How to Cook White Tapioca Pearls – 4 simple recipe

If you’re looking to add more chewiness in your desserts and drinks white tapioca pearls can be the perfect way to achieve the extra chewy taste without adding any new flavors. The white tapioca starch balls are very popular in Asian food, such as the ginataan bilo-bilo, taho or Vietnamese che chuoi This recipe will show you a simpler method of cooking these pearls.

How to Cook White Tapioca Pearls

After experimenting and cooking seven different varieties and varieties of white pearls from tapioca, it’s been apparent that there are certain methods are required for specific kinds of pearls. I’ve reduced this to a handful of core cooking techniques that will be applicable to all brands and, in the event of a problem put you on the correct path to understanding it.

There are some brands that are specifically designed to Boba milk tea drinks and Thai tea even, and you should use because it’s easier and takes shorter time. However, these aren’t all the brands you will discover at your local Asian supermarket, so I have also included other brands and the best way to prepare them when you are left with no option.

The brands I tried

3 minute new Sago Follow the steps on the box. Contrary to other pearls listed below the white tapioca does not contain any other flavors in it. This is the quickest cooking boba.

How to Cook White Tapioca Pearls
how to cook small white tapioca pearls

All you need to boil the water, add the pearls, allow it to sit afloat, and then cook it covered for 2 minutes. It’s that easy-no waiting or reserving! Don’t get caught up by the name. It’s not actually made using tapioca starch as well as other ingredients.

Tea Zone White Tapioca Pearls (Boba): Use the 30 & 30 Cooking Method. This is the one I would recommend using the 30 &30 method since they cook pretty quickly, and all you need is some patience. It’s specially designed for use in boba tea. It also has the “maple flavor” in the ingredients. The bags are big, 6-pound bags, so you’ll be prepared for a long time.

Bossen White Tapioca Pearls: Use the 30 & 30 Cooking Method. Bossen offers a variety of varieties of boba, and they are identical to the tea store’s white boba. It can be cooked using the 30 and 30 method. It also contains an “brown sugar flavoring” in the ingredients.

The only issue with this particular bag says that you must eat this bag in 48 hours of opening it. This seems to be a little arduous, however so far, they’ve been ok after one week of getting the bags open.

Double Parrot Brand Tapioca Pearl The brand came with no instructions on the package So I started by boiling the pearls, and then altering them from there. It took a long time to cook the pearls to perfection and I soaked them prior to prior to cooking. This was the only type of tapioca pearls which didn’t fall apart after I let them soak overnight and I think it was beneficial to prepare them prior to cooking. I bought this brand at 99 Ranch and it is composed of tapioca starch and water.

Cock Brand Tapioca Pearl Follow the directions in the package, but slightly altered. Instructions on the bag recommend simmering the pearls 15 mins before letting it rest overnight before boiling for 20 minutes more. I discovered that the following day, you need only around 5 mins (instead from the twenty minutes stated by the tag) of boiling, before they turn very soft and chewy.

I was unable to soak them prior to soaking since they broke apart. The brand is composed of tapioca starch and water but it also had an additional label that stated it also contained sulfites which is a typical preserver for tapioca pearls.

White Tapioca Pearls (Sirian Inter. Co. LTD): Use the 30 & 30 Cooking Method. This brand was the least amount of information and it did not include an ingredient list. I followed the 30 and 30 method of cooking the pearls. I discovered that I had to repeat this procedure at least twice (that’s more than two hours) in order for the pearls cooked evenly. Based on the same dimensions and texture that the pearls have, I’m assuming they’re made of tapioca starch as well as water.

How to Cook White Tapioca Pearls

Tapioca Pearls from The pearls were much smaller than the typical large white tapioca we’re used to, even though they were described as “large.” Where the typical larger pearls measure around 9.5 millimeters however, the pearls were around 5 millimeters.

Instead of the 30-minute timeframe, I shortened the time to 20 minutes because they were smaller and still managed to cook the pearls. If you’re looking for mini white bobas, these are perfect, however they are also suitable for other desserts with smaller tapioca pearls.

The choice of boba or pearls for milk tea, vs. other desserts

Boba pearls / tapioca to make milk tea drinks

Pearls that are made for boba drinks are more simple to cook for an al dente texture that is suitable for drinks like boba. They will be printed with marketing on the label, and will mention on the website you purchase it from that it’s intended to be used for boba or bubble tea drinks.

Brands who have designed and sold their pearls for use in boba drinks are equipped with pearls that are the correct dimensions ( three eighths of an inch, or 9.5 millimeters) however, most importantly they’ve been designed to cook fast. Certain brands, like WuFuYuan can cook in three minutes, whereas others remain relatively fast at less than 1 hour.

