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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.

Leave a Comment

44 Responses to “How to Cook Sago”

  1. ED — July 6, 2013 @ 4:43 pm

    Wonderful tutorial, it couldn’t get any more easier.
    I’m glad I found this blog.
    Will try out this method this week.


  2. chris — July 13, 2013 @ 2:48 pm

    Alternatively it can be cooked in milk with some added sugar for a delicious dessert on its own


    • PQ replied: — October 23rd, 2016 @ 1:52 am

      Really Chris, what kind of milk would be suitable?


  3. mahbuba — July 25, 2013 @ 1:50 pm

    Really thanks a lot. It’ll be truly helpful.


  4. Sue — August 8, 2013 @ 10:57 pm

    I did it using your method and it came out beautifully. I mixed sago later with warm grape juice instead of wine as some people in Brazil do.


  5. Xian Hui — October 20, 2013 @ 4:31 pm

    Argh, the sago sucks to my sieve. How can I get it clean?


    • wiffy replied: — October 24th, 2013 @ 2:43 pm

      try inverting the sieve and running tap water through it.


  6. Manzoor alhaaj — October 29, 2013 @ 11:44 pm

    After illness and convalescent I am using it as it is light food. But we do not use sieve and eat all of it by adding milk and sugar. Is extra starch harmful ?


    • wiffy replied: — November 13th, 2013 @ 11:14 am

      I’m not sure about that, maybe you need to check with a doctor about this. Hope you are feeling better now!


  7. Kamchaska — January 27, 2014 @ 7:37 pm

    YOU have saved my life! well, sago’s life, for sure:) Thank you for such a clear and easy to understand instructions. My sago turned out gorgeous!:)


  8. babs stewart — March 8, 2014 @ 3:23 pm

    You are a genius… several stodgy and white spots later, success!


  9. Audrey — March 21, 2015 @ 1:56 am

    Cooked too long. Sago stick to my pan. What can i do?


  10. Ma Recipes — December 22, 2015 @ 8:50 pm

    Cooking sago is easy but to get the right texture is very hard. I did many “experiments” to get the texture I want. I really really like desserts comes with this little tiny translucent chewy balls. Haha!