How To Make Popping Boba Pearls

How To Make Popping Boba Pearls

Boba Pearls are made of Tapioca starch extracted from Cassava. Boba is often used as an ingredient to making Bubble Tea drink, a popular delicious beverage. Bubble tea first started in Taiwan as a classic milk tea, but it as time goes by it also became a beverage in a form of tea and Boba pearls are added usually as the base of the tea (placed at the bottom of the tall cup). There are different varieties of Bubble tea flavors with different types of Boba pearls used as well such as Black Tapioca Balls, Clear Boba balls and Popping Boba Pearls. For today’s guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about how to make popping Boba pearls with recipe.

How To Make Popping Boba Pearls

Popping Boba is a sphere shaped fruit flavored juice that will pop or bursts in your mouth when you eat it. Molecular gastronomy is cooking technique that will be used in making Popping Boba Pearls, that makes Popping Boba safe for consumption. A branch of food science that is used to look into the chemical reaction as well as the physical transformations of the ingredients used during a cooking process.

Popping Boba is made of?

Although the most common Boba pearls used in Bubble tea is the black Boba, Popping Boba is also gaining its popularity in Boba shops everywhere. And I am sure that most of you have already tried tasting Bubble tea with Popping Boba.

Popping Boba is a jelly-like balls that has a thin skin filled with fruit-flavorful liquid that when you pressed or eat it, it will burst inside your mouth giving you that delicious Boba. Most of the time, Popping Boba pearls are used as a base to the Bubble Tea drink, but you can also use black, and green tea as the base as well.

The two additives sodium alginate and calcium Salt is what made texture of Popping Boba as it is. If you are wondering whether these additives are safe, yes it is completely safe and nothing to worry about. As a matter of fact, the additive sodium alginate is often used in making other food products such as cheese, instant noodles and even used in making ice cream.

Difference between Boba and Popping Boba

Although both may seem similar, they actually have a few differences that we need to look into. First, Boba is made using Tapioca flour while Popping Boba is made using real fruit juices.

Next, when it comes to the texture. Tapioca pearls are more heavier and chewy as compared to Popping Boba that is less tough and less heavy. And with Popping Boba, as previously mentioned, will burst a flavorful liquid inside the mouth when bitten or chewed.

Most of the time, Tapioca pearls is the most common base ingredient in Bubble tea drink and other desserts as well such as cakes, pastries, puddings and even on ice cream. Also, most Boba tea shops would usually recommend or typically used tapioca pearls as the topping of choice for Bubble Tea drink.

While Popping Boba on the other hand is used as a specialized type. It is often used to complement the taste of a particular beverage. But it is often used in milky drink and rarely used in drinks with tea.

How does Molecular gastronomy works in making Popping Boba?

A technique called Molecular gastronomy is used when making Popping Boba. A branch of science that checks how the ingredients properties and its transformation during the cooking process called Spherificationthat could give the result of the ingredient being investigated.

Generally, the additives sodium alginate, calcium lactate and calcium salts (varies and can either be calcium Chloride for catalyze Spherification) that help the liquid to form into balls or sphere. The balls or sphere have thin skin to easily burst whenever a pressure such as biting or eating is being done to it.

Since Popping Boba is filled with juice, the liquid that is usually used in making Popping Boba pearls is combined with Sodium alginate. It is then placed into a solution with calcium salt that will help the pearls become stable and a thin layer or thin skin.

For the texture of Popping Boba to be perfectly made, there is a ratio that needs to be followed and it will be discussed in the Popping Boba recipe that will be discussed below.

Calorie Content in Popping Boba

If terms of calorie content, Popping Boba’s have a lesser caloric content in comparison to the regular Boba pearls. Simply because Popping Boba is just made of the Fruit juice therefore a serving size of 30 mg only has about 30 calorie content.

Different Flavors of Popping Boba

Since Popping Boba is made from filling the balls with fruit flavor juice, this means that you can choose from the different flavors. The most popular flavors for Popping pearls includes lychee flavor, mango flavor, and strawberry flavor.

Avoid high calcium fruit juice such as orange (for orange juice) and dairy products since too much calcium can make the sodium to form into a clump therefore to used fruit juice with low calcium content.