The brands mentioned above are specially designed for the boba milk tea, and we purchased the majority of them from distributors for Boba on the internet. This is a significant element because the pearls are not just tapioca starch and are enriched with additional ingredients which I think help cook and get the perfect chewy texture.

Pearls are great for Vietnamese along with Asian desserts

How to Cook White Tapioca Pearls

The pearls that take more than 2 hours to cook can begin to be very delicate and overcooked in the exterior at the point that the insides are cooked. The best way to prevent this is to soak them for a night and cook at lower temperatures, meaning much more effort and time. These are more suitable for Vietnamese sweets and Asian desserts.

What is the best cooking method to use?

There are around 3-4 major cooking techniques that cover almost every type of Boba.

If the manufacturer has instructions for cooking the pearls in the package, follow the instructions. You may need to tweak the timing and heat in order to alter the cooking time to create that perfect aldente pearl. I’ve listed the methods at the end of this post, in case you’re interested to know what they’re like prior to buying the pearls.

If there’s no instruction inside the bag you can read below.

30 and 30 cooking methods

If you have purchased an entire bag of white tapioca pearls but you discover there aren’t any instructions on the internet, I’ve discovered that the 30 &30 method is a good start to determine how to prepare white pearls of tapioca.

How to Cook White Tapioca Pearls

The way to use this method for a variety of brands is to cook the pearls and then let them rest with carryover cooking for about 30 minutes to determine if it is cooked. This allows you to slowly achieve the desired goal without completely destroying the outer layer of the boba through constant boiling.

The great thing about this is that you just keep boiling and waiting portion as needed until the pearls have cooked towards the center.

If boiling for 30 minutes is not enough for the brand you are using limit it to 20 minutes of boiling, and then 30 minutes of rest.

1. First you need a large pot, and you need to boil around eight cups water per each 1 cup dried pearls of the tapioca. It is important to note that half a mug of dried pearls from tapioca makes approximately 1 cup cooked pearls from tapioca.

Step 2. When you’ve reached a simmering boiling, add the dried tapioca pearls in the pot. Turn down the temperature to medium. Maintain an open simmer. Cook for another 30 minutes, covered.

Step 3. At the end of 30 minutes remove the pot from the stove and cover it with a lid and then let it sit until it has rested for another thirty minutes. Once this is completed take the pearls out and then run them through cold water to eliminate the excess starch from them.

Step 4. Test your pearls by tasting them and check if they’ve got an effervescent consistency throughout. It’s important to know that even though tapioca pearls have an opaque center, that doesn’t suggest that they’re cooked. Always try a taste test and then check. However, if you discover that the center is hard, you can repeat the 30 and 30 method over and over until you get the correct texture.

step 5. (Optional) If the pearls have been cooked, you are now able to sweeten the pearls using honey or sugar for another 10 minutes.

30 / 30 way for Cooking Tapioca Pearls

30 / 30 way for Cooking Tapioca Pearls

This technique works with tapioca pearls made by Bossen & Tea Zone. It could also be used as a basis for tapioca pearls that do not come with a written instruction.
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 30 minutes
MINSRESTING 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine asian
Calories 135 kcal


  • ½ c white tapioca pearls
  • 10 c water


  • In a large pan add the water to 10 cups, and bring it to a boil.
  • When it's at a boiling point then add the tapioca pearls, and reduce the heat to medium temperature.Keep simmering for 30 minutes covered. Mix frequently to keep the pearls from sticking to the.
  • Within 30 minutes take the pan from the heat source Cover the pot with a lid and then let it rest for another 30 minutes.
  • Separate the pearls from the tapioca and wash them under cold in water until the boiling stops process and get rid of this starch outer layer.
  • Taste the tapioca pearls, and check if they're cooked to perfection. They should be chewy and soft however they shouldn't break when you bite into it. Be aware that even though the center of the dish may be opaque, they may still be cooked thoroughly however, you must taste test them to ensure they're cooked to perfection.
  • If your pearls not fully cooked or have a hard center, repeat steps 2-6 using the same amount of water.
  • Optional: once the pearls are cooked you may want to add some sweetness to your pearls by putting honey or sugar on top of the pearls and let them rest for a further 10 minutes.
Keyword how to cook white tapioca pearls, WuFuYuan Method for cooking Tapioca Pearls

WuFuYuan trademark cooking technique

how to cook small white tapioca pearls

The brand has developed their pearls to cook between 3 and five minutes, which is, as far as we’ve noticed, is only applicable to this particular brand.

