I was meaning to mix my pot of tapioca with coconut milk but I realized that I bought the wrong can. I had instead, a can of coconut pulp in water in my hands. No, that won't work. And it's even too late to go out now. I hate it when this happens. You are already halfway through when you realize that there's an ingredient missing that is utterly impossible to procure. Not only does it impede the finalization stage but you are also stuck with a half-done dish in the kitchen.
I rummaged through the pantry and the tall bottle of almond milk caught my eye. I think that can work. Since tapioca is actually tasteless, it can go well with practically anything. Almond milk is very refreshing and nice and can possibly go with the fresh mangoes too. A trial of little quantity was all I needed to confirm that I hit the spot. It was a wonderful discovery of blending of tastes.
I can say that I am familiar with tapioca because I grew up with sago pearls. These two look and taste the same that they can be interchangeable. Actually, I even thought that tapioca is the English translation of sago. Instead they are different from each other. They have different botanical origins but the results are the same. Tapioca is a starch extracted from the roots of the cassava or manioca (manihot esculenta) while sago is a starch that is extracted from the pith of the stems of the sago palm (metroxylon sagu). They actually don't taste of anything and don't smell of anything. That doesn't sound so interesting, does it? And you wonder, what is all the fuss about this colorless, insipid food?
They are gooey and sticky balls that become transparent when cooked. If you are a kid, you would have fun eating them. If you are an adult, it's a refreshing dessert when mixed with cold, fresh ingredients.
Mangoes are another story. I grew up with the scent of fragrant & sweet Philippine mangoes permeating the kitchen. Everytime I travel and end up in a fruit stand, I always try the local mangoes. Out of all the different kinds I have tasted, nothing can compare to the intense sweetness of the ones from the Philippines, especially when harvested in the summer months of April & May. If you can get a hold of one, it's imperative that you try it. I swear that it will be your best mango experience.
Tapioca & Mangoes with Almond Milk
- 100 grams tapioca pearls
- 2 ripe mangoes
- 1/4 cup almond milk concentrate
- 1 liter water
- 60 grams white sugar
- Soak the tapioca in water for an hour. Drain and discard the water.
- Boil 1 liter of water. When the water boils, add the tapioca & sugar. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the pearls become transparent. If it becomes too thick, add more water. Let cool.
- Put the mangoes in the electric chopper for fine chopping, food processor for an almost liquefied consistency or chop them manually if you want them a bit bigger.
- Stir in the almond milk. Adjust the amount according to your taste.
- Chill in the refrigerator. Serve cold.