Popping Pears for Bubble Tea: Tapioca, Flavors, Recipe
Popping pears (also known as popping boba) are toppings for boba tea. Flavors: Strawberry, Mango, Lychee, Kiwi, Passion Fruit, Peach, Green Apple...
Are you ready to embark on a delightful journey into the world of popping pearls? If you're a fan of bubble tea or crave a unique twist to your favorite desserts, popping pearls are here to add a burst of flavor and fun to your culinary adventures!
What are Popping Pearls?
Popping Pearls, also known as Popping Boba, Popping Bubbles Boba, Boba Popping Pearls, or Bursting Popping Boba, is a popular accouterment used in desserts and drinks. This sensational little gel-like sphere is bursting with flavored juices, syrups, or other liquids that pop when bitten into. Hence the name, “Popping Pearl”! These glorious little globes provide a whole other level of complexity to a drink or dessert that you didn’t even know you needed! Popping Pearls are a must-try!
Where Does Popping Pearl Come From?
With origins stemming from Taiwan, it’s said that Popping Pearl first burst onto the scene in the 1980s. It started with the traditional tapioca pearls and continued to evolve into a whole new world of outrageously interesting orbs. Today, Popping Pearl is used as a topping for bubble tea, frozen yogurt, and other desserts in many countries around the world, including the United States, where it has become increasingly popular in recent years. Popping Pearl has certainly made a significant impact on the world of desserts and beverages.
What is Popping Pearl Made out of?
These aren’t your regular run-of-the-mill boba balls! No ma’am! Popping Pearl is made using molecular gastronomy, which is just a fancy way of saying cooking that uses science to create new and unique dishes! Yummy! The Popping Pearl formation process starts by combining sodium alginate, calcium lactate, or calcium chloride. From there, a flavorful fruity juice is introduced, and a perfect Popping Pearl ball is born! This process is referred to as spherification, and it’s the secret to the thin gel-like shell and juicy fruit center that is Popping Pearl.
What are the Different Popping Pearl Flavors?
There are a plethora of different Popping Boba flavors to enjoy! There are more traditional flavors, such as strawberry Popping Pearls, mango, peach, and pomegranate. But it most certainly doesn’t stop there! The list continues with even more intriguing flavors, such as lychee, kiwi, passionfruit, and blueberry. If that wasn’t enough, you could also sink your teeth into a green apple or even cherry Popping Pearls. If you can dream it, it can become a Popping Boba ball! Try each flavor of Popping Pearls below to see which one becomes your ultimate favorite!
Popping Pearl VS. Tapioca Pearl
The ingredients and texture are what distinguish Popping Pearls from traditional Tapioca Pearls. The tapioca pearls have a chewy texture and don’t offer that same pleasing pop as the Popping Pearls balls. They’re also made, as the name suggests, with tapioca starch. Tapioca doesn’t have much of a flavor on its own, so sweeteners like flavored syrups or honey are added to make the boba more bodacious. Tapioca Pearls also need to be cooked, whereas Popping Pearl never sees the heat unless they’re swimming in a warm beverage.
Here's a comparison table highlighting the differences between tapioca pearls and popping pearls:
Keep in mind that both tapioca pearls and popping pearls have their unique characteristics, and the choice between them depends on personal preference and the desired culinary experience. Whether you prefer the classic chewy texture of tapioca pearls or the exciting burst of flavor from popping pearls, both options offer delightful additions to your culinary creations.
How to Make Popping Pearls at Home
When it comes to Popping Boba ingredients and making a tasty treat at home, get ready to throw it back to your days in the high school science lab! Molecular gastronomy is arguably cooler than dissecting that frog back in the day, though. Anyway, the ingredient list is short and simple and includes fruit juice or flavored syrup of your choice, sodium alginate, calcium lactate, and water. Sodium alginate is a natural gum that’s extracted from seaweed, and it’ll be used here as a thickening agent, stabilizer, and gelling. Sodium alginate is crucial in creating the thin, gel-like shell of the popping pearls, while calcium lactate reacts with sodium alginate to form the juicy fruit-filled center. The process is not only fascinating but also fun to experiment with different flavors and colors!
Popping Pearls Recipe With Sodium Alginate
Here’s how to make popping pearls with sodium alginate:
- 150 g fruit juice of choice
- 5 g sodium alginate
- 50 g drinking water
- 6 g calcium lactate
- 1 liter distilled water
- 2 cups clean water for rinsing
- Food coloring (optional)
Measuring cups and spoons
Small spoon or dropper
Bowl of cold water
Preparation of Calcium Lactate Solution:
In a container, dissolve 6g of calcium lactate in 1 liter of distilled water. Let the solution sit for at least four hours or preferably overnight. Once ready, strain the solution to ensure its smoothness.
