Make Boba at Home With WuFuYuan Tapioca Pearls
|These tapioca pearls cost about $2.50 for a bag. It makes two to three batches.|
Some Vietnamese restaurants that sell boba smoothies and teas get their pearls just right, but a lot don't. The best I've found are at Pho Hoa (5435 State Road 7, Tamarac) and Green Papaya (8951 W. Altantic Ave., Coral Springs).
But boba pearls aren't really hard to make, nor are they hard to make at home. In fact, you can purchase bags like the ones pictured above in most Asian supermarkets.
I bought this bag from WuFuYuan at Oriental Square in Coral Springs (2365 N. University Drive). The boba inside are basically hard pellets of dehydrated tapioca. All you have to do is rehydrate them for five minutes in boiling water. When they're completely squishy and gummy, they're done.
Be careful filling your pot up, though. Boba expand like crazy. The package tells you to cook one cup of boba in ten cups of water. That's sort of overkill, if you ask me. I cooked one cup in about four cups of water, using an eight-quart pot. The boba expanded a lot, though, and came about two inches from overflowing.
After they were done, I chilled the boba for a few minutes before making my smoothie (do not overchill or they'll become hard again). I used fresh mango, some ice, honey, and milk. I combined that all in a blender and pureed it into a smooth drink. Just add about a third of the boba into a tall cup, pour in your smoothie, and you're done.
Want another good recipe for a tea smoothie? Check out this one.
This is important: Make sure you have wide-mouth straws that will suck up the boba. It defeats the purpose of the boba if you have to spoon them out.
If you can master making boba smoothies at home (and it's not really hard), you'll never have to eat overly chewy tapioca again.