Introduction: Brazilian Tapioca

About: Oakland-based Brazilian media artist and educator, has been using technology as platform of experimentation, using public spaces, human interaction and machines interaction.
As a Brazilian, I would like to share this tradicional recipe inherited from our indigenous ancestors. The main ingredient is the cassava flour or cassava starch, made from the cassava root, or manioc, yuca, or as we are used to call it, mandioca, actually the name depends on which region of Brazil you are from.

For those who don't know it is poisonous if it is not properly processed:

"Symptoms of acute cyanide intoxication appear four or more hours after ingesting raw or poorly processed cassava: vertigo, vomiting, and collapse. In some cases, death may result within one or two hours. It can be treated easily with an injection of thiosulfate (which makes sulfur available for the patient's body to detoxify by converting the poisonous cyanide into thiocyanate)" wiki

but it don't take out the awesomeness of this root, it is still widely used in many recipes, for example, on this delicious Cheese Bun (pão de queijo)


  • 1 + 1/2 cup o cassava flour
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tbs of salt
  • butter
  • cheese (opt)

Step 1: Hydrating

You'll notice that the cassava flour is really dry, the idea is to hydrate and then de-hydrate precisely.

  • Mix the 1 cup of cassava flour with salt and put the water mix with your hands.
  • The mixture will become a non-newtonian fluid, very interesting and very known nowadays :)

Step 2: Crumbly and Moist

Keep mixing the mass, rubbing your hands and rolling the mass until it becomes tiny wet spheres, see the whole process on the video below.

At the end you'll see a comparison between the dry cassava flour and our hydrated salted powder.

Step 3: Let's Cook It!

Now you need a non stick frying pan, clean the surface and sift the powder around the surface, very homogenous, if you want a thinner tapioca you can use a sieve for this job.

Step 4: Finished

Cook a while both sides until the wet power stick together, then place on a plate and spread butter on one side fold it and it finished!

Step 5: Extras

You can try many different fillings, I like to try with cheese but in Brazil you can find everything from the traditional with butter to sweet tapiocas with fruits and chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, etc. :) Be creative as Brazilians!

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