Mango sago is one of my favorite desserts in summer. It is made with mango, sago pearls, and mostly coconut milk. So you can call it a mango coconut sago. And sometimes pomelo will be added to balance the sweet taste of the mango. So we will cover two versions. This tropical treat totally hits the spot on a hot summer day.
Sago is a tiny, round ball with a chewy texture. Originally sago is made with starch from palm trees. And is much firmer than tapioca pearls. However most of the sago available on the internet or Amazon now is made with tapioca starch. There is little difference between the two types.
Raw sago pearls are hard and tiny, but when you cook them, it's like magic! The pearls turn translucent, absorb liquid, and become soft and chewy while still retaining their popsicle-like shape.
Sago pearls are naturally flavorless, so they take on the flavors of whatever liquid they're cooked or soaked in. Since they are super small, you don't need to chew them. It will combine all the flavors from other ingredients.
Where mango sago comes from
Mango sago is a dessert originated has its roots in southern Chinese cuisine, specifically in the provinces of Guangdong and Hong Kong area. It is the top dessert in Hong Kong cafes.
Mango Pomelo Sago
Adding pomelo is a lovely twist to the mango sago. The pomelo provides a lovely sour and a little bit bitter taste that can balance the sweetness of mango. So this is a classic and popular version in China too.
In addition to mango sago or mango pomelo sago, other fruits can be used to replace mango to change this dessert too. For example, watermelon sago or strawberry sago. Other melons like honeydew taste great with coconut sago too.
How to cook sago pearls
Well-cooked sago pearls are bunchy, crystal without any hard cores. Let's learn how to cook sago pearls stey by step.
First, make sure you use plenty of water because the sago pearls expand a lot. Aim for at least 8 cups of water per 1 cup of dry sago pearls.
Bring the water to a rolling boil, then add the pearls. Stir to avoid sticking, then keep the heat high so the sago can keep rolling with the movement of the boiling water. Heat for around 10 minutes.
Once cooked, turn off the heat but let the sago sit for another 10 minutes, covered, please. This resting period allows them to absorb more liquid and become perfectly soft and gummy.
Finally, drain and rinse the cooked sago pearls with cool water. This stops the cooking process and washes away any stickiness. The pearls will look snowy white and crystal clear at this point.
You can use the sago immediately or if you plan to use the sago pearls later, remember to mix with syrup or sugar to prevent them sticky together.
Ingredients for Mango sago
- Mango: Fresh, ripe mango brings its signature sweetness and bright, sunny flavor. We also top the dessert with some nicely diced mango cubes.
- Cooked sago: sago gives the dessert a soft, gummy texture. It is the finest part of the dessert.
- Coconut milk: coconut milk ties everything together. Let the sago spread evenly. You can also make mango sago with regular whole milk.
- Milk: you can use coconut milk only or milk only. I use a combination of coconut milk and milk at a ratio of 2:1.
- Sweetened condensed milk works as a sweetener for mango sago. It also helps to add creaminess.
- Peeled pomelo: a citrusy twist, fresh pomelo flesh will be added. But this is optional. I love the pomelo inside the dessert. You can feel it popping up with a tiny and bitter taste.
How to assemble mango sago
You can definitely mix everything together before transferring to serving cups. But well-arranged mango sago can be beautiful and appealing.
Firstly cook your sago pearls, and blend the mango mixture. Then we will still need some mango cubes, extra coconut milk or milk, and pomelo if using.
Then place the sago pearls at the bottom first (recommend 3 to 4 tablespoons for a 500ml serving cup). Place mango cubes and pomelo flesh on top.
Next, we pour coconut milk to cover all the solid content so there will be layers and we can see through the ingredients.
Then lastly, pour the mango milk mixture on top.
Mango Sago| Mango pomelo sago
- ¼ cup sago pearls
- 1 large mangoes diced
- 1 cup coconut milk
- ½ cup milk
- 2 tbsp. sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tbsp. peeled pomelo , optionally only for mango pomelo sago
cook the sago
- Cook the sago pearls in 6 cups water for 10 minutes until translucent. Let sit for 10 more minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water.
Make mango coconut milk
- Peel and dice mangoes into bite-sized pieces.
- In a blender, blend ¾ of the mango cubes with sweetened condensed milk and coconut milk. Blend until smooth.
- Add cooked sago pearls, mango cubes and pomelo is using at the bottom of the serving cups.
- Then pour in the mango coconut milk to cover the solid content. Top with mango cubes and pomelo if using. Mix well before enjoying.
- You can use evaporated milk instead of coconut milk.
- Add other fruits like kiwi or strawberries for more variation.
Yes, you can absolutely make this recipe without condensed milk. The coconut milk still provides creaminess and some natural sweetness on its own. So if you skip condensed milk, you can use extra sugar or syrup for extra sweetness. But mango is sweet enough, so for a milder and healthier version, you can skip condensed milk.
Sweetened whipped cream - Add pretty swirls of whipped cream for extra richness.
Coconut flakes - For crunch and more coconut flavor.
Fruit jelly - Dice up colorful fruit jelly candy into small pieces for sweetness.
The original version does not include ice cubes. But adding ice cubes to mango sago is totally fine and actually recommended on summer days.
Hope you will love this mango pudding and enjoy it in your hot summer days.