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recipe + tutorial: rainbow panda boba

Post: June 19, 2021

to the left, you'll see a young woman holding a glass of rainbow panda boba; to the right, you see the panda boba lined up in rows and a close up of the cutest panda boba topping a strawberry smoothie boba tea

For full video tutorial, click this image or link:

I’ve been on a boba kick! I love snacking but needed something low sugar and with great texture. PLUS this is no bake. The boba we are most familiar with are brown or black tapioca balls. But that’s so boring! Of course you know my philosophy (maybe you don’t lol), adults need cute things too! Today I’m sharing a happy 🌈 RAINBOW panda boba tea. Nothing new but boba is vegan, gluten free, low sugar recipe. DM me an let me know what type of boba you want to see next! I want to try daisy flowers with cute faces. #boba #pandaboba #dessert

What pairs well with Boba?

Tea, smoothies, and milk tea of course! Also, panda Boba and red bean would be wonderful paired with shaved ice and coconut condensed milk.

Where can these be enjoyed?

· This can be enjoyed all year round!

  • Birthdays (Dare I say it? Some people don’t like cake)

  • Dinner get-together

  • Picnic

  • Baby showers

  • Weddings

  • Christmas (imagine pandas with green and red features – so festive!)


o 1 cup (113 grams) tapioca flour or cassava

o 1 TBS powdered sugar

o ½ cup (124 grams) firm tofu (set aside extra 2-3 TBS)

No special equipment required

· Mixing bowl


How to make tea (or milk tea)

Step 1. If you'll make a smoothie drink, skip this step and do that last. I choose a tea flavor that’s around – doesn’t matter because the boba is neutral. I like white tea for coloring. I steep the tea according to the side of the box. I like to add a tad of honey while the liquid is warm, so it melts. Then I refrigerate it until it’s cold.

· Tip: I like to do this in advance so the tea is ready for iced tea but if you want to enjoy boba with warm tea, no need to do this in advance.

How to form rainbow panda Boba

Step 2 – making boba dough. To make the rainbow panda boba dough you’ll only need 3 ingredients plus food coloring. All of the ingredients will go in a bowl - tapioca or cassava flour, powdered sugar, and tofu. It’s a one bowl recipe! I knead with my hands until the dough becomes smooth. The tofu I use is kind of crumbly but that’s fine – it’s because I’ve chosen to use firm tofu. If the mixture is too dry, add the extra tofu until the dough just comes together. This is what it looks like when it’s just right.

· Tip: Every brand of tofu is different meaning the moisture level is different. Keep some on hand to add to the dough until it’s just a little tacky in texture.

Step 3 – coloring rainbow panda. I split this dough in half, keeping half white and covered with plastic. And split the other piece into 6 or 7 to color. I color these rainbow inspired. Add a little gel food paste; I love gel food paste because it’s concentrated and doesn’t really change the moisture of the dough.

Step 4 – forming panda heads. Make circles out of the white dough – this is his head. Make sure your heads are small because we’re going to want to make sure we can drink them from a bubble tea straw.

· Tip: When it’s too dry, it’s difficult to stick ears to the faces, and we don’t want that! You might want to go back and add a little more tofu to the white circle

· Tip: Remember to be conservative because it’s easier to add then remove.

Step 5 – forming panda eyes and nose. I form the eye area first by making a tiny ball and flattening. Then attach; they’re like two little pirate eye patches. For the nose, I take a toothpick to pick off some of the color dough with the pointy end of a toothpick. If the nose doesn’t flatten, I use the flat side of the toothpick to make sure it’s adhered. Don’t worry if the pandas aren’t exactly the same.

Step 6 – forming panda ears. For the ears, make tiny balls out of dough that coordinates with the eyes and nose. Then stick them on. Cover them as you go so they don’t dry.

How to cook the rainbow panda Boba

Step 7. Boil some water and then bring it down to medium. These boba need to be placed gently and one at a time into the water. Cook for about 4-8 minutes to cook or until they float. When boba bubbles float, that means they are ready to be picked up. Drain and almost done!

· Tip: Be extra gentle! Once they’re in the water the face is less likely to come apart.

· Just a note – everything gets darker when it’s cooked.

How to serve the rainbow panda Boba

Step 8 - serve! Portion the boba into a glass. This recipe makes about 4 servings (depends on preference). Add tea and ice. Also add milk if desired!

· Tip: I recommend eating this boba the same day it’s cooked. I’ve experimented with saving these little guys but they expand when kept overnight.

From scratch rainbow panda boba success!

Rox 🐼

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