Saturday, 6 October 2012

homemade pearls for bubble milk tea

have not been blogging much lately, just updates on my travels. hehe... been getting quite lazy. so today, i thought i'd share with you what i made a few weeks back.

as mentioned previously, i was on home vacation recently and while back, i took the opportunity to fill my stomach with all the yummy goodies that's so hard to come by here in the desert. one of my favourite is the bubble milk tea. this trip home, i found that so many outlets have sprung up, and so many brands too! every time i go out and see a stall, i'd be sure to join the queue to buy one.

fav brand of milk tea so far...

after my vacation, of course there's some sort of withdrawal syndrome from suddenly not having my fav drink in my system. actually while back home, i did wonder if these pearls are sold in the dried form, where i'd just need to take them out from the freezer and boil them up, much like those glutinous rice balls (tang-yuan) that's being sold here. then i remembered reading something in kel's place about homemade pearls. after putting it off for sometime, i finally decided to give it a try.

but first i need to go to the chinese grocers to get the tapioca flour and black sugar (or "red sugar" if translated directly from chinese). our typical grocers here dun really cater to east-asians, so it's quite difficult to get the ingredients we need.

so following the instructions in kel's place, i started kneading the flour with the melted sugar. i missed the part about having to pour the sugar mixture into the flour while boiling hot, so not sure if that's the reason for the difficulties i faced later on.

anyway, i found out that tapioca flour is SUCH A BITCH TO KNEAD!!! it's not like our typical flour at all. when kneading, it'll turn hard and powdery, as if it's too dry. but when i held a big lump in my open palm for a while, they'll melt all over my hand, like really watery mud! it's like putty! argh!!! so frustrating... so i wasn't really sure if i've used the correct ratio of sugar water to flour (i used the "agak-agak" method).

the worse part is when i was trying to shape it into balls. that's when the real nightmare began. first i pinched a small amount of dough and started rolling it with my palms. but it very quickly crumbled and disintegrated, very much like trying to roll dry sand into balls! ggggrrrr... not sure how to salvage the situation, i ended up pinching and squeezing and compacting the tiny dough with my fingers first before lightly rolling them into a ball. so means i had to do it all INDIVIDUALLY! luckily i only prepared a small amount, as i managed to get about 20+ balls out before my fingers couldn't take it anymore and i decided to throw the rest of the dough away.

anyway, the boiling part is also a headache. according to kel, we only need to cook it in boiling water for 5 minutes and then turn off the fire and let the pearls sit in the covered pot to let it continue cooking. well, maybe it's because she used potato flour and i used tapioca flour, but my pearls seem to take forever to cook! i think i cooked it for 20 minutes over the fire, but when i tried one, they still seemed quite hard in the middle. i also let it sit in the covered pot for about 10 minutes, but that didn't seem to soften them.

looked ok, though a bit pale coz i used less black sugar to avoid consuming too much extra sugar.

verdict: should have cooked it longer, and way too much work! may not attempt this again, as SO not worth the effort!


gina said...

You should give yourself a pat on the back for even attempting it! Haha! I remember reading somewhere that eating these pearls are not advisable leh.. quite poisonous it seems. So, better consume less.

stargal said...

yeah, not healthy, that's y wanna try making a more healthy and non-poison version myself. mana tau failed... :(

tym said...