Thai Mango-Coconut Bubble Tea

Mango coconut bubble tea
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  • 01 of 10

    Gather Your Ingredients

    Bubble Tea Step 1
    Gathering Together Ingredients for Bubble Tea. D.Schmidt

    For this Thai Mango-Coconut Bubble Tea recipe, you will need:

    • 1 package tapioca pearls (specific for bubble tea)
    • Thai red tea or regular black or orange pekoe tea (regular 'Red Rose' tea works well)
    • 1 ripe mango (or substitute 2 to 3 cups frozen mango)
    • Natural syrup, such as maple syrup (or substitute sugar)
    • 1 to 2 cans coconut milk (1 can serves 2 people)
    • Crushed ice or ice cubes

    Optional Ingredients

    • Regular milk or cream, soy milk, or sweetened condensed milk
    • Wide straws (look for straws specifically made for bubble tea)

    Tips on Ingredients and Substitutions

    • It's best to use the black, green, or multicolored tapioca pearls made specifically for bubble tea. These are available in most Asian food stores and also online. Regular tapioca pearls will disappoint, as they tend to fall apart when cooked.
    • Use one of the milk options listed above if you prefer your bubble tea creamy.
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  • 02 of 10

    Make Some Tea

    pouring tea in pot

    Make 2 to 3 cups of regular-strength tea (each person will need 1/4 to 1/2 cup, depending on how big your serving size is). Place the pot of tea in the refrigerator to cool and steep.

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  • 03 of 10

    Cut a Fresh Mango

    cutting a mango

    Make sure your mango is ripe. You should be able to easily indent a ripe mango with your thumb. Holding it on a cutting board, slice the mango twice, once on either side of the stone (the pit or stone is in the middle of the mango, and is wide and flat).

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  • 04 of 10

    Scoop the Fruit and Put in Food Processor or Blender

    Scooping Out Mango

    Using a tablespoon, scoop out the fruit from the two main mango sections and place it in your food processor or blender. If you peel the skin off from around the stone, you can also add the fruit that surrounds the stone.

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  • 05 of 10

    Process or Blend the Mango

    mango syrup in food processor

    Add 1/3 cup water plus 2 to 3 tablespoons syrup to the mango. Then process or blend well to make a sweet mango syrup (sauce).

    Taste the mango, adding more syrup or sugar (if using) until you're happy with the sweetness (it should be sweet, not sour). How much syrup or sugar you need will depend on the sweetness of your mango, or how ripe it is. Adjust according to taste.

    Note: At this point, you can strain the mango syrup if you prefer to get rid of any stringy mango fiber. Try leaving it in if you'd like more fiber in your diet.

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  • 06 of 10

    Cook the Tapioca Pearls

    Cooking Tapioca Pearls

    Bring a pot of water to boil. For every cup of tapioca pearls, you should use at least 6 cups of water. For a serving of 2 to 4 people, use 4 cups water. When the water is boiling, slowly add 1/2 cup tapioca pearls (if you add them too quickly, they may stick together). Stir well. The tapioca pearls will drop to the bottom of the pot. Remember they will expand in size as they cook.

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  • 07 of 10

    Finish Cooking the Tapioca

    Cooked Bubble Tea Tapioca Pearls

    Boil for 20 minutes, then cover and allow the tapioca pearls to sit in the hot water for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until you're happy with their chewiness. Tapioca pearls will rise to the surface as they cook.

    Tip: You can follow the instructions on the package, but even pearl tapioca that claims to be "Ready in 5 Minutes!" still tends to need at least 20 minutes or more to cook. Basically, keep an eye on your tapioca, taste-testing until you're happy with it.

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  • 08 of 10

    Cover Tapioca Pearls with Syrup

    Adding Syrup to Drained Tapioca Pearls

    Drain the tapioca pearls and place in a bowl. Pour enough syrup over them to prevent them from sticking together (about 1/4 cup). If you're using sugar instead of syrup, you can quickly make a syrup out of equal parts white and brown sugars dissolved in 1/4 cup water.

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  • 09 of 10

    Put Your Bubble Tea Together

    Adding the Tapioca Pearls to boba tea

    If you like your bubble tea with bubbles (frothy), place the following together in a shaker and shake it up.

    Tip: It's easier to not include the tapioca pearls in the shaking, as pouring out the pearls makes for messy business. For each cup of bubble tea, add to your shaker or cup:

    • 1/4 cup of tea
    • 1/4 cup of the mango syrup
    • 1/3 to 1/2 cup coconut milk*
    • 1/4 cup tapioca pearls
    • Extra syrup or sugar to sweeten your bubble tea, according to your preference
    • Some crushed ice (or ice cubes)

    *If you prefer a creamier bubble tea, only add 1/4 cup coconut milk and then top up with 1/4 cup regular milk, cream, or several tablespoons sweetened condensed milk. A creamy soy milk can also be used.

    Usually, bubble tea comes in a huge cup. If you want a similar sized serving, simply double the amounts listed here (you should have enough ingredients for 2 large cups of bubble tea).

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  • 10 of 10

    Enjoy Your Bubble Tea!

    Thai Mango-Coconut Bubble Tea

    If you've managed to procure some bubble tea straws, you can easily suck the tapioca pearls up through the straw. If not, serve the tea with a spoon to scoop them up. Bubble tea is served cold (excellent on a warm summer day or night) and makes a nice dessert as well as a refreshing drink. If desired, you can even add a scoop of vanilla or mango ice cream (or soy ice cream) to each glass.

    Store any extra cooked tapioca pearls (in the bowl with the syrup) in the refrigerator. Try to use them up within 2 to 3 days or they will harden. Unlike a lot of bubble teas made in restaurants and snack bars, this bubble tea is healthy, low in fat and calories, and gluten-free.