Sago at Mangga

Here is the second sago post, originally dated July 2005. Sago is apparently NOT tapioca. Sago is apparently NOT tapioca. aa22That is not a typo, I did that on purpose. I am just so used to seeing sago translated as tapioca in menus, recipe books, etc. that I assumed it must be tapioca. My research suggests it most definitely is NOT. Tapioca is made from cassava root. Sago is made from the pith of a Sago or related palm. Since we were up to our eyeballs in cooked sago as a result of the previous entry, I was searching for other ways to use these balls and tried this delicious mango and sago concoction that is attributed to Glenda Barretto, who calls it “Mango and Tapioca Pearls…” Hmmm…

You will need: 3-4 ripe mangoes, 4-5 cups prepared sago aa01mini ball size, 1 cup brown sugar, ¼ cup water, 5 pandan leaves, 1 cup coconut cream (fresh or canned), ½ cup granulated sugar and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. First put brown sugar and water in a small saucepan and place over high heat until it boils. Add 3 pandan leaves and cook, over medium flame, stirring constantly for about 5-7 minutes, taking care to keep the boil under control. Do not overcook or you will have a bitter mess. Remove pandan leaves and cool this mixture. When cool, add the sago to this, stir gently and put the whole pan in the fridge to cool somemore. Meanwhile, make the cream sauce by taking another saucepan, place the coconut cream, white sugar and cinnamon and place over high heat until boiling. Add remaining pandan leaves and lower heat to medium and cook until cream is thickened, say 7-8 minutes (it will thicken more when it cools). Also cool this mixture and place in the refrigerator.

To serve, assemble several individual cups with some sago aa33mixture and chopped mangoes, then top with the cinnamon flavored cream just before serving. This tastes best when it is super cold. The flavor of cinnamon gives this recipe a nice touch, as does the background note of pandan. Of course it’s wickedly high in sugar but it is a dessert, right? It is perfect after a spicy lunch that includes dishes like the Spicy eggplant dish I did the other day. If you have better information re sago/tapioca claim please leave a comment.

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17 Responses

  1. Never have had this dessert. Our ripe mangoes are good plain. It must be a good concoction since mangoes go well with coconut milk plus the addition of sago for good texture and sugar – must be a winning dessert.

  2. Thanks MM for the correction. I’m one of those under the impression that tapioca is sago hehehe… really learn something new everyday at your blog.

  3. My mom would always give me Minute ‘Tapioca’, always wondering where the difference lies from our local sago, well there you go…thanks MM. Being a new fan just this year, it seems there are still a LOT of INTERESTNG posts to browse through your archives!

  4. MM, one of our favorite simple desserts with sago is done this way: mound some cooked mini sago in the pit of avocado halves, top with some crushed/grated palm sugar (i found thai-made palm sugar in the grocery sold as a roll, looking very much like tablea). spoon some coconut cream over all. the sugar dissoves into the cream and the mixture forms a sauce that flows down into the sago and avocado. simple and delicious!

  5. I can see this combination working specially if the sago shots are cooked just “al dente” after all don’t they sprinkle a token number of them now too to your taho as a sort of lagniappe. My Chinoy physician told me that the original Chinese vendor actually called out “tau hue.” Anyway, my Kapampangan sister-in-law who is an excellent cook and hostess adds them to her guinataan which I find very good indeed inspite of the sago in it reminding me of tapioca and rice pudding. I do not know but rice pudding throws me into a bad mood and really provokes my antagonism when I have to hunt for the raisins.

  6. tasted yummy mango-sago dessert at gloriamaris a month ago

    i’m guessing its drysdale mango concentrate with tiny sago (served super cold)

  7. a more native version of the mango-sago in chinese restos. Instead of the mango concentrate, the sweet fruit seems more appetizing. The mango-sago of north park uses fresh mangoes, sago (of course, and gelatine i think. I do agree that the pandan will add nice flavor but the cinnamon is a surprise. To decrease the sweetness and make it really cold, I always add shaved ice in my serving bowl.

    Thanks for the new idea, MM.

  8. hmmm… perhaps a green mango shake + sago balls would be strange but good together? never tried it before, just thought of it now.
    i think any slushy fruit shake with sago balls would go together. the key is that the shake must be super ice cold and may have to rely on sweeteners aside from what the fruit has to offer. e.g., pakwan shake with sago balls, no? sometimes watermelon isn’t as sweet as it’s supposed to be.
    might even go with those slushy coffee / mocha / chocolate drink things like starbucks’ coffee jelly frapps. or is that too zagu-ish?

  9. Thank you Market Man for listing down the ingredients, especially the “measurements!” Also, thanks for the clarification that SAGO IS NOT TAPIOCA! :-) I can now challenge those that say otherwise! :-) I love tapioca . . . oops! I mean “sago!” :-) Have a good day and hope all is well.

  10. Thanks for the clarification MM! I’ve always thought that sago was tapioca, now I know they’re two totally different things!

  11. I think that the terms are used interchangeably in the food industry. It’s the easy route to just slap a “sago” on bags of Chinese/Thai/Filipino tapioca pearls, as there isn’t too much of a difference (flavor/texture). So the “sago” that is the ingredient in various drinks/desserts we’ve come to love could be either one, and most people can’t tell the difference. The actual sago derived from the sago palm would be where it counts, I think. However if you want the name to match the product, then avoid any mention of tapioca pearls. Just my two cents lol –

  12. Dear readers,
    In Melbourne Australia over 50 years ago, our mother,s made wonderful desserts with sago.

    Now, in 200 – 2007, Our largest supermarkets, ie: Coles and Woolworths,(here,in Queensland, Sago is not upon their shelves, I try to explain to the staff, they do not know what I am talking about. “hELP”. I mean to say, sago was a wonderful staple here in australia for .invalid cooking and for babies, also, many delicious desserts could be made for any person with a sweet tooth.

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