Fixing Overcooked Boba

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Overcooked boba happens when the boba has been left in the water for too long while it is cooking. The boba becomes soft, but no longer chewy. It is mushy when chewing it, and has no resistance or bouncy texture. Luckily there are a few things that can be done to revive the boba pearls and restore them to their chewy texture.

To help fix the problem, we are going to look at why the boba is considered overcooked, and what is happening to the boba when it becomes this way.

When boba is cooked for too long, it begins to soften more and more, losing its chewiness. The outside of the boba cooks first, then the inside finally softens and becomes chewy. After this, if the boba continues to cook, then the inside becomes like the outside, soft too. This results in the entire texture of the cooking boba pearls becoming mushy.

If it wasn’t for the water in the pot, the boba pearls would never have become this way to begin with, right? When the boba doesn’t have water after they are cooked, they slowly lose their moisture over time and begin to harden. They will begin to shrink in size. Boba also hardens when it is placed in drinks that are too cold.

Since boba is so reliant on moisture and heat to keep them from hardening, then a solution to reviving the overcooked boba pearls can be made. It isn’t going to make them perfect, but it can possibly make them worthy of being used in a boba tea drink again.

Solution #1

Put them in the oven.

Take the boba out of the water and place them on a tray spread out. Now heat them in the oven for 5 minutes.

Start by warming the oven up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once done, take the boba pearls on the tray and stick them in for 5 minutes. This will cause the mushy boba to lose some of its moisture and firm up a bit.

Be careful not to leave the boba in the oven for too long, else they will stick to the surface of the tray. It will be difficult to pull them off without tearing them if this happens.

Solution #2

Place the boba in the freezer, then freeze them.

Try placing the boba in the freezer to freeze them. Cold is a boba pearl’s worst enemy. It makes them firm up and become hard. After they have frozen, they can be placed in boiling water again for 5 minutes to return them to a chewy texture. It won’t be good enough in texture as freshly cooked boba pearls, but they could possibly be good enough for a quick boba drink.

Solution #3

Place them in an icy cold boba drink.

If the overcooked boba isn’t too mushy, you might be able to even avoid the freezer and be able to stick them in the fridge for a little bit. Many individuals have also had trouble with their boba pearls hardening in cold bubble tea drinks. You can try placing the mushy overcooked boba into an ice cold bath, or in a cold drink to see if they will become firmer.

Solution #4

Use a Food Dehydrator.

A food dryer/dehydrator will take the moisture out of the overcooked mushy boba pearls, and make them chewy again. This is one of the best ways to save overcooked boba pearls. This has been used in many other foods for this purpose, besides just completely removing the moisture from them.

The other solution similar to this would be to leave the mushy boba out in the air to air dry for hours. This will eventually make the boba pearls dry, less mushy, but hard too. Either way, the boba can be reheated in boiling water for a few minutes to make them chewy instead of mushy once they harden.

All the methods mentioned will work. It will not make them perfect, but it will make them doable for a bubble tea. I have had countless boba dry out after using them, so it is definitely harder to restore them afterwards when they are like this. It is easier to deal them if they are overcooked and mushy, as long as they aren’t morphed from being over cooked for too long.

Boba will always try to return back to its original form after it is cooked (hard and dry) if it isn’t kept in moisture. The moisture is the main reason why the boba pearls eventually become mushy if they are cooking in it for too long.

The main thing that helps is trying to use the best way you can to try and remove the moisture from the overcooked boba pearls.

As mentioned some individuals have trouble with their boba pearls becoming hard after they have been placed in their ice cold boba drinks. It is harder to keep tapioca pearls soft and chewy, rather than the opposite. However, taking the boba pearls that are overcooked and letting them harden again, will allow them to be reheated in boiling water for a few minutes to restore them again to a chewy texture.

It depends on how overcooked the boba pearls are of course. As long as they aren’t falling apart, then they should be able to be salvaged.

Another idea would be using a blow dryer on the mushy pearls to dry them again if you don’t have a food dehydrator. It could dry them up some, as long as the blow dryer isn’t heating them. It will take longer than using the oven method or the food dehydrator, but it could possibly work.

If you are trying to salvage these for a customer at a boba shop, then it is best to just cook new ones and throw the overcooked ones away. Always try to give your guests the most fresh, best quality boba at all times. Remember, that they are not going to just receive the salvaged overcooked pearls, but may have them in the bubble tea for awhile. It is imperative to keep the boba as fresh as possible for this reason.

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