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How to Cook Sago

Cooked Sago

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This is a step-by-step recipe for cooking sago pearls. Sago is largely tasteless in my opinion, but when added to Chinese desserts such as green bean soup and mango sago, the sago takes on a life on its own. The sago has a nice jelly-like and refreshing texture, and very cute to look at too because they are translucent.

See Also: Easy Chinese Desserts

The first time I cooked sago, I was totally clueless about how to prepare it. If there is one important lesson I learnt, that will be to always cook it separately from the dessert and to rinse it through a sieve, before adding to the dessert. Otherwise, the dessert will become too thick and gluey, as sago is essentially extracted starch.

Printable Recipe
How to Cook Sago (Step-by-Step)
step1 Boil a small pot of water. When the water is boiling, add the sago. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Occasionally stir the sides and bottom of the pot to prevent sticking
How to Cook Sago After 10 minutes, the sago had turned partially translucent but you can still see some white dots. Turn off the flame.
How to Cook Sago Cover the pot with lid. Let it stand for 10 minutes. The sago will continue cooking by itself.
How to Cook Sago After the standing time of 10 minutes, the sago will turn fully translucent.
How to Cook Sago Rinse the cooked sago through a sieve and running water. This will remove the excess starch.
Cooked Sago Keep sago in a bowl of water until ready to use.
Red Bean Soup Add drained prepared sago to cooked Chinese desserts such as red bean soup.

44 comments on “How to Cook Sago”

  1. Great tutorial!  That’s how I cooked mine too.

  2. I didn’t know this is how it is being prepared.  I usually add them directly to the bean near the end of cooking.  Will try your way next time.

  3. Thanks!  Was just wondering which is right way to cook sago!  A friend recomended to rinse it first before cooking.  It disintegrated!!!  When I cooked it, it became a big mass of starchy paste!  But she insisted that’s the way she’s been doing it somehow!  

  4. Thanks!  Was just wondering which is right way to cook sago!  A friend recomended to rinse it first before cooking.  It disintegrated!!!  When I cooked it, it became a big mass of starchy paste!  But she insisted that’s the way she’s been doing it somehow!  

  5. thanks so much for the tips! now i can make bubur sago! :D

  6. I am so glad to find this!!  Can you tell me is it the same way to cook the big tapioca sagos?

  7. that is a perfect tutorial!!! So true on the way to cook it. 

  8. I LOVE sago!!!:) Triple cheers for this post!! They are lovely and just good to go with any dessert as you say, although, the first time I tried to cook it myself, I was just like you, I learnt that you have to cook it separately or it will just dissolve and thicken the dessert soup :-( My mum only told me after that when I relate to her :p
    I love generous amount of sago in dessert soups, such as red bean, green bean and sweet potato soup (i usually take the sago only and ignore the potatoes:p )

  9. Wonderful for giving your best in explaining the methods in preparing Sago.

  10. Now that I have seen this, I must make mango sago! ^^

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