Tips for making bubble milk tea in your own kitchen!
Happy Saturday, everyone! The weather here has been gloomy all week, so I’ve been really looking forward to curling up in bed with a good book and a cup of tea. I recently picked up The Rosie Project again (as in opened it up on my Kindle app), and I’m also following along with Emma Watson’s book club. Have you guys been reading any books lately?
Anyway, as you may know, I am a huge fan of bubble milk tea (a.k.a. boba milk tea or tapioca milk tea). I haven’t posted any recipes in a while, so I wanted to share my tips and tricks for making your very own boba at home.
Here we go!
I won’t include any exact amounts here, as everyone has different preferences for sweetness and consistency. Play around with these guidelines and adjust them to your liking!
Bring water to a boil over high heat.
Add the boba and stir gently. This will prevent the boba from sticking together and turning into a huge blob. As the tapioca pearls start to cook through, they will float to the surface.
Reduce the heat to medium and continue to stir every few minutes.
Allow the boba to cook according to package instructions. I recommend tasting the boba as the finishing time approaches, so that you can match the consistency to your preferences.
While the pearls are cooking, prepare some simple syrup. Simple syrup is one part sugar to one part water. In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Remove from heat, then incorporate the sugar. I like to use brown sugar, or 50:50 brown:white sugar.
Once the bubbles have reached their desired consistency, drain them and rinse lightly with warm or hot water. Do not rinse with cold water, as this will cause the bubbles to harden.
Transfer the tapioca pearls to a bowl and cover them in simple syrup or honey.
Add to your drink and enjoy!
NOTES + TIPS
Although best consumed fresh (within the same day), unfinished tapioca pearls in simple syrup will keep in the fridge for several days. When using them again, revive their chewiness with hot tea/water or 30-60 seconds in the microwave.
Boba can be purchased in any Asian grocery store. The best tapioca pearls are the ones that are made with 100% tapioca starch (no other starches).
I usually buy these tapioca pearls from 99 Ranch Market. These pearls are not 100% tapioca starch, but they cook quickly and still taste great.
If you’re making milk tea, make the tea twice as strong as usual. It will get diluted by the addition of milk and/or ice.
Use condensed milk to achieve the perfect milky sweetness.
This year, for the first time ever, I had to cook Thanksgiving dinner all by myself. Here’s what was on the table for two:
Lemon & Herb Turkey Cutlets, loosely based on this recipe from Ina Garten — I’ve actually never cooked turkey before (in any form), so the cutlets were a great way to have turkey without the pressure of preparing a whole bird. Also, one package of cutlets (about 5 pieces) was already more than enough for the two of us. The turkey was moist and tasted great when topped with gravy and cranberry sauce.
Pan-Seared Lemon and Dill Salmon — Coat the salmon flesh with sea salt, ground black pepper, lemon juice, and dill. Add olive oil to skillet and place over medium heat, then add the salmon fillet skin-side down. After 3-5 minutes, the skin should be golden brown. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet and carefully flip over the fillet. Cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until barely pink in the center.
Trader Joe’s Braised Beef Roast with Demi Glace — I saw this while grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s and decided to give it a go in place of traditional ham. (I don’t think you can find a ham that’s suitable for just two people, anyway.) The beef was incredibly tender and flavorful. It really stood out as one of the best dishes of the day. I highly recommend it.
Trader Joe’s Cornbread Stuffing Mix — I usually make stuffing from a box. It’s safe and easy. It was my first time trying this particular stuffing mix and I really enjoyed it! To enhance the flavor, I substituted water with turkey gravy.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes — To make these mashed potatoes: Boil peeled whole baby red potatoes until soft. Leave the potatoes in the pot. In a sauce pan, combine butter, turkey broth, several cloves of chopped garlic (about half a head), and dried parsley. After the the broth mixture has come to a boil, add 1-2 tablespoons of cream and stir. Once the cream has been fully incorporated, turn off the heat. Drain boiled potatoes and mash, then add in broth mixture. Fluff and serve.
Turkey Gravy — I didn’t have turkey drippings to make gravy from scratch, so I used a can of Campbell’s turkey gravy and added turkey broth to bring it to the desired consistency.
Ocean Spray Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce — This stuff tastes good as is, which is how I served it. For an added twist, heat in a saucepan and add orange peel (remove afterwards) and cubed apple.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Roast Duck — I’m not sure why brussel sprouts have such a bad rap, because I love them. For this side dish, I bought some Chinese roast duck and chopped it into small pieces (about 1 cm cubed). To make: In a skillet, heat the roast duck and any drippings. Add olive oil, if necessary. Add cleaned and halved brussel sprouts and cook until edges start to brown.
Herb Salad with Cranberries and Pecans — Herb salad mix from Trader Joe’s, topped with dried cranberries and chopped raw pecans. Serve with dressing of choice. I used Trader Joe’s Red Wine and Olive Oil Vinaigrette.
Herb-Roasted Beets and Turnips — Boil beets and turnips until soft enough to piece through with a fork. Cut into slices (about half a cm thick) and lay on baking sheet. Brush with garlic olive oil, then generously sprinkle sea salt, ground black pepper, chopped fresh sage, and chopped fresh rosemary. Bake at 350ºF for 10-15 minutes.
Yup, so I made all of that for two people… We’re going to have leftovers for days and days. I didn’t even make the green bean casserole yet!
Fall is my favorite time of the year for indulging in desserts. The warm, sweet flavors of the season result in decadent creations that are just too hard to resist. (Fortunately, sweater weather is also here to help disguise my inevitable autumnal weight gain.)
Here are some tasty-looking dessert recipes that I found this past week: