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Tapioca pearls or "Boba" is easy to make and versatile to use. Use these sweet and chewy pearls as a base to your bubble tea or smoothies and you will not be disappointed!

Prep time:
10 minutes
Cook time:
Cook: 20 minutes, Wait: 45 minutes
Photo of How to Make Tapioca Pearls

Recipe by BC Dairy Association


  • stove
  • pot
  • large container
  • refridgerator


  • 1/4" dry tapioca pearls
  • water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (optional)


  • Uncooked Tapioca Storage: After you open the tapioca, seal the bag as airtight as possible. Store in a cool, dry area. Do not store in the refrigerator.

  • Cooked Tapioca Storage: Freeze unused cooked tapioca flat in a ziplock bag. When ready to use, break off desired portion and defrost in boiling water until soft.


Tapioca Pearls Recipe

  1. In a large pot, heat 7 cups (2 L) of water on high heat to a roiling boil.
  2. Add 2 cups of dry tapioca pearls and cook for 3 minutes on high heat. Stir lightly to prevent sticking and clumping. Tapioca should float to the top
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover with lid, and simmer for another 12 minutes. Stir occasionally. If sweetening, start preparing sugar syrup while pearls cook. See the recipe below.
  4. Remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes with cover on.
  5. Rinse tapioca under lukewarm or cold water and drain excess water. If opting out of sweetner, serve and enjoy!
  6. If sweetening, pour tapioca into a container and add sugar syrup. Let pearls sit for 30 minutes prior to serving. Serve the pearls with sugar syrup and adjust sweetness to taste.
  7. Use tapioca pearls within 2 hours for best results.

Sugar Syrup (Optional)

  1. In a pan, combine 1 cup of water with ½ cup brown sugar and ½ cup white sugar. Heat on high.
  2. Stir and turn off heat once the sugar is melted
  3. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature. Once pearls are ready, pour sugar syrup over tapioca pearls in a serving container.

Now you’re all set! Check out these delicious bubble tea recipes to make the most out of your tapioca pearls. Links are below!

Honey Milk Bubble Tea

Strawberry Slush Bubble Tea

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