How to Make and Enjoy Bubble (Boba) Tea

Bubble tea/boba tea, is usually a milk tea drink with tapioca pearls sitting on the bottom, waiting to be slurped up a large, colorful straw. Bubble tea originated in Taiwan in the 1980s, pearl milk tea is the direct translation from Chinese. Thanks to Taiwan, bubble tea is now available all over the world.

Know of a great bubble tea spot? Post it! There are three I know of in the Indy-area. Strange Brew, a cafe in Greenwood, serves bubble tea as well as a Vietnamese restaurant in downtown Indy and a fast-food Chinese stand in the Washington Square Mall. If you know of any spots in your neighborhood you should list them, bubble tea is a fun, tasty drink that should be shared with friends.

bubble tea feature

Bubbles

The ratio should be about 7:1 (water to tapioca pearls).
Boil water in a large saucepan.
Add tapioca pearls to boiling water.
The pearls should float.
Continue boiling for about 25 minutes (depending on the tapioca pearl type) covered.
Turn off the heat and let the pearls cool.
Rinse the cooked tapioca pearls in warm water and drain out the water.
Cover with syrup and add some to your favorite drink.

Syrup

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups water

Mix sugar and water in a large pot.
Cook at medium to high heat.
Once the mixture boils remove from stove immediately.
Let cool; to be used for bubble tea and similarly sweetened drinks.

Rainbowlicious Bubble Tea

1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup pineapple
1/2 cup rice milk
1/4 cup syrup
1 cup ice
2 cups of cooked tapioca pearls

Place all ingredients minus the tapioca pearls into a blender and blend well.
Blend it to desired consistency.
In the a glass, pour some cooled bubbles.
Pour your blended smoothie on top.
Cover the top of the smoothie with strawberry slices and pineapple chunks.

* I had this piled high like and covered in strawberries and pineapples at the E-Zone cafe in Toronto with my best friend. Too bad the cafe has since closed and I have never found anywhere even comparable!

Iced Bubble Coffee

1/4 cup non-dairy powder creamer
1/4 cup bubble tea sugar syrup
3/4 cup desired strength coffee (cool)
1 cup ice
2 cups of cooked tapioca pearls

Put coffee, creamer, and bubble tea sugar syrup in a shaker and mix well.
Add ice, cover shaker and shake until blended and frothy.
Add tapioca pearls into your desired glass, pour the coffee on top and enjoy!

➡ No bubbles? Try coconut meat or a thick-set flavored gelatin for substitutes!

Make a Colorful Malaysian Layer Cake

These lovely cakes are created with intricate layers of alternate color, flavor and texture. The name, which is Malaysian, translates to layer cakes. These cakes are not always sweet and many times have very creative flavor combinations.

The bases of these cakes are usually made from rice flour, glutinous rice flour, tapioca flour and green bean flour. These flours give the cakes a firm pudding-like texture.

If you do take the Kueh Lapis feat and bake a layer cake, please submit a photo and it will be added here~

Kueh Lapis

Instructions

1. Boil 225ml coconut milk with sugar & pandan leave until sugar dissolves
2. Separate mixture into two portions
3. Add red coloring to one portion
4. Pour a thin layer of batter into aluminium tray and steam till set
5. Pour into a bamboo steamer
6. Alternate the colors and steam until batter almost finished
7. When last layer is to be poured in, add a little more coloring into batter to give it a deep red color, pour this over as the last layer and steam

Cake

160g rice flour
20g green bean flour (lek tau hoon)
150ml water

Syrup

190g powdered sugar
300ml water
2-3 pandan leaves (if none, green food coloring)
250ml thick coconut milk
1/4 tsp salt
A few drops red coloring

Method

Combine sugar, water and pandan leaves (food coloring) in a saucepan. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Strain and set aside to cool.

Put rice flour and green bean flour into a large mixing bowl. Pour in water gradually and leave aside to soak for 40–45 minutes.

Add coconut milk and salt to the rice flour and mix well. Stir in syrup. Strain the batter to ensure it is free from lumps.

Divide batter into two. Leave half a portion white and add coloring to the other half.

Place a greased 20cm tray in the steamer and heat up for 4–5 minutes. Pour half cup of the white batter on the heated tray.

Cover and steam over medium heat for 5–6 minutes or until set.

Pour half cup of the pink batter over the white layer and steam covered for 5 minutes.

Repeat the procedure, alternating white and pink batter until all the batter is used up.

To the very last layer add a little more color to make it a deeper shade of pink.

After the final layer is set, steam the kuih for a further 12–15 minutes. Halfway through open the lid to release the steam, then cover again until the end of the steaming process.

Serve

Make sure the kuih lapis cools completely before attempting to cut (will break apart if cut when warm); cut into diamond shapes.