How to cook sago

How to cook Sago? What is the best way to cook sago? Whether to soak or not to soak sago prior to cooking? How long does it take to cook sago? Have you been cooking sago all wrong? How to cook sago perfectly? How to cook sago faster? Sago is tasteless on its own and is usually served with other flavorings as a dessert. Famous sago desserts include Sago Pudding, Mango Sago, Steamed Sago Cake, etc. The most common way to eat sago is to add it into red bean soup or green bean soup. Properly cooked sago will be translucent, smooth, slightly firm yet chewy. Although cooking sago is a very simple and straightforward process, there are still a few things to take note of:

  • Sago is starch. It is fragile and soluble in water. Handle it with care.
  • Do not soak sago in water before cooking. Soaking affects the texture of sago.
  • Do not cook sago at too high a temperature or for too long at a low temperature, sago will dissolve.
  • Use plenty of water to cook sago. Using plenty of water helps to prevent sago from sticking together. The ratio of water to sago should be 10:1.
  • Undercooking and overcooking should be avoided. Undercooked sago is hard in the middle. Overcooked sago will be too soft to eat. Both are unappetizing.
  • It is necessary to stir sago constantly during cooking to prevent scorching.
  • Cooked sago can be kept in water or syrup for no more than 4 hours as they soften and lose quality overtime. Do not cook more than you need at a time.

How to cook sago

How to cook Sago

How to cook Sago? What is the best way to cook sago? Whether to soak or not to soak sago prior to cooking? How long does it take to cook sago?

Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 25 min
Total Time: 30 min
Yield: ±500 grams


How to cook sago

100g sago
1000g water


How to cook sago

Boil water in a large pot. Slowly add sago in boiling water. Lower the heat and cook the sago until mostly translucent with constant stirring, about 25 minutes. At this point, you will still see some small white dots. Remove from heat.

How to cook sago

Pour the cooked sago into a big bowl of cold water. Drain. Repeat this a few times until sago is clear and completely translucent. Sago is now ready to serve. Put sago in milk or coconut milk, add fruits, sugar or honey according to taste.

How to make famous Hong Kong style sago dessert at home with easy steps and two serving ways. Sago (西米) is made from sago palm tree stem starch. Although not native to China, we love to cook this as a dessert. Raw sago has a pure and lovely white color and cooked sago presents a lovely transparent color. Unlike the chewy boba balls made from tapioca starch, sago is much softer.

How to cook sago

In China, a dessert shop originated from Hong Kong has bought sago into our attention. One of their top popular dessert is mango sago (Chinese Name: 杨枝甘露). Traditional Hong Kong style mango sago use mango, coconut milk, cream, grapefruit or pomelo. Now, those yummy, soft and transparent pearls are served with other popular dessert ingredients (grassy jelly, tofu pudding, taro balls) in lots of restaurants as a basic dessert for form a great combination of flavors and texture. Cook a sago dessert at home is easy and can be quite enjoyable in warm days.

How to cook sago

Cook’s Note

  1. Cooking sago with a larger amount of water and higher fire (keep the liquid boiling) can save your time of stirring and watching. By the way, do not wash the sago pearls.
  2. Never cook sago along with your dessert. They can turn your dessert soup cloudy and starchy.
  3. Sago should be rinsed before adding to desserts for a clean texture and soaked in liquid after cooked.

How to cook sago

  • 1/2 cup sago
  • water

Bring a large pot of water to a boiling on medium to high fire. Place sago in.

How to cook sago

Use high fire to re-boil the liquid and then use medium fire and keep the liquid boiling during the whole process. Give several stirs to make sure the pearls not sticky to the bottom.

How to cook sago

Cook for 20 minutes and cover the lid and let it stay for another 15 to 20 minutes. Check whether the peals are completely transparent. In most cases, they should be well cooked and transparent. If not, continue cooking with high fire for several minutes until well cooked.

How to cook sago

Strain and rinse under running cold water to remove residual starch.

How to cook sago

During the time of cooking sago, blend the mango smoothie and tune the coconut milk. Once the sago is well rinsed, assemble as soon as possible.

Do not soak sago in water before cooking. Soaking affects the texture of sago. It is necessary to stir sago constantly during cooking to prevent scorching. Cooked sago can be kept in water or syrup for no more than 4 hours as they soften and lose quality overtime.

