You’ll be surprise people have different ways of cooking sago. It is easy but it takes time to cook. Some soak it in water for a few hours then they boil it. Yet, others cook sago directly in boiling water which is how I learned to make it. Cooked sago are gelatinous in texture, soft and translucent.
What is Sago?
Sago commonly known as pearls is starch extracted from pith of several tropical palm trees. In Asia, you can easily find sago but in other parts of the world they are sold as tapioca pearls that is extracted from cassava. So don’t get confuse, tapioca pearls is very similar to sago and can be use in Filipino refreshments and desserts.
Sago or Tapioca Pearls are white in color and comes in small and large pearls. When cook in boiling water, it will turn translucent but not all of them. After cooking, leave sago in water covered with lid for a few hours or overnight and some will turn transparent while a few will still be opaque. It is fine, it is already cook.
How to Use Sago
How to Make a Chewy Sago
When I moved to the US, the first few times I made it, I was not successful. Once I learned how to cook sago, I was still not satisfied with its consistency, it was not chewy. I prefer a chewy sago than one with a consistency of jello.
When talking to my parents then, we don’t discuss recipes over the phone since long distance at that time was too expensive. Surely, I will get a letter from my mom with recipes and explaining how I should do it. One was how to make a chewy sago.
What she does, the second time boiling it she adds brown sugar in the water and sure enough it comes out chewy. So that is the trick for a chewy sago.
How Long to Store Cooked Sago
Place it in an enclosed container submerged in water for up to 3 days in the fridge while sago cooked in brown sugar can be stored for a week or so, submerged in its brown sugar syrup.
How to Cook Sago
Video coming soon!
- ½ cup sago or tapioca pearl
- 4 cups of water
- ½ cup brown sugar (optional)
Boil water and add sago pearls. Bring to boil again, then simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
Pour sago in colander with running cold water so they don’t stick to one another.
Put back sago pearls in pot with 4 cups of water and boil for the 2nd time.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for another hour.
Stir and check once in a while that you still have enough water.
For a chewy sago, add brown sugar 5 minutes before turning off heat. Before adding brown sugar, remove some water and leave enough to cover sago. This step is optional. Experiment with or without sugar to see which one you prefer.
Turn off heat. Leave sago sitting on stove for 5 hours or more until it becomes translucent. There will be a few with tiny white core but that’s OK. It is already cook.
Now you may add it to any dessert or drink. Enjoy!
This method is for big pearls. I will have another post for mini or small pearls.