I've never cooked with tapioca before, but I was given a bag of the large pearls and asked to make a pudding. I looked up instructions online, and saw that it had to be soaked for over 8 hours. I duly soaked a cup of tapioca pearls in water... and when I checked back, they had absorbed the water and seemed mostly mushy.
Is this usual? Or was it perhaps an old batch? The instructions on the back of the bag also indicated an 8-hour soak would be needed.
I started again, with 1/4 cup soaked in milk for about 30 min as per the recipe of 101 Cookbooks (found after another Google search). I followed through on the recipe, and it made a nice custard with some tapioca pearls interspersed in the mixture. Not sure if more was needed if using large pearls; the recipe ingredients listed small pearls. I suspect it needed more tapioca in the mix.
I still have the initial batch soaked. What can I do with it, if anything? Or should I just chalk it up to a learning experience and toss it?