How do you prepare Sago?

In a pot over medium heat, bring enough water to cover sago pearls to a boil. Add sago pearls, stir gently and cook for about 10 minutes or until translucent. Remove from heat, rinse well and drain. In the pot, add boiled sago and enough cold water to cover.

How long must you soak sago?

Cover and soak the sago for 1 hour and 30 minutes. After the sago has cooked on low for 15 minutes, set the burner to high and return the water to a boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat, cover the pot with a lid, and let the sago soak for one and a half hours.

How do you cook tapioca pearls?

Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a deep pot, and add the tapioca. Bring it to a boil again, cover, and turn the heat down to medium low. Cook covered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat, keep the pot covered, and allow to sit for another 15 minutes.

What is sago good for?

Sago provides antioxidants and resistant starch, and it may be linked to health benefits, including reducing your risk factors for heart disease and improving exercise performance.

How do you cook dried sago pearls?

Instructions Pour the water in a cooking pot. Let boil. Add-in the sago or tapioca pearls. Cover and boil in medium heat for 30 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes. Put-in the sugar. Stir. Turn the heat off. For better results, let the sago or tapioca pearls remain in the cooking pot until it reaches room temperature.

What is sago in English?

In English, sago (pronounced “say-goh”) refers to a palm from which starch is extracted. In the Philippines, when you say sagó (“sah-go”) the first thing that springs to mind is something that looks like the tapioca pearls used in boba drinks in the United States.

How long does cooked sago last?

Close the container and place the cooked sago in the fridge. It can last for approximately 3 days.

What does Sago taste like?

White is their natural color because they are made from starch. Both types of pearls are neutral-tasting as well because starch, although it has a distinct sensation in the mouth, does not really have any memorable flavor.

How do you soak sago fast?

Take a bowl of sabudana. Wash it under tap water for 4 to 5 times until clear water appears. This takes off most of the starch and prevents sticking. Further, soak sabudana for 30 to 40 minutes by adding just enough water to cover it.

Is Sago the same as tapioca pearls?

Tapioca comes from cassava – a long root of a vegetable. In some South American countries the root is actually called tapioca. Sago is made from the pith of the sago palm. However, parenting aside, they are very similar and behave the same.

Can we store soaked Sabudana in fridge?

If you want to store soaked sabudana, keep it in an airtight container and store in a refrigerator safe for three days.

What’s the difference between white and black tapioca pearls?

Clear tapioca pearls are made from starch that comes from cassava root. Because it gives them a more visible appearance and often a sweeter flavor, black tapioca pearls are commonly used to make bubble tea.

How do you cook big sago seeds?

Bring 2 litre of water to the boil, add in 200 ml of water, add in big sago. Bring to the boil again, turn to low heat, cook without cover for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 30 minutes, off the heat, cover, let sago soaks for 12 hours or overnight. After soaking for 12 hours or overnight…

Is tapioca healthy to eat?

Nutrition. Tapioca starch contains no fat or cholesterol, which makes it a healthy choice for those watching their dietary cholesterol and saturated fat intake. Tapioca is also very low in sodium. One serving contains 20mg of calcium and 1.6mg of iron.

How to cook sago

Kick start your morning with some Caribbean style sago porridge. This recipe is delicious, filling and totally vegan, free from gluten and ready to serve within 30 minutes.

How to cook sago

If you’re a big fan of porridge then you will probably enjoy a big bowl of this sago (vegan style) porridge too – warm, hearty, tasty and extremely filling.

Porridge plays a crucial role in the Caribbean culture and is a very important aspect of starting the day. From Crema de Maiz, Labouyi Bannann to hominy corn porridge.

Some porridge coincides with multiple islands i.e cornmeal porridge, while others are unique to that particular island.

How to cook sago

What is sago?

Sago is the edible starchy part that is extracted from the pith. The pith is the centre which tends to be quite spongy. It comes from an array of tropical palm plants including the sago palm.

The sago is processed and made into either flour, meal or sago pearls (similar to tapioca pearls).

Many people are under the impression that tapioca and sago are interchangeable when they are both different.

Although similar, the main difference is that tapioca comes from the cassava root vegetable while sago comes from the pith of the sago palm.

While both are very very similar and behave the same however, it is important to note they are two different produce.

