How to Make Popping Boba Without Agar Powder: A Simple Guide [FAQs]

Have you ever tried bubble tea with popping boba? Those tiny, flavorful balls that burst in your mouth with every bite, adding an extra layer of excitement to your drink. Popping boba is a fun and delightful addition to any beverage or dessert, and making them at home is easier than you might think.

Most popping boba recipes call for agar powder, a common ingredient in molecular gastronomy. However, agar powder may not be readily available in your local grocery store or may be too expensive for some. Fortunately, there are alternative methods to make popping boba without agar powder, and we’ve got you covered with some easy steps to follow.

In this article, we will guide you through various recipes to make popping boba without agar powder, including recipes that use cornstarch, calcium lactate, and cold oil spherification. Whether you’re a bubble tea enthusiast or simply looking for a fun and unique way to add some flavor to your desserts, you’ll find a recipe that suits your taste and preference. So, let’s get started!


When making popping boba without agar powder, you’ll need to use alternative ingredients to achieve the same texture and consistency. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of fruit juice of your choice
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 tsp of calcium lactate
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp of sodium alginate
  • 1/4 cup of sugar

Calcium lactate and sodium alginate are the key ingredients that will help create the popping boba texture.

Make sure to have all of these ingredients on hand before beginning the process of making popping boba without agar powder.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Preparing the Syrup

Begin by gathering all the necessary ingredients for your popping boba. You will need 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of fruit juice concentrate or pureed fruit, and 1/2 cup of cornstarch.

Next, pour the water into a pot and turn up the heat until it begins to boil. Once boiling, add in the sugar and stir until it has dissolved completely. Then, add in the fruit juice concentrate or pureed fruit (if using either) and stir again.

Continue to stir occasionally until the mixture thickens and becomes translucent. This should take approximately 5-7 minutes. Once thickened, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.

Step 2: Making the Popping Boba

After the syrup has cooled slightly, use a dropper or syringe to create small drops of the mixture into a bowl of cold water.

Next, rinse the boba pearls with water and serve them in your favorite dish. You can add them to drinks, desserts, or even eat them on their own.

Experiment with different fruit flavors and enjoy the unique texture and flavor that popping boba adds to any dish.

Tips and Tricks

  • Use a dropper or syringe to create uniform-sized boba balls. This will help ensure that they cook evenly and have a consistent texture.
  • For a more flavorful boba, use pureed fruit instead of fruit juice concentrate.
  • When dropping the boba balls into the calcium lactate solution, make sure they are evenly spaced apart. This will help prevent them from sticking together during the spherification process.
  • Allow the boba balls to rest in the calcium lactate solution for at least 10 minutes to ensure that they fully spherify.
  • When rinsing the boba balls, use cold water to help them cool down and set their shape.
  • For a fun twist, try using different fruit juices or purees to create boba balls in a variety of colors and flavors.

Enjoy experimenting with different flavors and colors to create your own custom boba creations!