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Tapioca crepes are a popular food in Brazil that just happens to also be Primal and paleo friendly. Made from tapioca flour, these crepes are naturally gluten-free. They have a completely neutral flavor that works with both sweet and savory fillings. Often eaten for breakfast or for a snack, the crepes can be filled with scrambled eggs, shredded meat, avocado and lox, roasted vegetables and pesto, fresh berries, or melted dark chocolate.
Basically, tapioca crepes are an edible container for just about anything.
These crepes are thin and light with a chewy texture and crispy edges. The technique for making the crepes can take a little practice to perfect, but it’s very straightforward: moistened tapioca flour is sifted into a dry, hot pan and in less than a minute, the flour melds together into a crepe. Spreading salted butter onto the crepe as soon as it comes out of the pan adds more flavor, for both sweet and savory fillings.
Tapioca flour, also called tapioca starch, is extracted from the root of the cassava plant. Tapioca flour is popular in Brazil partly because cassava is a native shrub that grows abundantly in South America (as opposed to wheat, which can be difficult to grow in parts of Brazil due to regional climate and poor soil quality)
Tapioca flour, however, is not the same as cassava flour. As noted above, tapioca flour is starch that is extracted from the cassava root. Cassava flour is made from the root itself after it’s peeled, dried, and ground. The two flours are not interchangeable in recipes.
Curious about what crepes made from cassava flour look and taste like? Enjoy these tapioca crepes first, then check back next week for a cassava flour recipe.
Time in the Kitchen: 20 minutes
Recipe Note: Tapioca flour varies in its absorption capabilities, so the exact amount of water needed will vary depending on the brand of tapioca flour. Start with ¼ cup/60 ml water, and add more if needed. Water is not added to create runny batter, it’s used simply to hydrate the flour so that it’s moist enough to form clumps. If too much water is added, the tapioca flour will become simultaneously runny and sticky like glue. If this happens, add more flour until the texture is once again moist and clumpy, not runny.
In a medium bowl, slowly drizzle the water into the tapioca flour while mixing with your fingers. Clumps will form that you can break up with your fingers, giving the flour the texture of streusel.
Using your fingers or a spoon, press the tapioca flour through a mesh strainer into a bowl. The texture of the tapioca flour will now be very delicate and light. (If the mesh strainer is too fine, it will be harder and more time consuming to press the flour through)
Heat an 8-inch/20 cm non-stick skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle a very thin, even layer of the tapioca flour into the pan. After about 30 seconds, the tapioca flour should be sticking together into a crepe that can be flipped. Flip it over, and cook the other side 30 seconds more.
Tapioca crepes taste best while still warm. Spread salted butter over one side, and wrap the crepe around the filling of your choice.