Tapioca Bobo


Necessity is the mother of invention. Or the mother of DIY. I told my kids I was going to make sago gula melaka for dessert after lunch. But after lunch, I couldn’t find my sago. I knew it was somewhere in my larder. Probably hidden under some things. Or maybe I actually ran out! *gasp. Anyhow so sago gula melaka was out of the question then.

That got me thinking.  It’s just tapioca flour.  Why don’t I attempt to make my own?  We all love the bobo in bubble tea and that huge sago that takes forever to cook (FOREVER, I tell you!).  A quick experiment told me you can’t just use room temperature water and tapioca starch.  It goes all weird…like slime-like.  I cooked it anyhow and it tasted authentic.  However, it was impossible to shape.  So I figured if it’s not room temperature water, it must be hot water then.  With a few clicks on my iphone, i found out that I was on the right track.


Tapioca Bobo

1/4 cup hot water

3/4 cup tapioca starch

Pour hot water into a bowl of tapioca starch.  Hold back that last 1 Tbsp of starch. It’s easier to add starch to a too wet dough than the other way round.   Knead it with your hands until it forms a nice dough (like play dough).  Warning: It will be hot.  If it’s too dry, just add a bit of cool water (it’ll be fine).  If it is too tacky, add in the rest of the starch.  Next, just pinch off bits and roll them into bobo size.  Dust with more starch if they feel too sticky.

Boil a small pot of water.  When the water boils, put in the bobo.    It will only take a few minutes before you see them floating.  Boil them for a few minutes then  scoop up the floaters and I just put them straight into a bottle filled with a couple of tablespoons of sugar.

To use, just pop them into your tea.  Or eat them as is.

They may be kept overnight in the fridge.  However, you will need to soften them up.  You can do this either by putting them into your hot tea, or just let them sit in a bit of hot water for a few minutes.



The ratio is 3 parts starch to 1 part hot water.

Pouring hot water into the starch makes it easier to mix than starch to hot water.

Tapioca starch is very fine, so be warned, it gets very messy very easily.

Fresh sago/bobo cooks very very quickly. I will never buy the dried ones again.

I later found my missing sago hidden under a stack of instant noodles. heh.