Pearl Sago Pudding With Gula Melaka-Palm Sugar

Can you believe I have never tasted Sago Pudding before? True. This should not be a problem for me since I’m a Malaysian and this being an Asian dessert. There’s no excuse except I can’t seem to find them anywhere! Dessert shop? zilch. Malay store? takda. Chinese tong sui shop? mei yo… Does anyone know why we can’t find sago pudding easily in dessert shop?

Pearl Sago Pudding With Gula Melaka
In this post I’m going to show you how I made them (first time) and share with you my preparation tips. 😛 This is a recipe that uses very simple ingredients (sago, palm sugar & coconut milk) and yet the result is totally out of this world.

Pearl Sago
This is pearl sago in white which I bought from baking supplies store. I’ve seen green and even pink sagos in supermarket.

Sago is a starch extracted from the trunk of palm tree. I tasted 1 small piece and it has no taste. They remind me of snow and pearls!

Let’s start cooking.

Cooking Pearl Sago
Bring the water in a large saucepan to a boil. Then dump the whole packet of sago (250g) into the water. Cook for 15 minutes.

Tip: Please stir continuously to prevent sago from settling to the bottom. Failing to do so will cause sago to stick on the bottom and side wall of saucepan.

Pearl Sago - Semi Translucent
After 15 minutes you will notice the sago has turned into semi-translucent. You can still see some white bit in it. Turn the heat off and cover the saucepan for 15 minutes (I actually waited 30 minutes for the sago to turn completely translucent :P).

Cooked Pearl Sago - Translucent
This is cooked pearl sago. Precious ya? Caviar anyone? Hehe

Remember sago is starch? To reduce the stickiness, run sago under running water using a sieve. Rinse until the sago become loose. You can’t wash all the starch away because sago = starch remember?

Drain the sago well.

Pearl Sago
Now you go find your pwetty jelly moulds or dessert glasses. AHH PRECIOUSSS!

Tip: muffin pan will work too!

Pearl Sago
Spoon sago to the brim and chill in the fridge.

Gula Melaka Palm Sugar
For palm sugar (gula melaka) syrup preparation, you will need palm sugar (200g roughly chopped), pandan leaf (optional) and water.

Combine the 3 ingredients in a small saucepan and bring liquid to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer for 10 minutes or until syrup thickens slightly. This is where I made a mistake. I forgot to thicken my syrup. Argh! But it’s okay the outcome still turned out yummy. Hehe

Pearl Sago Pudding With Gula Melaka
So how do you eat Sago Pudding? Easy! Remove sago from the mould and drizzle some gula melaka syrup and coconut milk/santan (I used the ready made kind). That’s it! Taste wise… aromatic and melt in your mouth. YUM!

Tip: Serve sago pudding on the day you made them or at most a day later. I left my sago pudding in the fridge for 3 days before serving ’em (busy ma) and the top layer of the sago has hardened. Not a problem as you can easily spoon it out but you lost a small portion of jewels (you get what I mean?)

Make sure you try them ya.

Last but not least, Happy New Year 2010 everyone! Have a fat-fat year ahead. 🙂

Pearl Sago Pudding With Gula Melaka/Palm Sugar Recipe
Adapted from Malaysian Cakes & Desserts
Makes 9 small puddings

250g pearl sago
3 liters water
200g palm sugar roughly chopped
150ml water
200ml coconut milk
1 pandan leaf (optional)

1. Bring the water in a large saucepan to a boil. Cook sago in the boiling water for 15 minutes.

2. Stir well to prevent sago from settling on the bottom.

3. Turn off the heat and cover saucepan for 15 minutes (or until sago become translucent)

4. Rinse sago under running water with a sieve. Drain well.

5. Spoon sago into jelly moulds and chill in the fridge.

6. Combine palm sugar, water (150ml) and pandan leaf. Bring liquid to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes (or until syrup thickens slightly).

7. To serve, remove sago from the mould and pour palm sugar syrup & coconut milk.

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  • Reply Adino January 1, 2010 at 11:27 am


    I can’t remember where I last had this also… I think you could find this is Baba Nyonya restaurants or maybe at hotel buffets?

    I like how it is so easy to make, but yet so delicious! Stumbled your post 🙂

  • Reply Che-Cheh January 2, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Hi Adino, so far I haven’t encounter any at both places. Must look some more I guess.

    Thanks for your visit. 🙂
    Happy New Year!

  • Reply picklet April 17, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Hey, thanks heaps, just what I needed to take away the fear of the strange little globules!

    Beautifully presented, and now I know how to rinse them.

    Is there a health reason why we need to rinse them?
    I made one dessert with them that worked without rinsing too, and it left a bit of an acrid taste in the mouth.

    Wish you lots of happy meals and thanks for posting!

  • Reply Che-Cheh April 18, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Hi Picklet, we need to rinse the sagos to get rid some of the starch.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. 🙂

  • Reply Foodlover November 11, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Looks yummy! i never tried eating it before,but I will try it at home! But I have a question,how long do you have to chill the sago before serving?? Thank you!

    • Reply Che-Cheh November 12, 2011 at 9:37 pm

      Hi Foodlover, as long as the sago is cold you can serve it. The time depends on how big is your dessert cup. To be save, chill it for 20-30minutes. I think it taste great when it’s properly chilled. 🙂

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