Sunday, September 20, 2009

Boba in the microwave (aka the best day of my existence)

If you know me at all, you would know that it was only a matter of time before I would try to make Boba, or Bubble Tea, in the microwave. I have spent more money than I care to admit on $3.00 boba, so when I found a pack of tapioca pearls in Chinatown for $1.35, I couldn't resist.

The instructions on the back of the pack seemed straight forward: boil 10 cups of water for 1 cup of bubbles, cook for 5 minutes. It sounded basically like pasta.


Attempt One: I poured about a quarter cup of bubbles into my handy-dandy pint-size microwavable bowl(for serious, if you have a microwave, get a microwavable bowl) and filled the rest up with water. Then, I microwaved it on High for about 5 minutes. The bubbles were cooked! (you can tell that they are cooked when they have all risen to the top of the water when you open the microwave door) buuuut, they were definitely
al dente.

Attempt Two: I poured the same quarter cup of bubbles into my handy-dandy etc etc bowl, but this time I only filled it up about an inch and a half above the bubbles. The logic was that water has a crazy high heat capacity, increase the cooking rate per minute by lowering the water needing to be cooked. Then, I microwave it on High for 3 minutes. When I opened the door the water was boiling, but the bubbles were perfectly cooked.

Perfectly cooked bubbles are important. If they feel starchy at all, similar to the feel of a unripened banana, then they haven't been cooked enough. However, if you can bite straight through the bubbles, and their consistency reminds you a lot of jello, they've been overcooked. You are looking for something where the outside if soft and squishy, but when you bite them they have a gum
my-esque texture.

*quick cool fact (to help formatting): most tapioca pearls are made with potato or sweet potato starch. GASP*

Now that you have Boba, you can put it in a drink. One of my favorite mixes is milk and aloe vera drink. The taste is sweet, clean, and great with any bao you might come across. Seriously, though, you can put almost anything with boba: tea, juice, water (if you want), soda. Another thing which is really yummy is boba with sliced mango and coconut cream, either by themselves or over warm and salted sticky rice (which you can also make in microwave, more on that later). Anywho, enjoy! Omnom =)

20 comments:

  1. LMAO. i loved that chemistry water molecule rate bit. =)

    and yayyyyy bubble tea =) but what about those of us who dont have china towns =(

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  2. well, I can't speak with certainty but at least some super markets will have tapioca pearls of one variety or another. Usually these would be clear/whitish in color and are more typically used for tapioca pudding, but they should work. =)

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  3. omg. I haven't found a place in cville to get bubble tea yet. or even to buy tapioca pearls :( I think I'm going to have to stock up at freshmart/el grande supermercado when I get back to nova. This is greeat, I can't wait to try this.

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  4. I love bubble tea! surprisingly they have it in Juneau, despite everything else they lack, I'm tempted to blog about this now, I'll have to go there tomorrow and get my bubble tea fix!

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  5. Love this
    sounds like fun to experiment with

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  6. made it. used ice tea from our coffee shop on campus and mixed it with sweetened condensed milk and the tapioca that i made myself!

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  7. @anon, wow! how did you make the tapioca pearls?

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  8. this boba drink is a great family favourite. Sadly we can't get it easily here. I bought a packet recently hopefully to cook it & make the drink. A good reminder here for me to get going. It's just so delicious.

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  9. woww, the Boba, or Bubble Tea is really delicious and easy to prepare, just we need the ingredients and a microwave. thats great

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  10. I am still in the process of cooking mine... :( so far its been about 15 minutes and my dinky microwave still isn't cooking them. the outside has gone slimy but not even a super sharp knife will cut through the boba...
    help! anyone have advice???

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  11. try covering them! this will keep the heat in more. Also, how many do you have? if you have too many it will take much longer. hope this helps!!

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  12. You are amazing.
    I'm obsessed with bubble tea, so decided to try making my own to save some money.
    I simply couldn't get my tapioca balls to the right consistency, but your 3 minutes and minimal water idea worked just perfectly. Now I'm making bubble tea better than those $3 ones I used to buy. Thanks!!

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  13. Yay! @Amanda, that's so awesome. Let me know if you come up any great recipes/variations and I can post them with your credit. Hope summer is off to a great start!

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  14. I used a bigger microwaveable bowl and it took ten minutes for the pearls to reach the right consistency. As a poor college student, this is very exciting for me :D THANK YOU!!

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  15. I have been wanting bubble tea for ages, and also as a (stove-less) poor college student, couldn't wait to try this out. I ordered a big bag online from Amazon.com and just tried this. I used about 3/4 of a cup of pearls in a bigger bowl and poured in water about 3/4 of an inch above the pearls, microwaved for 4 minutes, and voila! Thank you!!

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  16. chris, you are my hero! i found a place where i can procure tons of the same packets of tapioca you showed in nyc. thanks to you, i can now make bubble tea at 2 am if i want and not have to go out and buy it. u rock.

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  17. how do you guys keep the bubbles from sticking together, I put mine in for 3.5 minutes, pulled them out and they were a giant clump of balls, had to whisk them with a fork to break them up, other than that though, it was great.

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  18. My first experience with boba was with a hot chai tea boba, and i haven't looked back. I've had all kinds--we have a limered teahouse and they have it goin' on!--but still like the hot best--have to be careful not to burn my mouth. great tip about less water! Thank you!

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