May 08, 2012

Mango tapioca

Mango Tapioca 5-4-12

This is better than frozen yogurt. Biting into these chewy pearl-like darlings, which are nicely immersed in fresh ripe mango juices, gives you a fulfilling sensation of cooling off on a hot and humid summer day. Last year, I wrote about my love for mangoes with a recipe of mango pudding. Here is an even easier treat with lots of room for your improvisation. (Hint: adding ice-cream, yum!)

Mango Tapioca 5-4-12 tapioca

Cooking tapioca requires the same patience and care as cooking risotto. Keep stirring and in about 30 minutes, you should witness the magical moment of every single white speck disappearing into translucent pearls. Tapioca is a starch extracted from cassava. Little did I know that the word tapioca comes from not any Asian languages, but Portuguese or originally, the Tupi language from Brazil as typióca, with ty = juice + pyá = heart + oca = to remove. What a distance tapioca has traveled!

Mango Tapioca 5-4-12 pearls

Mango Tapioca

Choose ripe kidney-shaped yellow mangoes, such as Ataulfo, for this recipe instead of their green/red counterparts, which are more fibrous and tart.

Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Mango puree: (makes about 3 cups puree)
2 mangoes, about 1.5 pounds, peeled, chopped
1 - 1 ½ cup water

½ cup tapioca
2 cups water, replenish with more water if necessary

Sugar Syrup: (Optional)
¼ cup sugar
½ cup water

Evaporated milk, to serve
  1. In a medium saucepan, BRING to a boil 2 cups water.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, BRING to a boil ¼ cup sugar and ½ cup water. Let chill in the fridge.
  3. CHOP mangoes into small pieces.
  4. COMBINE chopped mangoes and 1 - 1 ½ cup water in a blender; process until smooth.
  5. STIR in tapioca into the boiling water. Simmer in medium low heat and keep stirring until all white specks have disappeared, about 30-40 minutes.
  6. REMOVE from heat. Pour the tapioca through a colander or a fine sieve. RINSE translucent tapioca against cold running water until chilled and less sticky. Set aside.
  7. POUR mango puree into serving cups (I used ramekin cups). If the mango puree doesn't taste sweet enough, add in some sugar syrup. Stir in rinsed tapioca (adjust the amounts to your liking). Dress with evaporated milk.

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