Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Popping Boba

A few days ago after we went shopping at a local Asian grocery store, I felt like drinking a boba drink. We've been living in Texas for over a year (can you believe it?) and this is the first time that we've ever stepped foot into a boba tea shop. 
There were over a dozen different flavors to choose from, and I chose yogurt flavor (which wasn't even on the menu).  Yogurt is my favorite bubble tea flavor because it's usually tart and either tastes like Calpico or tart yogurt from Yogurtland.
We were then given the option of regular tapioca boba or a new boba called "popping boba."  Instead of chewy boba, these new boba are filled with flavored liquid.   I was given a choice between strawberry, mango, lychee, and some other flavors.  Without a question, I chose the lychee flavor.
When you add a little bit of pressure to them, they burst and release flavor.  I googled "popping boba" and then realized that it was not that new or trendy. I guess when you do not get out much, everything seems new.  I spoke to one of my friends about this and she said that she thinks they have it as a topping at yogurt shops.  She also provided me with a good description of these boba. The boba are kind of like ikura (fish eggs). 
Isn't this so cool?

I enjoyed the popping boba because of the extra bursts of lychee flavor intermixed with my yogurt smooothie.  If you are expecting the chewy texture of the original tapioca boba, you will be disappointed. 
The popping boba are also more delicate than the original boba, so if you move your straw around too much, you might inadvertantly pop some of the boba. 
Mike and I both think that these balls cannot be made from tapioca. These balls remind us more of those molecular gastronomy type sodium alginate spheres/orbs/caviar.  I couldn't find a website that lists the popping boba ingredients, but I have a strong suspicion that they are not made from tapioca. 
240 Legacy Dr
Plano, TX 75023
(972) 468-2800


suraya said...

cool beans, or should i say boba!

suraya said...

i just read that popping boba are made with agar. but i am getting a loose translation from a foreign

K and S said...

they have these popping thingies at Yogurtland in Hawaii as a topping.

Tien said...

This one is new to me too. I will have to see if they serve this on U of I campus. -Tien

genkitummy said...

Suraya-hmm...agar. That makes a little more sense, but agar has a harder texture than that outer layer of those boba.
Kat-i'll have to tell my mom, so she can try it out there.
Tien-Maybe they might have it at cocomero as a yogurt topping.

Anonymous said...

You can also get Popping bobas as a topping on a frozen yogurts. Some people liked put them on salads, cold noodles and etc.
I personally liked them in a slush drinks. I think you can get them personally at here,

Anonymous said...

The link was broke, here;

Anonymous said...

Popping boba are made from seaweed extract, water, and potassium sorbate. Plus any various flavorings etc. I work at a frozen yogurt shop and was very curious what they were made from. I actually made flavorless boba (not actually called this in class) in a class that was focusing on medical technologies using the same ingredients.

genkitummy said...

Anon-Thanks for the information about the ingredients in popping boba. Seaweed extract makes more sense that tapioca. That's neat that you made something like it in a medical technology class. If I ever teach a Food Science or Chemistry class, I may have to include that in my syllabus!

faemorgana said...

Hi, all...agar comes from seaweed. :)

Tanya said...

I believe the popping boba are made from gelatin, hot gelatin put into an eye dropper then released into a cold cup of water. I saw this on a cooking show. Hope this helps!:)

Anonymous said...

Tanya you are correct. I worked with a molecular gastronomist (smart food guy) who made them this way. I found a company that sells these in take home sizes. They also suggest you put them in cocktails! Awesome idea! Bought mine for like $5 at