Sago is a staple food for regions like Papua New Guinea and the South East Asian countries. It is used as a thickener just like tapioca and is used in desserts, pudding, baking and so fourth.

What is sago porridge?

This porridge is made from the sago pearls, the pearls are typically soaked before being boiled in water along with spices until it thickens.

Once thicken the milk is stirred in and it is sweetened to taste.

This is a porridge that is more commonly served in Guyana as well Trinidad and Tobago.

The steps

How to cook sago

  • Allow the water to heat up all the while continuously stirring so it doesn’t stick and begins to thicken like paste (this will take a several minutes).
  • Notes and tips
  • Sago is a sticky starchy so be sure to use a NON STICK saucepan.
  • Sago is mostly available in stores that are frequented by South East Asians.
  • You can also buy it online at places like Amazon.
  • Use a sweetener like organic raw sugar cane, coconut sugar, coconut condensed milk or a zero calorie sweeter.
  • You can use small white tapioca pearls in place of sago pearls.
  • Make your sago with coconut milk for a creamy texture or another plant based milk
  • To make your porridge thick, you will want to add the milk slowly until the desired texture is met.
  • Use can use dried cinnamon and cloves (¼ teaspoon) in place of cinnamon sticks/fresh cloves.
  • For a thin porridge, once the porridge is ready, add more milk/water.
  • Any leftovers should be refrigerated (not frozen) and consumed within 2 days.
  • If the porridge has thicken from refrigerating simply add more water/milk when re-heating.

How to cook sago

More Caribbean porridge recipes

  • Jamaican Oats Porridge
  • Hominy Corn Porridge
  • Cornmeal Porridge with Hominy Corn
  • Cornmeal Porridge
  • Yellow Plantain Porridge
  • Jamaican Rice Porridge
  • Green Banana Porridge
  • Peanut Porridge
  • Roasted Almond Porridge

**Don’t forget to comment below and star rate if you have tried my recipes. Let’s be friends and engage on Facebook and Instagram I also like to pin on Pinterest, where you can find more amazing recipes.**

Great instruction, very helpful. Thanks for taking the trouble.

Don’t try to cook this. I tried to cook it for half an hour, the sago pearls were still white and hard. Some turned translucent indeed but most did not. Left a slimy mess in my pot that took me 10 minutes to scrub it away. I did simmer this and stir it occasionally btw. To think I’ve finally found the treasure in my local asian grocery store but no, Worst ingredient I’ve ever seen.

you will need a extra big pot for cooking sago. because it will thicken so maybe try a bigger pot?

Where can you buy sago pearls, I can only find the tapiaco pearls but not the sago pearls.

I am in South Africa. I learnt about sago when I had loose stools. I soaked it in water for 3 hours and then drank the water and my stools have stiffened. Now I eat a small portion of sago everyday. The best way to cook sago is put it in cold water in a pot. About 2 tablespoonfuls are enough and a half cup of cold water. bring it to a boil for 10 minutes stirring once in a while then boil it again for another 10 minutes. This should be in a medium heat. 20 minutes is enough to get the sago to be translucent. I add a tiny bit of salt and chillies and eat it.

Should cook longer ==

Needs a higher ratio of water to sago as sago expands and absorb water. This recipe works. Simmering 10 mins is an approximate depending on your flame .. adjust accordingly as not to “melt” the sago to blobs of starch. Glad for the tips given

Tried this, works beautifully! I had more water than sago of course. Followed instructions above, except depending where I buy my sago, some need 15 min on fire n off fire…some need 10. But end result beautiful, no sticky, translucent sago!

Cooking with sago has gone out of fashion but made its way back onto our plates. Sago is a wonderful means to thicken soups or to create a refreshing dessert from fruit juices. But also as an ingredient for desserts or soups, sago is a good vegan alternative. Therefore, more and more nutrition-conscious people and vegans are rediscovering this miracle pearl.

What is sago?

Real sago, also called pearl sago because of its shape, is extracted from the sago palm. By scoring the trees, the sap is released and collected. However, it is also obtained from the palm pulp of the sago palm. Unlike fake sago, tapioka, which is obtained from other plants such as cassava.

It is tasteless and odorless, so sago can be used anywhere as a binder. When dried, they are small, hard, white beads. After cooking, the beads become transparent.

