How to Store and Keep Tapioca Pearls
Tapioca pearls, also called boba, boba pearls, are made mostly from starch. The nature of starch makes the pearls chewy and fun, but at the same time very sensitive to humidity and temperature. Below are our recommendations to keep the best quality of the pearls step by step.
Before cooking tapioca pearls, make sure you store the unopened bags in a cool and dry place below 77 °F (25°C). Once you open the product, properly reseal the unused pearls in the package, store it in the same condition, and use it within one to two days. Please note that any change of temperature or moisture level could result in sweaty pearls inside the bag and change the quality. We do not recommend using tapioca pearls under such a condition.
Tapioca pearls have to be well-cooked to maintain the soft and chewy texture. Our recommendation for the large tapioca pearls is to cook for 30 minutes and let them sit for another 35 minutes. For the small sized pearls, cook for 10 minutes and let them sit for 5 minutes. However, cooking time may vary based on your choice of cooking appliance. For a step-by-step tapioca pearls cooking instruction, click here.
To test if the pearls are well cooked or not, take a bite into one pearl. If it is soft to the center with no resistance, it is done. If it still feels starchy in the center, then cook for longer until it’s soft throughout.
Because the nature of starch makes tapioca pearls turn soft and mushy eventually, we recommend using them within four hours after cooking. During the four-hour time frame, the following steps are critical:
- Sugar Coating: Stir in honey, sugar, or fructose to the drained cooked pearls to form a coating around them. The coating can protect them better from becoming too soft or hard when they mix in with drinks.
- Temperature: Keep the pearls at room temperature. Refrigerating them would make the texture turn hard and unable to chew. Heating them, on the other hand, would make them become too soft.
- Lump Fix: Lumping is the nature of starch. Stir the sugar-coated pearls occasionally to prevent lumping. If the lump becomes inseparable, stir in ½ tbsp of lukewarm water once at a time until the pearls separate.