Despite its curious name, coming from a children's book written by American author Dr. Seuss, oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid that actually exists - or rather, that can actually be made. The original recipe involves cornstarch (cornstarch) and water, but you can also use other ingredients. Read below and find out more!
Using arrowroot powder or tapioca flour
- 190 to 250 g of arrowroot powder or tapioca flour.
- 240 ml of water at room temperature.
- Food coloring (optional).
- 450 g of corn flour.
- 475 ml of hot water.
- Food coloring (optional).
Method 1 of 2: Using Powdered Arrowroot or Tapioca Flour
Step 1. Put 190 to 250 g of the powder into a large bowl
Arrowroot powder and tapioca flour are two popular alternatives to cornstarch in many recipes. As your goal is to oobleck, you can use one of these two the same way.
- You can also try baby powder, as long as it has cornstarch in its composition. Read the ingredient list and see if that's the case.
- You can also use potato starch, but don't put regular flour or baking soda in the recipe. Baking soda produces an effervescent reaction, while flour creates a kind of paste.
Step 2. Add 240 ml of room temperature water to the bowl
Don't worry about the volume for now: the proportions just need to be similar. You will be able to make some adjustments later.
- The original oobleck recipe calls for cornstarch and water in a 2:1 ratio. Follow this same principle with arrowroot, tapioca flour and potato starch.
- Try adding food coloring to the water to "tchan" the oobleck! Start with two or three drops, but add more until you are satisfied with the result.
Step 3. Mix the oobleck with your hands or a rubber spatula
In the absence of a spatula or other utensil, put plastic gloves on your hands and mix the ingredients together until they begin to form the final non-Newtonian fluid.
Step 4. Add more powder or water (optional)
Ideally, the oobleck should have the consistency of water but feel solid when you touch it. However, feel free to implement some adaptations:
- If the oobleck becomes too watery, add more powder.
- If it gets too hard, add more water.
Step 5. Store the oobleck in a lidded jar when you are not using it
Grab a plastic box, canning jar, or even a zip lock bag. The oobleck will dry within a few days, but you can restore its consistency with a little warm water.
Step 6. Dispose of the oobleck only in the trash can
If you throw the oobleck down the sink, it will clog the drain. It is best to put it in a sealed plastic bag and dispose of it in the trash can normally.
Do this even if the oobleck is dry, as there is a risk that it will rehydrate in the pipe the next time you turn on the faucet
Method 2 of 2: Using Cornmeal
Step 1. Place 450 g of cornmeal in a large bowl
Take a large bowl with a capacity for the flour and another 475 ml of water that you will add in a moment.
- Use a kitchen scale to adjust the amount of cornmeal.
- Cornmeal is practically the same as cornstarch and cornstarch, but there are some differences in terms of water quantity and temperature.
- Buy a bag of very fine cornmeal.
Step 2. Mix 475 ml of hot water and a few drops of food coloring (optional)
You don't need to add the dye to the water, but the oobleck will be more interesting this way. The number of drops is a matter of taste: the more you use, the darker the final fluid will be.
- Start with two or three drops and mix in the water. If it's not dark enough, add more.
- If you skip this step, the oobleck will turn white. This option is also interesting!
Step 3. Transfer water to cornmeal
This is where the main difference between cornstarch and corn flour emerges: with cornstarch, the volume of water must be half that of the powder; with the flour, it should be the same.
The water also needs to be warm, as opposed to how it would be with cornstarch
Step 4. Mix the water and flour with your hands or a rubber spatula
Continue mixing the ingredients until they form the oobleck, which should have a honey consistency. If you are going to use your hands, put on plastic gloves first.
Rubber gloves help protect your skin from food coloring stains
Step 5. Add more water or cornmeal (optional)
This part is optional and depends on how much more liquid or viscous you want the oobleck. In the first case, add more water; in the second, add more cornmeal.
Mix the oobleck well after each new increment of ingredients
Step 6. Store the oobleck in a lidded jar when you are not using it
Use a plastic box, canning jar, or zip lock bag to store the oobleck when you're not playing with it. Remember that the dough dries within a few days. When this happens, add some warm water to it and see if the consistency returns to the state before.
Step 7. Place the oobleck in a plastic bag at the time of disposal
Never throw the oobleck into the sink as it can clog the drain and drain. Put it in a tightly closed plastic bag and throw it in the trash can.
Do not throw the oobleck down the drain even if it is dry! The next time you turn on the faucet, you risk rehydrating the mixture and clogging the pipe
- If the oobleck dries out or hardens, add some warm water to it.
- You'll create a hell of a mess following the steps in this article! If possible, place sheets of newspaper on the table where you want to oobleck.
- Some people also call the quicksand oobleck a play.
- Collect any solid pieces of oobleck that fall around. If necessary, use a sponge or cloth.