Prep time: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour, 30 minutes
-1 cup tapioca flour + 1/2 tbsp more for dusting
-5tbsp brown sugar
-6tbsp hot water
*Brown sugar syrup
-1 tbsp brown sugar
-1 1/3 cup + 1.5tbsp water
Sift the tapioca flour and make sure there are no large lumps. Pour the water and sugar into a small pot or saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir to make sure all the sugar has melted, turn down the heat to low. Pour the flour into the pot all at once and use a firm spatula to stir the pot until everything is evenly mixed and a sticky brown dough is formed. Cook this dough over very low heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent the bottom from burning.
Scrape the dough out onto a clean work surface and divide the dough in half. Roll each form into thin sticks and cut them into small pieces. Try to make them as evenly sized as possible and small enough to pass through a straw. Roll each piece in between your palms to turn them into balls. After you roll each ball, dust them with tapioca flour to prevent them from sticking.
Bring 2 cups of water to a rolling boil in a small pot or saucepan. add the tapioca pearls to the water and let cook for 15-20 minutes until the desired consistency is reached. They will also become darker as they cook. Stir vigorously in the beginning to prevent the pearls from sticking. Once they start to float, you only need to stir the pot once every few minutes. Once the pearls are cooked, transfer them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process and they firm up slightly.
To make the brown sugar syrup: add the water and sugar in a small pot and bring to a boil. Add in the chilled tapioca pearls and turn the heat to a slow simmer. Let the pearls simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the liquid is thick and syrupy. Keep it warm after it'd done cooking.