Sodium Alginate Mixture:
In a separate bowl, combine 5g of sodium alginate with 50g of drinking water. Stir the mixture vigorously until it thickens and becomes smooth. Then, incorporate this sodium alginate mixture into your chosen fruit juice, and if desired, add food coloring to achieve your preferred hue. Continue stirring until the ingredients blend seamlessly.
Chilling the Juice Mixture:
Place the juice mixture in the refrigerator for a maximum of two hours. This chilling process will help achieve the ideal consistency for forming the popping boba pearls.
Preparing the Rinsing Bowl:
While the juice mixture chills, prepare a separate bowl with two cups of clean drinking water. This will be used to rinse the pearls after they are formed.
Forming the Popping Pearls:
With a dropper or syringe, slowly add the chilled juice mixture drop by drop into the calcium lactate solution. As you do so, the juice droplets will transform into pearls as they interact with the calcium lactate. Allow the pearls to sit in the calcium lactate solution for about ten minutes to achieve the desired texture.
Rinsing and Storage:
Once the pearls are formed, carefully remove them from the calcium lactate solution. Rinse the pearls thoroughly with clean drinking water to remove any excess solution. Your homemade popping boba pearls are now ready to be used in your favorite culinary creations!
Serving Your Popping Pearls:
Get creative and serve your popping boba pearls in any way you prefer! They make a delightful addition to bubble tea, fruit salads, ice cream, or any other desserts and beverages you can imagine.
With these simple step-by-step instructions, you can now enjoy the burst of flavor and excitement that homemade popping boba brings to your culinary adventures.
Experiment with different fruit juices and colors to customize your popping boba and elevate your dishes with this delightful treat!
Popping Pearls Recipe Without Sodium Alginate
If you prefer to avoid using sodium alginate, don't worry! You can still make popping boba using a different gelling agent called agar-agar, which comes from algae and helps to form these perfectly poppable pearls.
Here's how to make popping boba without sodium alginate:
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup fruit juice (you can choose your favorite flavors, such as strawberry, peach, or lychee)
1/2 teaspoon agar agar powder
2 cups cold drinking water
Measuring cups and spoons
Bowl of cold water
Freezing the Vegetable Oil:
Begin by pouring the vegetable oil into a container and placing it in the freezer for approximately one hour. Freezing the oil will help solidify the popping boba drops later in the process.
Preparing the Juice and Agar Mixture:
In a saucepan, combine the fruit juice of your choice with the agar agar powder. Heat the mixture over medium heat while stirring continuously until it comes to a boil.
Cooling the Juice Mixture:
After the mixture has reached a boiling point, turn off the heat and let it cool for about ten minutes in the saucepan. Then, transfer the mixture to another heatproof bowl and allow it to cool for an additional ten minutes.
Forming the Popping Boba Pearls:
Using a dropper, carefully take the juice and agar mixture and drop it into the previously frozen vegetable oil. As you drop the mixture, it will solidify into small popping boba pearls and settle at the bottom of the container.
Straining and Rinsing the Pearls:
Once the pearls have formed, strain or scoop them out of the vegetable oil and place them in a bowl of cold, clean water. Rinse the pearls multiple times in the water to remove any excess oil.
Drying the Pearls:
After rinsing, allow the popping boba pearls to air dry for a few minutes. This will help remove any remaining water and enhance their texture.
Serving and Enjoying:
Your homemade popping boba pearls without sodium alginate are now ready to be served and enjoyed! Add them to your favorite beverages, desserts, or snacks for a burst of flavor and a delightful experience.
With these easy-to-follow instructions, you can create delicious popping boba pearls without the use of sodium alginate, adding a unique and playful twist to your culinary creations. Get creative with different fruit juice flavors and enjoy the delightful surprise these popping pearls bring to your dishes!
Popping Pearl Calories & Nutrition
The number of calories in popping boba can vary depending on the specific brand, flavor, and serving size. However, in general, popping boba is relatively low in calories compared to other sweet treats. For example, according to poppingboba.com, their boba contains 35 calories and not much else other than 6g of carbs and 6g of sugar for a 30g (2 tablespoons) serving size. They are also gluten-free, fat-free, and cholesterol-free.
On the other hand, when you start combining boba with drinks and desserts, the popping boba nutrition tends to change drastically. For example, if you go to a frozen yogurt shop and order a matcha frozen yogurt with popping boba, you’re looking at anywhere from 90-380 extra calories and an additional 17-73g of sugar, depending on the size and toppings.
It's essential to be mindful of the overall nutritional impact when enjoying popping pearls as part of a dessert or drink. While popping boba itself may be relatively low in calories, its pairing with sugary beverages or desserts can significantly increase the overall caloric and sugar content.