One way is to boil rice flour and sugar in water until it becomes thick, then form balls or slices of it and let them cool before adding tea flavoring. Another option is to use a microwave oven to cook tapioca starch, which makes the texture more uniform than traditional cooking methods. However, this method takes one hour instead of the 4 hours of normal cooking time, so it may be worth trying out if you are impatient!
Making tapioca pearls in boiling water
Never put your pearls in cold water. Cook them in plenty of boiling water with a pinch of salt until they are translucent. For small pearls, cook them for 20 minutes, but for larger ones it can take up to an hour and a half. Rinse some of the pearls to see if they are cooked. If they are cooked, drain them in a sieve, rinse them well and mix them with syrup or other tasty things like coconut milk. The pearls can also be cooked in sugar water that has not been drained for a more starchy pudding that is also long lasting. Tapioca pearls are also available ready-made in stores, if you want to try some out before starting all over again. You can use a tapioca pearls recipe to make your own bubble tea balls.
- Place the ingredients for making the pearls in a saucepan and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture is moistened into one large lump.
- Cook this lump on low heat while stirring constantly, being careful not to get the heat too high.
- Cook until the pearls are clear and have a thick texture, about 20 minutes.
- Drain in a colander while running cold water over them to speed up the cooking process slightly. You can also pour ice cubes over them if you don't want to drain them in a colander
A few notes: these balls are somewhat chewy due to their high sugar content, so they won't dissolve as easily in your tea. Even if you don't use them in bubble tea, you can use them for desserts and snacks. Also, you shouldn't heat them more than once at a time, as they will start to lose their elasticity and won't be able to hold their shape.