Food FacetsTapioca By Cooking District June 27, 2017 Tapioca, which we usually see in pudding form, is made from cassava plant root. The most common way you'd recognize it is in little round ball form. It's used at a thickener in powder form. It's high in carbohydrates and low in fat. You can use tapioca in place of flour or cornstarch to thicken your soups and sauces. Tapioca is a good gluten-free option for celiac disease sufferers. Another benefit of cooking with tapioca is that it can go through a freeze thaw without breaking down and losing it's gel structure. Tapioca pearls can be dyed any color. The colored pearls are used to make the popular Asian drink boba (bubble) tea. Learn how to make Bubble Tea and Thai Tapioca Pudding.