Today, I interrupt your seemingly non-stop stream of bookish rambling to bring you food-related rambling! Hehe. Remember back in August when I wrote and rambled my way into a boba craving, said I was going to post a simple recipe for homemade boba, and then promptly forgot about it? GUESS WHAT I FINALLY REMEMBERED
a few months later. Better late than never, right?
**HEADS UP I’m probably going to screw up and use boba and tapioca balls interchangeably throughout this post. They’re the same thing, though! Its all good^^
- 100 grams of tapioca starch (+ some extra for shaping)
- 80 grams of hot water (+ more water for shaping)
- 40 grams of brown sugar
- FOR BOBA DRINKS: brown sugar or honey (to flavor – as much as your heart desires) + your favorite drink
- makes roughly 2-3 servings
- Melt the brown sugar in hot water – make sure the water’s boiling before you add in the sugar. I didn’t have the grain-type sugars on hand when I made the ones in the pictures above, so I used brown rock sugar crystals (I think that’s what it’s called in English?), and that worked just fine too. Remember not to let it boil for too long with the sugar, though! As soon as the sugar melts, you’re good to go.
- Add the sugar to the tapioca starch!
- Shape your mixture into little balls! Okay, this step’s kind of tricky – there’s a lot of boba-making recipes online that makes the shaping part super easy, like the mixture’s super pliable and well-behaved. But it isn’t! It looks kinda hard (it isn’t), dries pretty quickly, and when it dries, it crumbles easily. So if this happens to yours? Don’t worry – that’s normal, and your boba should (probably hopefully most likely) come out juuuust fine. What you want to do is try to get this done as quickly as you can. There’s a lot of ways to shape boba – you can lay the whole thing out flat, cut them into squares (divide in horizontal lines, then vertical) and shape the squares into little balls, or you just can grab little pieces of the mixture and shape them into balls. They also don’t have to be round – you can make them any shape your heart desires! – though do bear in mind that they do get slightly larger when you cook them. It’s not enough to be too troublesome, though.
- Once your tapioca balls are formed, place them in a container and sprinkle a little extra tapioca starch over them to keep them in shape, and from sticking to one another. At this point, you can either store the container in the refrigerator and go about your day, or you can cook them to eat right away!
- So you’ve decided to eat your boba now! Fill your pot with hot water – you want enough water so that all of the boba is completely submerged, with plenty of space at the top. I’d say the height of your water should be at least twice the height of your boba when it rests at the bottom of the pot – maybe three times the height?
- Bring the water to a boil, then add in your boba.
- Bring the water to a boil again. When your boba starts to float at the top of the water, put a lid on the pot, bring the flames to a low heat, and let it cook for 15 minutes.
- Once 15 minutes are up, turn off the stove and, without removing the lid, leave the pot as is and let the boba steam for another 15 minutes.
- You’re done! You’re now the proud owner of a pot of homemade boba 😀 How you eat this is now entirely up to you. I recommend mixing your boba with some sugar or honey to taste. This flavoring step you’ll want to do as soon as you take the boba out of the pot, as it starts to harden once cooled. Then just add however much you want to a nice drink, add a thick straw, and you’re done! As far as drinks go, I’m pretty basic, so I recommend milk tea, fruit tea (you could even be all fancy and chop up some fruit into cubes the size of your boba), or just plain fresh milk). You could also be like my brother and just dump the entire thing into a bowl and eat it as is. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Tips + Tricks
- So, turns out, shaping the boba into little spheres is actually kind of a pain in the ass because of how quickly everything dries. To make things easier, boil some extra water and set it on the side. While shaping your boba, dip your fingers into the extra warm water every once so that your boba mixture stays wet enough to mold.
- Dust your workplace with a layer of tapioca starch – the mixture dries rather quickly and requires lots of water, but too much water and the whole thing gets really sticky! Also remember to add extra tapioca starch into the container you put all your newly shaped boba into – this prevents the individual boba from sticking to each other, and from losing shape. Turns out boba’s pretty temperamental^^;;;
- If you’re only feeling like drinking one cup, cook a small portion of your boba, and stick the rest of it in the container in the refrigerator! I’d say this could hold for about a week at least. Remember though – once heated, you’ll have to eat it – re-refrigerating the boba will cause it to lose that delicious chewiness. And that would kind of suck.