After 3 weeks, I decided to get my hands on pearls. Though I have been ordering delivery service occasionally to satisfy my bubble tea crave, it is different to make pearls by hand. Unlike brown sugar pearls, Purple Yam Pearls (or Ube Pearls) is definitely a healthier and easier version. I enjoy pairing the pearls with milk, with fresh purple yam bits. As mentioned, this is a 100% successful recipe and family-friendly. For me, I just made them while watching TVB at night.
To make this more interesting, I used two types of purple yam and compared the texture and sweetness of their pearls – regular purple yam and Hawaiian purple yam. Hawaiian purple yam is more difficult to find, but it is fragrant, with a vibrant purple color. It is sweeter and more enjoyable eating on its own. Meanwhile, the regular purple yam is commonly found in supermarkets, and it is dark purple. It is not as sweet, but I enjoy using them in cakes, or even eating on its own. It is also an inexpensive option.
As a result, the pearls came out as expected. I didn’t add any sugar in the Hawaiian Purple Yam Pearls. Surprisingly, the pearls has a subtle sweetness from its natural flavor. The purple yam flavor is strong and aromatic. The texture is softer, but remain chewy.
As for the Regular Purple Yam Pearls , I added a teaspoon of sugar in the mashed purple yam to boost its sweetness. The pearls are darker in color, but it is bouncy and chewy. The purple yam flavor is pungent and earthy. I honestly enjoyed both types of pearls, as they give me two totally different experience in terms of flavors and texture.
Ube Pearls (Purple Yam Pearls)
- Rolling Pin
- Pot for Steaming
- 100 g purple yam/ube
- 1 tsp sugar optional
- 30 g tapioca starch/flour if you want even bouncier texture, can increase up to 40g
- 1 tbsp water
- Peel the purple yam with a peeler. Cut into pieces, so it can be cooked through easily.
- Put the chopped purple yam into a bowl and to the steamer. Steam for 10-15 minutes or when a fork can poke through easily.
- Mashed the purple yam using a fork. Add sugar. Mix well. Adding sugar is optional, but I want it to have a hint of sweetness in the pearls. Side aside until cold.
- Once the mashed purple yam is cold, you can add 1 TEASPOON of water. Add 1/3 of the tapioca starch at a time to the purple yam. Knead until all starch disappears. If the dough is too dry, add water by teaspoon before kneading. The dough should not be sticky, and the purple yam has its own moisture, so make sure to add water only when necessary.
- Form the soft dough into a ball. Flatten it and cut the dough as shown below, like a chocolate bar.
- Prepare a bowl filled with a small amount of tapioca starch (2 tsp). Set aside.
- Use your fingers to roll each of the small dough into a ball. Put the pearl into the bowl so it won’t stick with other pearls. Repeat this step until the dough is used up.
- Boil a pot of water. Add the pearls and let it boil for 1-2 minutes. When they are floating, they are ready.
- Put the cooked pearls in a ice water bath, so it can be more bouncy and chewy.
- Serve the pearls with milk and ice.