover and learn more about unusual ingredients. I haven’t eaten much tapioca in the past but this post makes me want to try using it! I didn’t actually realise what it was (or that it was gluten free), and I had no idea how many wonderful recipes you could make with it. I especially like the last one – those cookies are so pretty!

    • Reply Igor February 3, 2017 at 8:35 am

      Yes, tapioca flour is pretty versatile I must say 🙂

  • Reply Yaron February 6, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    I had no idea you can make so many dishes from tapioca, thanks for enlightening me!

    • Reply Igor February 6, 2017 at 10:24 pm

      You are welcome, Yaron!

  • Reply Nico @ yumsome February 11, 2017 at 1:57 am

    Tapioca flour is brilliant – it’s a staple in my pantry, and a definite must-have for thickening Chinese sauces (that’s how you get that glossy translucence).

    It’s also an essential ingredient in a some of my vegan cheese-making, as it gives the cheese a nice stretchy element. When combined with coconut oil, the cheese is able to melt as well as stretch. Yum!

    I also love tapioca pudding (made with tapioca pearls, milk, and sugar) – at school we used to call it frog spawn (because that’s what it looks like!)… I loved it then, as I do now!

    When I lived in Kerala, I’d sometimes have cooked cassava root, which is delicious, and in SE Asia, I’d have bubble tea – also yum!

    Tapioca/cassava is such a versatile ingredient, plus if you have access to an Asian store, it’s really cheap too!

    • Reply Igor February 12, 2017 at 10:52 am

      That stretchiness you mentioned is exactly what I love about tapioca flour. Brazilian Cheese Puffs are one of my most favorite things on the blog just because of it!

      Oh and the pudding made with tapioca pearls is also divine. I actually made one of the versions with banana for the blog – Che Chuoi 🙂 I believe that simple cooked cassava root is amazing too!

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