WuFuYuan Method for cooking Tapioca Pearls

This method is specially designed for WuFuYuan's 3 minute Boba.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine asian
Calories 136 kcal


  • ½ c white tapioca pearl
  • 10 c water


  • In a large pan put in the water to 10 cups, and bring it to a boil.
  • Once it's at a boil Add the pearls of tapioca and lower the heat to medium-low heat.
  • Cover with a lid, and cook for a further two minutes.
  • The pearls should be strained and then put them in cool water in order to stop burning.
  • Test the flavor of the pearls by tasting them and determine if they're cooked to perfection. They are supposed to be soft and chewy and not break as you chew it.
  • If you're not sure if they're finished cooking, you can add some sweetness to your pearls by adding honey or sugar to the dish and allow it to rest for a further 10 minutes.
Keyword white tapioca pearls recipe, WuFuYuan Method for cooking Tapioca Pearls

Cock Brand cooking method

Although the 30 & 30 method worked too, I discovered that I had to repeat the procedure to completely cook all the pearls of tapioca. The final results of cooked pearls was soft and translucent. Because of their size, I’d recommend using them in Asian desserts, such as sweet soup rather than making the boba milk tea or if you prefer mini-boba.

Cock Brand – Tapioca Pearl Cooking Method

This method works with tapioca pearls sourced from Cock Brand White Tapioca Pearls. PREP: 1 MINCOOK: 20 MINSRESTING: 8 HRSTOTAL: 8 HRS 21 MINSSERVINGS:


  • ▢ ½ c white tapioca pearls
  • ▢ 10 c water


  • In a large pan add the water to 10 cups, and bring it to a boil.
  • When it’s at a boiling point then add the tapioca pearls, and reduce the heat to medium temperature.
  • Allow to simmer for 20 minutes, covered. Make sure to stir frequently to keep the pearls from sticking to the.
  • Within 20 mins, take the pan from the stove and place it on the counter for an overnight period.
  • After a few minutes, put the pot back on the heat and let it come it to an unbeatable boil. The pearls will cook for around five minutes. Test the pearls to determine whether they’re cooked all way.
  • The pearls should be strained and then put them in cold water to dry.
  • If you want to add a touch of flavor, after they’ve finished cooking, you can sweeten your pearls by adding honey or sugar over the pearls. Allow the pearls to marinate in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.


Calories: 136kcal | Carbohydrates: 33.7g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 59.5mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 1.3g | Calcium: 43.1mg | Iron: 0.6mgNutrition FactsCock Brand – Tapioca Pearl Cooking MethodAmount per ServingCalories136% Daily Value*Fat 0.1g0%Sodium 59.5mg3%Carbohydrates 33.7g11%Fiber 0.3g1%Sugar 1.3g1%Protein 0.1g0%Calcium 43.1mg4%Iron 0.6mg3%* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.Course: BeverageCuisine: AsianKeyword: Boba, white tapioca pearls

Double Method of cooking for the brand named Parrot

This method of cooking worked for me while testing using the Double Parrot brand. Others brands may break down when you attempt to soak them. They you must use the 30 and 30-method instead.

Step 1. Douse the pearls in water to dramatically reduce the cooking time. Take half one teaspoon of pearls into 4 cups of water inside a container that is sealed at temperatures of room temperature for a minimum of eight hours or for a night. Remove the pearls when you are ready to use.

Step 2. Boil water and adding pearls. In a pan with a high flame Bring eight cups of boiling water the point of boiling. Once it is boiling then carefully add the pearls that are soaked.

Step 3. The pearls are cooked. When they are all floating after two to three minutes, reduce the temperature to medium, and close the pot. Be on the lookout and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 4. Check doneness. After 2 minutes, taste test some tapioca pearls for doneness. It should be translucent and chewy at the edges, however it should still slightly al dente, and possess an opaque middle.

Note: The opaque center shows the distinction of white Tapioca pearls which were cooked and soaked as opposed to white tapioca pearls which weren’t soaked. The tapioca pearls that were pre-soaked were not completely transparent, but they were cooked perfectly and had the perfect level of chewiness.

Step 5. Add sugar to the pearls (optional ). For sweet pearls, remove about 3 cups of water out of the pot. Mix it with the sugar of 3/4 cup in an empty bowl. Place your cooked pearls in the bowl and allow it to rest for ten minutes. The pearls should absorb the syrup’s sweetness during this period. Now you can use your pearls to make drinks or other desserts.

Double Parrot Brand – Method To Cook Tapioca Pearls

Double Parrot Brand – Method To Cook Tapioca Pearls

This method of cooking was only appropriate only for Double Parrot brand that we tried.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
SOAKING 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine asian
Calories 425 kcal


  • 12 c water
  • ½ c white tapioca pearls medium sized
  • ¾ c white sugar


  • A large dish put in four cups of water, and the white pearls of tapioca. Let them soak for at least 8 hours on the counter.
  • After the soaking process, boil eight cups of water medium saucepan at a high temperature.Add the pearls of tapioca, and let them rise towards the top. It should take approximately three minutes.
  • If all your pearls of tapioca appear to be floating, reduce the temperature to medium-low and cover the pot and cook for approximately three minutes.
  • Taste a pearl to determine quality. It should be chewy however, it should be al dente, transparent around the edges as well as opaque inside the middle. Be aware that the transparent center demonstrates the difference in white pearls which were cooked and pre-soaked as opposed to white tapioca pearls which weren't pre-soaked and cooked.
  • Continue cooking as needed until the texture gets to the desired consistency. If you decide for sweetening your pearls they'll cook little bit longer during the next step.
  • If you don't want or desire to sweeten the pearls of tapioca then add them to your drink or dessert using the strainer.


