This is one of my favourite Malaysian desserts, which I made for dinner on the day I cooked the sweet and sour pork chop rice. I’ve not been able to get the sago pearls correctly made for a long long time. After a few failed attempts this year, I’ve decided to give it another try. The procedure is very easy, now that I know the trick, which is to boil the water first before putting in the sago…
1 cup sago pearls (also known as tapioca pearls)
1.5 liter water for boiling
For palm sugar syrup:
100 g palm sugar (known as gula Melaka or gula kabung in Malaysia), chopped roughly
100 ml water
2 screwpine (pandan) leaves knotted, optional (for added fragrance)
For coconut milk mixture:
Freshly squeezed coconut milk from 1 coconut (or you can used packet coconut milk or buy fresh coconut milk from the market), added with a pinch of salt and chilled for at least 1 hour
1. Wash sago with tap water and drain. Boil water in a medium pot and add in the drained sago when the water has reached boiling point. Keep stirring to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pot and turn off heat when sago pearls turn transparent. Drain off excess water from the sago pearls using a sieve. Spoon sago pearls into moulds and leave to cool before chilling in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
2. Boil water for the palm sugar syrup with the screwpine leaves. Keep stirring until sugar has fully dissolved. Pour out and leave to cool. Keep the syrup chilled in refrigerator.
3. When the sago pearls have set in the mould, unmould into a dessert bowl and spoon 2 tbsp of chilled palm sugar syrup over the sago pearls, and 2 – 3 tbsp of coconut milk on top. Adjust the amount of syrup and coconut milk according to your own liking.