Asian Recipes/ Dessert/ Recipes

Sago Pudding with Coconut & Mango

17/09/2020

Sago pudding is so light and refreshing, we love the tropical flavours and chewy texture of the sago pearls. It’s a gorgeous dessert that tastes amazing, the perfect end to a delicious meal!

Two glasses of sago pudding showing the creamy white sago layer topped with yellow mango slices in syrup.

Why We Love This

Do you ever love a food so much that before you know it, you’ve made up a theme song for it? Well, let us introduce you to our much beloved… 🎶 co-co-nut SAgooooooooo 🎶

This is such an easy dessert recipe we turn to when we start craving a sweet treat after dinner. You don’t need to be prepared super well in advance, so you can even make it on a weeknight! All you need is a few basic ingredients that we often have in our pantry, ready to be crafted into a sweetly delicious and innocent looking dessert.

You can also make sago pudding in advance when you have guests coming around and know you’ll be strapped for time in the kitchen. Just pull them out of the fridge and watch everyone’s eyes light up in delight!

A glass of sago pudding topped with mango slices.

What is Sago Pudding? 

This is a sweet Asian dessert recipe made from chewy sago pearls stewed into a pudding with coconut cream and sugar, topped with fruit. It’s super popular across Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore & Thailand) and mainland China.

The concept is similar to other sweet no-bake desserts like Vanilla Blanc Manger or Japanese Purin (which is itself similar to creme brulee) in that it’s a set dessert usually intended to be served cold.

Although – sometimes we just can’t help ourselves and will start eating even before the sago puddings are cold!

Sago vs Tapioca

Sago pearls are small white balls of starch extracted from sago palm stems. They have a similar look, taste and feel to tapioca pearls, and are often used in similar ways, but tapioca is actually made from cassava roots. You might have already come across them as the deliciously chewy balls in the bottom of bubble tea!

What You’ll Need

Just a handful of ingredients for this one. Most can be bought from regular supermarkets but you might need to head to an Asian grocer for sago pearls (or grab them online).

  • Sago Pearls – We prefer to use the small white sago pearls (sometimes called sago seeds). You can sometimes find these in different colours or flavours, but we like the unflavoured white ones so we can add our own flavour. You can use large pearls or tapioca pearls if you prefer or if that’s all you can find.
  • Coconut Cream – We use coconut cream, but you can also use coconut milk which is a bit thinner in texture. Both have a deliciously rich coconut flavour.
  • Mango – You can use fresh or tinned mango slices depending on your preference. We actually love using tinned fruit that comes with its own syrup, it adds extra sweetness to your topping!

Sago Pudding Topping Ideas

Some of the more traditional toppings include mango, passionfruit syrup or banana. But you could also try smashed berries, homemade berry coulis or sweet ginger syrup. Yum!

How to make Recipe:

  1. In a medium saucepan, pour in your sago, coconut cream and water and allow to sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Place sago on medium heat and stir continuously to avoid sticking. The sago should cook through and become sticky in around 5-10 minutes.
  3. Remove sago from the heat and add in your sugar, stirring through.
  1. Spoon mixture into dessert glasses and allow to cool.
  2. Top with mango, desiccated coconut and mint, then chill until ready to be served.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • When making the sago, the trick is to soak it in the water and coconut first for half an hour to help soften it and quicken the hands-on time it takes to stir it continuously on the stove.

FAQs

Is this recipe healthy?

Sago is naturally gluten free, low in fat, and prized for its carbohydrates, making it rich source of energy. 
Coconut cream, meanwhile, is relatively high in fat content. Some people avoid it for this reason, but like everything, it’s fine in moderation. It’s also dairy-free, vegan friendly and known to help lower cholesterol and boost the immune system!
So, to sum it all up, when enjoyed in moderation, sago pudding is a naturally sweet gluten-free dessert and can be a much healthier alternative to European-style puddings. 

Is it gluten free?

Yes! Sago is naturally gluten free, so it makes the perfect gluten free dessert. 

Can I prepare sago pudding in advance? 

Absolutely, you can prepare it the day before or in the morning, to free up more time to work on your other courses or spend time with your guests.

Can I freeze sago pudding?

Yes, you can freeze it for around three to four months. It’s best to store the pudding separately from any toppings so that it will be easier to reheat. 

How do I reheat it?

The best way to reheat sago pudding is to simmer or steam over a low heat and keep stirring until it’s heated through and the pearls are soft and chewy once more. Top with your favourite fresh toppings and serve warm or cold depending on your preference!

Variations & Substitutes

  • Coconut Cream – swap for coconut milk or water which are both thinner and lighter in fat content than full coconut cream.
  • For a Spicier Version – try adding star anise and cinnamon while simmering the sago pearls.
  • For a Tropical Blend – top with young coconut, mango and a squeeze of fresh lime. You could also add a spoonful of caramelised ginger or pandan essence for a sweet vanilla aroma.
Close up shot sowing mango slices in syrup on top of the coconut sago pudding layer.

Looking for more EASY sweet dessert ideas? Try these:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating below!

Sago Pudding with Coconut & Mango

Sago pudding is so light and refreshing, we love the tropical flavours and chewy texture of the sago pearls. It's a gorgeous dessert that tastes amazing, the perfect end to a delicious meal!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 369kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $5

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan, pour in your sago, coconut cream and water and allow to sit for 30 minutes.
  • Place sago on medium heat and stir continuously to avoid sticking. The sago should cook through and become sticky in around 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove sago from the heat and add in your sugar, stirring through.
  • Spoon mixture into dessert glasses and allow to cool.
  • Top with mango, desiccated coconut and mint, then chill until ready to be served.

