Chewy Manioc Cheese Puffs

February/March 2006

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These Parmesan-flavored puffs have an elastic consistency somewhat like mochi, the Japanese dough made from pounded glutinous rice. It's hard to stop eating them, especially when they're warm.

"I love these things. I've brought them to potlucks over the years and they are always popular. They are fun to eat, the consistency is dry and crewy. The recipe as is doesn't make many so plan on doubling the recipe if you'd like to...
Chewy Manioc Cheese Puffs

Makes: About 30 puffs

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 3 cups tapioca starch, or 2 cups potato starch (see Notes)
  • 2/3 cup 1% milk
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350° F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Place starch in a medium bowl. Combine milk, oil and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Pour over the starch and stir until crumbly and blended. When the mixture has cooled slightly, stir in egg, egg white and cheese. Knead the dough until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. It will be dry, yet hold together.
  3. Pinch off 1 tablespoon of dough at a time and roll into a ball. Place 20 balls on the prepared baking sheet for the first batch. Bake the balls until puffed and golden on the bottom, about 20 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough. Let the cheese puffs cool for a minute or so before serving warm.

Tips & Notes

  • Notes: Tapioca starch, also called sweet manioc starch or tapioca flour, creates a pleasing chewiness when baked. Potato starch is an acceptable substitute. Both can usually be found with gluten-free products in most health-food stores or large supermarkets. Tapioca starch is also available in most Asian markets.
  • Easy cleanup: Recipes that require cooking spray can leave behind a sticky residue that can be hard to clean. To save time and keep your baking sheet looking fresh, line it with a layer of foil before you apply the cooking spray.


Per puff: 64 calories; 2 g fat (0 g sat, 1 g mono); 9 mg cholesterol; 11 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 1 g protein; 0 g fiber; 91 mg sodium; 6 mg potassium.

Exchanges: 1 starch

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Recipe Categories

New Year's Eve
Type of Dish
Ease of Preparation
Total Time
1 hour or less
Health & Diet Considerations
Diabetes appropriate
Low carbohydrate
Gluten free
8 or more
Preparation/ Technique
February/March 2006
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