  • For sweetening your pearls, in another medium-sized bowl combine white sugar with 1/2 cup of hot drinking water (taken directly from the decanter with the tapioca pearls) together to create an syrup of sugar.
  • Then, drain the remaining water and then transfer the boba pearls directly into the container for sugar syrup. Cover for 10 minutes. The final product is a chewy and sweet Boba. The boba should be kept in the simple syrup until you can assemble it. Additionally, you'll make use of the simple syrup made from this to sweeten tea.


We’ve tried two methods to cook the white pearls of tapioca and the most effective method is to soak the pearls in water for a minimum of 8 hours or over night to cut down on cooking time. If you soak the pearls prior to cooking and cook them, we found that the pearls would have translucent edges but opaque center while pearls that weren’t pre-soaked will require upwards of one hour of simmering before becoming totally transparent.
Keyword Double Parrot Brand – Method To Cook Tapioca Pearls

It is important to note that if you intend to make use of these pearls in different desserts, then you may be able to not boil them after their soaking and then add them directly to the food you’re cooking such as Che chuoi. Be sure to check the recipe prior to starting.

My tapioca pearls have turned to the consistency of mush after boiling How can I fix it?

I’d recommend starting by using the 30 and 30 method, and then adjust the timing by reducing cook time in case it’s too soupy in subsequent batches. For instance, if you think they’re cooking too long, you can try cooking it for 15 minutes or time, for 30 mins of rest to start, and then repeat only if not cooked.

What is the reason my tapioca pearls fall apart after soaking?

To see whether your pearls are disintegrating in water, simply drop two or three pearls into the water at room temperature and test within two minutes. If the pearls break apart while in the soaking process, boil them directly from the bag. Only one brand that I’ve tried that allows you to pre-soak for an overnight period without breaking remains Double Parrot.

What can I do to determine which brand I can buy from the shop or online is suitable for drinking boba tea?

The reason that many of the tapioca pearls which are designed specifically for boba are that it specifically states that it’s made specifically designed for the boba. You can also look online for distributors of boba who sell directly to the consumer, like Bossen as well as Lollicup.

What are pearls of tapioca?

Tapioca pearls refer to balls made from tapioca starch which is made from the root of cassava starch. It is blended with hot water, and then formed into balls. Originating from Southeast Asia You can find tapioca pearls in a variety of sizes and colors. You can also purchase the pearls from different Asian supermarkets, including 99 Ranch Market, or numerous online retailers. They are a popular ingredient in various desserts and drinks such as milk tea and Thai tea.

What are white pearls made of tapioca?

White tapioca pearls usually aren’t flavored since they are made from just two ingredients namely tapioca starch and water. They’re made by mixing these two ingredients together in a dough and rolling them into balls.

In the supermarket they’re sold as opaque, dried and dried-out balls that range from small pieces to medium and larger balls. The pearls appear white, and once cooked, they become slightly translucent, with a chewy, opaque center.

Pearls of brown and white

Straight from bags, the brown pearls are made with additional ingredients, such as brown sugar that gives it a darker and opaque hue in contrast to white tapioca pearls which are flavorless and used in desserts to add texture. Brown boba is typically used in drinks such as milk tea and other drinks. For tips on cooking brown tapioca pearls or Boba, check out my article on the brown pearls of tapioca..

White tapioca pearls vs. sago pearls

Although they appear like white tapioca pearls, they are not to be confused with sago pearls they are made of starch that comes from the piths of different palms. When cooked, sago pearls appear like translucent pearls and taste similar to the white pearls of tapioca. Sago pearls in many Asian desserts as well as sweet soups in certain recipes that can be interchanged.


If you have dried, unopened tapioca pearls that you have, I suggest to store them in a sealed container and place them in my fridge to ensure they’re fresh. In my refrigerator they can last for a few months. If you cook pearls I suggest eating them immediately since the longer you delay to consume them, the more gummy they get due to tapioca starch.

Are you able to use pearls of white tapioca for bubble tea?

Absolutely you can make use of white tapioca pearls to bubble tea. Be sure to marinate them and sweeten them with a sugar syrup following the boiling process to increase the flavor.

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