Video

Notes

Tips to get this recipe just right:
  • Sago Pearls – We prefer to use small white sago pearls (sometimes called sago seeds). You can sometimes find these in different colours or flavours, but we like the unflavoured white ones so we can add our own flavour. You can use large pearls or tapioca pearls if you prefer or if that’s all you can find.
  • Coconut Cream – We use coconut cream, but you can also use coconut milk which is a bit thinner in texture. Both have a deliciously rich coconut flavour. 
  • Mango – You can use fresh or tinned mango slices depending on your preference. We actually love using tinned fruit that comes with its own syrup, it adds extra sweetness to your topping!
  • Soak the Sago – When making the sago, the trick is to soak it in the water and coconut first for half an hour to help soften it and quicken the hands-on time it takes to stir it continuously on the stove.
  • For a Spicier Version – try adding star anise and cinnamon while simmering the sago pearls.
  • For a Tropical Blend – top with young coconut, mango and a squeeze of fresh lime. You could also add a spoonful of caramelised ginger or pandan essence for a sweet vanilla aroma.
  • To Freeze – It’s best to store the pudding separately from any toppings so that it will be easier to reheat. You can freeze it for around three to four months.
  • To Reheat – Simmer or steam over a low heat and keep stirring until it’s heated through and the pearls are soft and chewy once more. Top with your favourite fresh toppings and serve warm or cold depending on your preference!

Nutrition

Calories: 369kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Sodium: 40mg | Potassium: 217mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 42IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 2mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Sago Pudding with Coconut & Mango

24 Comments

  • Reply
    Harley Habib
    20/12/2019 at 3:47 pm

    5 stars
    So yum, light and fresh ! A lovely pudding for any day , thank you ladies for the recipe, I will be making this one for many years too come 😊

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      23/12/2019 at 10:09 am

      So glad you enjoyed it Harley! Agreed, the lightness of it just makes you want to eat two bowls haha

  • Reply
    Danielle
    28/10/2019 at 12:21 am

    5 stars
    Another great way to enjoy mango-coconut flavors combination. And the fact that it is so light makes it a versatile recipe, too – perfect!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      07/11/2019 at 12:18 pm

      Haha I know right, is there a sweeter flavour combo in life? 😉

  • Reply
    Claudia Canu
    27/10/2019 at 8:20 pm

    5 stars
    I have tried this the other day and it was delicious! Everyone at home loved it!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      07/11/2019 at 12:18 pm

      That’s great to hear Claudia, thanks for letting us know!

  • Reply
    Anjali
    27/10/2019 at 3:56 pm

    5 stars
    This turned out to be absolutely beautiful and is surprisingly easy to make!! My kids loved it too!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      07/11/2019 at 12:17 pm

      Aww yay Anjali glad you guys enjoyed them!

  • Reply
    Beth
    27/10/2019 at 3:52 pm

    5 stars
    What a beautiful dessert! This would be an amazing treat for a dinner party!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      07/11/2019 at 12:17 pm

      Agreed! They look super cute in the clear glass don’t you think? 🙂

  • Reply
    Chef Mireille
    27/10/2019 at 11:49 am

    5 stars
    I love the flavors in this and I am also a lover of sago pudding. This is definitely my kind of treat!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      07/11/2019 at 12:16 pm

      Hope you enjoy the flavour combo Mireille!

  • Reply
    Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
    29/07/2019 at 4:59 pm

    5 stars
    This looks so good, full of summer flavour!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      31/07/2019 at 10:49 am

      I know! Best part is we can enjoy the flavours of summer anytime with this dish!

  • Reply
    Jere Cassidy
    07/05/2019 at 2:44 pm

    5 stars
    This looks awesome. I love alll the flavors.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      15/05/2019 at 9:31 am

      Oh thanks Jere! It is a pretty awesome flavour combo. You can also add pandan flavouring if you wanted to kick it up another notch!

  • Reply
    Adriana
    07/05/2019 at 2:37 pm

    5 stars
    What a perfect easy dessert love it for teh hot Florida weather most definitly need ot try it soon. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      15/05/2019 at 9:35 am

      Thanks Adriana! We love that you can soak them in advance to cut down on the cooking time, especially when you don’t want to be slaving over a stove in the heat!

  • Reply
    Beth
    07/05/2019 at 2:11 pm

    5 stars
    I can tell that I am going to love, love this dessert! Mangos are my all time favorite so this is now my all time favorite!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      15/05/2019 at 9:36 am

      Ohh yay! That’s exciting Beth! Mangoes are the bomb!Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Veena Azmanov
    07/05/2019 at 1:46 pm

    Lovely presentation and a surely delicious dessert. Love the Mango option too. The flavor of coconut and combination of ingredients amazing.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      15/05/2019 at 9:37 am

      Thanks for your feedback Veena! It is a combo that works well. You can also try adding passionfruit if you wanted even more texture!

  • Reply
    Adrianne
    07/05/2019 at 1:42 pm

    5 stars
    This is such a pretty looking recipe! I love the photos and it sounds delicious. I look forward to making it and tasting what sounds like great flavours!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      15/05/2019 at 9:38 am

      Cheers Adrianne! Thank you for your kind words, hope you have fun cooking this one!

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