Have you ever tried dragon fruit? I bet you love that particular color from the red dragon fruit boba. We have tested using the dragon fruit in the dough of tapioca balls, giving a super brilliant color. What’s better, the seeds give the boba pearls a unique appearance. Let’s learn how to make dragon fruit boba pearls at home.
What are boba pearls?
Boba pearls, or tapioca pearls, are chewy small, round balls in the bottom of bubble milk tea drinks. Brown sugar boba pearls are the most popular type.
Those lovely tapioca pearls are made from tapioca starch of cassava root. Although it looks pretty similar to other starches, fine in white color with a very similar texture, it is much stronger. Because it creates a chewy and gummy-like texture, tapioca starch is believed to be the ideal ingredient for boba pearls. If you can’t find tapioca starch, it can be replaced by other starches like cornstarch. But the pearls will be much softer.
Pure white tapioca pearls will turn transparent after cooking, so we can add colors to the boba pearls by using food coloring or colored fruits, like strawberry boba pearls, mango boba pearls, mocha boba pearls, etc.
Taste of dragon fruit boba
- The dragon fruit boba tastes almost the same as regular boba pearls. It is a faintly sweet taste with a very faint aroma of dragon fruit.
- The dragon fruit seeds also create some crunchy texture, which will be quite unique from other boba pearls. Passion fruit can create a similar texture.
Is it healthy
Since we use all-natural ingredients, there are not many health concerns about dragon fruit boba pearls.
- red dragon fruit cubes: the dragon fruit does not contain not high sugar content.
- sugar: sugar is optional, just for increasing the sweetness.
- tapioca starch: this is the essential ingredient that creates a chewier taste for the boba pearls.
Dragon fruit has a high water content, so no extra water is needed.
- Use a kitchen scale to weigh the ingredients to guarantee the best results concerning the texture and shape of the boba pearls.
- Use Tapioca Starch: Tapioca starch is the key ingredient in boba pearls.
- Make sure the puree is hot boiling before adding the first half of the starch.
- Be quick (6 to 7 seconds) when stirring the first half batch of starch. Then remove from heat and add the remaining starch. We tested several batches, and this yields the best result.
- On summer days, the dough can be a little bit sticky when it is still hot. Don’t dust too much extra flour at this stage, it will harden after cooling down.
- Knead the dough and shape it when it is still warm. But be careful, don’t get burnt on summer days.
- Keep the Dough Covered: Tapioca starch can dry out very quickly, so it’s important to keep your dough covered with a damp cloth or plastic wrap when you’re not working with it.
- Size and Shape: If you plan to use it in boba milk tea, try to keep the size smaller, around 1/4 inch in diameter. For dessert or tart decoration, you can shape it to 1/3 inch in diameter.
Blend dragon fruit with sugar until very smooth. You can use a scoop to smash the cubes too. Strain off the seeds if you don’t like it.
Add the red dragon fruit puree to a small pot. Heat until boiling. Stir from time to time to avoid burning. Then turn off the fire, and add the half of the starch. Mix for 5-6 seconds.
Then add the remaining starch.
Mix the dough when it is still hot using tools like a scraper. Knead with your hand until it is warm, but not completely cooled.
Knead until the dough is almost smooth. Then cut into four pieces, and shape each piece into a long log. Pinch a small portion and roll it into a round ball.
Dust with more starch to avoid sticky. Then shift the extra flour off with a strainer.
How to cook on the stove
Homemade boba pearls need a longer time of cooking than some store-bought types because they are usually larger. We still recommend a half-and-half method.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and then add the boba pearls. Heat over the high-middle fire and cook for around 10 minutes until the boba peel floats on the surface. Turn off the heat, cover the lid, and let it stay for another 10 minutes.
- For larger boba pearls, cook 20 minutes and set aside for another 20 minutes.
- Optionally soak the boba pears in iced water for a chewier texture. Warm boba pearls are much softer. You can use them warmly if you love a softer texture.
- Mix with honey or simple syrup and set aside.
- Cooked dragon fruit boba pearls can be stored at room temperature for up to 4 hours. After that, it hardened.
- For a longer storage time, package in an air-tight bag and freeze for later usage.
Dragon fruit Boba Pearls
- 3.5 oz (100g) red dragon fruit cubes
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1 cup tapioca starch
- more tapoica starch for dusting
Dragon fruit mixture
- Blend dragon fruit and sugar until smooth.
Make the dough
- Add the puree to a small pot. Heat until boiling. Then turn off the fire, add the half of the starch. Mix for 6-7 seconds. Then add the remaining starch.
- Knead until the dough is almost smooth. Then cut into four pieces, shape each piece into a long log. Pinch a small portion and roll into a round ball.
- Dust with more starch to avoid sticky. Then shift the extra flour off with a strainer.
Cook the pearls
- You can freeze the boba pearls after dusting or cook them right now.
- On stove: bring a large pot of water to a boil and then add the boba pearls. Heat over the high-middle fire and cook for around 10 minutes until the boba peel floats on the surface. Turn off the heat, cover the lid, and let it stay for another 10 minutes. For larger boba pearls, cook 20 minutes and set aside for another 20 minutes.
- Insant pot method: Add boba peals and water to the pot. Secure the lid and close the vent. Set the Instant Pot to manual, high pressure for 5 minutes.
Soak and mix with syrup
- Optional: soak the cooked pearls in iced water and then strain.
- Mix with simple syrup or honey.
- Mix well the dragon fruit mixture with half of the starch. Then place in microwave, and heat for 2 minutes.
- Take out and mix with the other half of the starch. Then continue with the following steps.