for the tapioca pearls
1/2 cup hot water
2 grams agar powder
1 black tea bag
1 tsp blackstrap molasses
Place the vegetable oil in a tupperware container with a lid and place in the freezer to chill for about an hour.Place the water into a coffee mug an microwave until it boils. Place the 2 grams of agar into the boiling water and whisk well. Drop in the teabag and steep for about a minute. Squeeze and remove the tea bag. Add in the blackstrap molasses and whisk again. Inspect the color and add just a little bit more molasses if you want a darker tone.
Remove the vegetable oil from the freezer and pour it into a tall beer glass. Fill a squeeze bottle or use a syringe or pipette to pull an inch or two of the tea solution into it. Slowly drop the solution into the cold oil. Drop the tea solution as close as you can into the oil to form a nice round shape. I found that three drops per tapioca pearl worked best and looked the nicest for this application.
After you’ve made 20 or so pearls, strain them out by pouring the entire glass over a fine mesh strainer into a large measuring cup. Then pour the oil back into the beer glass an repeat the entire process again. This step is important because although the pearls are pretty sturdy, too much weight can cause them to warp or even melt all together at the bottom.
You’ll only have about 10 minutes to perform this process, as the agar will begin to set after that—instead of drops coming out of your syringe/bottle/pipette, you’ll have an unworkable solution with the consistency of toothpaste.
You can store the tapioca pearls in a single layer in the oil. Just rinse in water when you are ready to serve them.
for the taro root tea bubble
3 cups cold water
1 tsp sodium alginate
6 ounces vegan coconut yogurt
1-2 TB taro root powder
1 tsp calcium lactateMETHOD
Whisk together the water and sodium alginate in a blender. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow the bubbles to settle.
Mix together the vegan yogurt, almond milk, tea powder and calcium lactate gently with a whisk.
Pour a little of the sodium alginate solution into a circular glass with a 2-inch diameter width at the base. Spoon in about a tablespoon of the taro root tea mixture, then slowly add in more of the sodium alginate solution, enough to cover it. Now swirl it around in a circular motion until a spherical shape is achieved, about a minute.
You can now remove it by pouring the contents into your hand. Drop it into a bowl with some water while you make the rest of the taro root spheres. Serve immediately with the rinsed tapioca pearls.