Sago Pearl Dessert


I have read that this is actually a Malaysian dessert and at first I didn’t want to try the recipe as it involved coconut and tapioca pearls and I never had that combination before.  But then I remembered having something similar from a Mongolian (?!?) Restaurant in Manila (if not exactly what that is hehe duh) and though it wasn’t exactly a hit with me during that time, I decided to give it a go.  Besides, it only involves ingredients that are inexpensive and I had all that are needed right in my pantry.

Turned out to be a hit with my family, and this time, with me as well!  It was easy to make (though you need to make it a few hours before serving to give it time to cool in the fridge) but do try it and I am quite sure you will like it 🙂


120 grams dried sago/tapioca pearls (I use the really tiny colored ones, although the colors won’t show later on — I tried the plain ones but the ones I see are not the same quality as the colored ones and they tend to stick to each other, for some reason; you can also use the larger colored ones, if you like — I reckon the colors for these will show)

1 liter water

a can of coconut cream

Pinch of salt

150 grams chopped palm sugar

2 pieces pandan leaves, bruised and knotted (optional but nice if you have this as this will give a very attractive fragrance; if you don’t have pandan leaves, it’s alright, honest!)

20 ml hot boiling water


Boil the liter of water in a large saucepan.  Pour in the sago slowly, stirring with a wooden spoon.  Boil over low heat and cover with a lid.  Stir once in a while to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan (some would still stick, so don’t stress yourself about this) until the sago pearls turn transparent, and no white spot is left on each of them.

Pour cooked sago onto a sieve and run cold water through them to wash away extra starch.  Scoop the sago into serving sized bowls or glasses or even soufflé dishes (like I did) making sure you leave space for the syrup later on.  Refrigerate.

Pour the can of coconut cream in a container and add the pinch of salt.  Refrigerate.

Combine the palm sugar with the boiling water and pandan leaves in a small saucepan.  Boil for about 3 minutes until all the sugar turns to syrup (please keep an eye on your syrup because this could burn).  Remove from heat, discard pandan leaves and set aside to cool.

When ready to serve, take the individual serving of sago, pour syrup and top with the cream.  Serve while cold.  Yum!



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