But if at some point, high calcium fruit juice will be used there is a technique called reverse Spherification.

Ingredients used in making Popping Boba

The main ingredients used in making Popping Boba, as previously mentioned above, are sodium alginate and Calcium Salt.

Since most of the portion of the pearl contains fruit juice, make sure to use sugar first to sweetened it while at the same time adding food coloring.

Another important ingredient to keep in mid is distilled water. It will help clear the solution with Sodium alginate free from radicals.

Water is also another important ingredients for use in making Popping Boba.

Tools used in Making homemade Popping Boba

To make a sphere shaped balls, the essential tools to use are droppers and syringe. If you do not have this at home, you can easily buy the tools in online shops or nearest pharmacy.

Additional tools to use and prepare beforehand are as follows: Strainer or slotted spoon, caviar maker refrigerator or a freezer and a bowl (heatproof bowl).

Popping Boba Shelf life

Unlike Tapioca pearls, Popping Boba once prepared can be store inside the refrigerator overnight and it can stay there for a maximum of 3 days. Just make sure though not to place the Popping Boba inside the freezer because it will burst when the liquid inside expands when in the freezer.

Popping Boba Recipe

  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes
  • Resting time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes


  • 150 mg fruit juice (own flavor preference)
  • 5 grams Sodium alginate
  • 50 grams Drinking water
  • 6 grams Calcium lactate
  • 1 liter Distilled water
  • 2 cups of tap water (for rinsing and cleaning)
  • Food coloring (own personal preference)

Equipment to use:

  • Syringe or a dropper


  1. In a medium sized bowl, pour distilled water and then add calcium lactate solution.

    Allow solution to sit either for 4 hours or overnight. Use a strainer after.

  2. In another bowl with Drinking water, add sodium alginate solution. Stir until the texture becomes thick and smooth.

  3. Add fruit juice of choice and then add food coloring. Continue stirring until texture becomes smooth.

  4. Place fruit juice mixture inside the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

  5. In a bowl, add 2 cups of drinking water to rinse the pearls.

  6. Use the dropped or the syringe, drop the mixture of juice (one by one) in the calcium lactate solution. Allow to set for about 10 minutes.

  7. Rinse the pearls using a strainer in the prepared bowl with clear drinking water.

  8. Serve and enjoy!


  • As mentioned, make sure liquid is not high in calcium content that could destroy the process of making Popping Boba.
  • Keep in mind that since you can no longer add sugar after, therefore make sure the the fruit juice you will be using will tastes exactly how you want it to taste.
  • A sphere mold is also available for use, after molding the juice you can put the pearls inside the refrigerator and allow to sit for at least 4 hours.

Nutritional information

  • Calories 17 kcal
  • Potassium 38 mg
  • Carbohydrates 4 gms.
  • Sugar 4 grams
  • Sodium 8 mg
  • Calcium 7 mg

Make Popping Boba without Sodium alginate

There is a substitute that you can use in case sodium Aglinate is not available and that is by using Agar powder and vegetable oil. Although there will be a slight difference between the texture if with Sodium alginate or not.


  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup fruit juice of choice
  • 1/2 tsp. agar agar powder
  • 2 cups clean drinking water


  1. In a small-sized contained, add vegetable oil and then place in the freezer for at least an hour.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, mix fruit juice of choice and agar agar powder. Bring to boil while at the same time continuously stirring.
  3. Turn off heat and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer mixture to other bowl and allow to cool again for another 10 minutes.
  5. Using a dropper, fill it with the mixture.
  6. Remove vegetable oil from the freezer and then simply drop one drop at a time of the mixture of the juice to the vegetable oil. So will already noticed the drops turning into popping Boba (it will usually sink at the bottom).
  7. Strain the pearls and transfer for a bowl. The bowl is placed with cold drinking water
  8. Drain pearls again using strainer and allow to dry for another 5 minutes
  9. Serve and enjoy


We certainly hope that you have learned something such as making Popping Boba for your Bubble Tea drink.

Which one do you enjoy sipping more, the classic milk tea or the one with Popping Boba? Let us know what you think.

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