Brazilian Tapioca





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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    19 Discussions

    I am from sri lanka I want make cassava starch How can i make cassava starch from cassava tubelers

    I tried this at a farmer's market for the first time and immediately fell in love! It was a breakfast version filled scrambled eggs and other deliciousness...drool.

    Anyway, I just tried your recipe. I think the water to tapioca flour ratio was a bit off. It was far too watery too begin with so I had to keep adding flour and ended up with a huge batch. I think I'll start with less liquid next time.

    Other than that, it came out exactly like the one I had at the farmer's market. Perfectly crisp and delicious. My favourite topping so far is kaya (a Malaysian coconut jam) - fusion at it's best!

    1 reply

    That's great! the hydrating process is slow and you need to feel when it's enough, it also might depend on the flour.

    Yes, sometimes I add some coconut jam in the final mixture, good point!

    Thanks for the information. What is the name of this recipe in Brazilian? I recently bought a packet of Cassava Flour ( and do not know what to cook with it. I read that cassava flour is not the same as tapioca flour? I normal use tapioca flour as starch to make gluten free flour mixes.

    Thks for sharing. To more information about brazilian tapioca, visit:

    Awesome! I just used the last that I bought while in Brazil. Glad to know I can find it in the US!!! As a gluten free girl and can't really do grains anymore either, I'm excited!

    I LOVED this while in Brazil and I've been trying to make since. I have had trouble having it turn out like the ones I made Brazil. The flour sticks together but the outside of it ends up very powdery and ruins the taste of the whole thing. I live in a dry climate and I'm wondering if anyone else has had trouble with this?

    I'll give you a hint. after the prompt to put in the pan before placing it tapioca, gives a sifted, so there will be those pellets that there was in your photo.

    Non newtonian fluid? Food? Have you been studying some Fluid Mechanics or Transport Phenomena? It sounds like a Food Engineer teaching how to cook. Nice recipe. We call it beiju in Bahia. It's pretty easy and fast. And my daughter loves it. Me too.

    1 reply

    hey Juan, actually I'm a physicist very interested in fluid mechanics, anyway, I've played with the non-newtonian fluid made with corn starch and it's quite similar as I described. The only difference is that beijú takes shredded coconut on the mass.

    I've made these some time ago and used a colander to get the moistened tapioca in my pan.

    Its pretty amazing how the single crumbles magically connect to each other as soon they are exposed to the heat in the pan - They still look like individual crumbles but actually form something like a pancake : )

    The "pancakes" are really nice and crispy, I had them with coconut oil, salt and pepper on top - I highly recommend this fun snack!

    interesting recipe Radamar. I lived in Brazil 10 years and never heard of this recipe. Is from Amazonas?

    1 reply

    hey, this is really traditional in Brazil, however people are used to buy goma de tapioca, that is the thing already wet and ready to cook, I guess few people do as I showed!

    Ótima explicação! (Great explanation!)

    Many of my friends overseas ask me about cassava, but I never managed to get the message across. Probably because my cooking might be considered an act of aggression by some International laws.

    Now I'll just send them a link here!

    1 reply

    yes, I'm always afraid to bring from Brazil cassava flour as it is a super white fine powder... :(