How to cook sago

The small, 1 to 3 mm sago grains are formed when stiff starch dough is passed through a sieve onto a heated metal plate. The heat causes the outer skin to gelatinize, allowing the granules to retain their shape during cooking.

How to cook sago

Mainly perlsago is used for desserts or soups. It has a binding effect and provides a firmer consistency of the dishes. To use it, you should keep a few things in mind.

1. Cooking whole sago pearls

  1. Cook sago over medium heat for about 10-12 minutes with the lid slightly open. It is ready when the core of the pearls still looks a little whitish. Even if you think they are not cooked all the way through, the cooking time is over. If you cook sago pearls longer than 15 minutes, the starch coating will lose integrity and dissolve.
  2. Now turn off the heat and let the sago rest for 30 minutes so that the center of the sago pearls can also be cooked.
  3. Put the cooked sago pearls into a sieve and rinse them. The sago should not stick to the bottom of the pot.

How to cook sago

2. Cooking Sago for thickening

Add the sago to the soup or for fruit desserts to the fruit juice and cook everything on lowest heat for 30 – 45 minutes.

More tipps for cooking sago

How to cook sago

Do I have to soak sago before cooking?

You should not wash or soak sago. Sago is made of starch, so any time it comes in contact with water before cooking, the sago (which are actually starch powder balls) will dissolve!

Always put sago in boiling water

Sago must be placed in boiling water. In this way, the outermost layer of the sago bead is cooked immediately and forms a seal that maintains its shape.

Sago must be stirred constantly during the cooking process. This takes about 20 minutes until it is cooked to a glazed consistency. Otherwise, lumps will form.

How long does sago need to cook?

Depending on the use, the cooking time varies.

How to cook sago

Where does sago come from?

Originally, the name of the starchy beads comes from Papua New Guinea, which suggests the origin. Here, perlsago is part of daily life for the production of bread patties. It is therefore not surprising that sago means “bread”. In the 19th century, sago was brought to Europe by Marco Polo and used for the first time.

Nutritional content of sago

Sago consists faat entirely of pure starch, making it a carbohydrate. It contains only small amounts of protein, fat and fiber and virtually no vitamins or minerals.

Is sago vegan?

Yes, sago is vegan.

Where can I buy sago?

Sago can be bought in well-stocked supermarkets or ordered online.


Hi, I am Susanne. Good food, history and traveling are my passion. I write about it whenever I can. Thanks for reading this article.

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How to cook sago

Welcome, it’s great to have you here. My name is Susanne and this is my playground. I write about food, travel and the nerdy stuff that I am into. Lifestyle for adults that refuse to grow up.

Published: September 16, 2019 Last Modified: February 15, 2020 This post may contain affiliate links.

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.

How to cook sago

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 cook sago

How to Use Sago

All over Asia, sago is used in drinks, smoothies and desserts.

In the Philippines, sago is used in Ginataang Bilo Bilo, Halo Halo, Ginumis, Sago Gulaman, Buko Pandan, Mango Sago and many more.

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, explaining how I should do it. One was how to make a chewy sago.

What she does, boiling it the second time she adds brown sugar in the water. Sure enough, it comes out chewy. So that is the trick for a chewy sago.

How to cook 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.

“You should never wash Sago. Sago is made from starch, so any contact with water before cooking will dissolve the sago (which are basically globules of starch powder)! 2. Place the sago in a pan of boiling water.

How long does it take to cook sago?

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring enough water to a boil to cover the sago pearls. Add the sago pearls, stir gently and cook for about 10 minutes or until translucent. Remove from heat, rinse well and drain. Add the cooked sago to the pot and enough cold water to cover it.

How do you cook small tapioca pearls with sago?

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a deep saucepan and add the tapioca. Bring to a boil again, cover and reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat, keep the pan covered and let stand for another 15 minutes.

How long does it take for sago to soak?

Some are ready right away, some take 3-4 hours to soak and some take longer. I recommend soaking for 5-6 hours, preferably overnight for non-instant. Always do the smash test below to find out whether or not sabudana is ready to cook. Take a soaked bead and crush it between your finger and thumb.

Is sago good for your health?

Sago provides antioxidants and resistant starch and may be associated with health benefits, including reducing your risk factors for heart disease and improving physical performance.

Is sago the same as tapioca pearls?

Sago is an edible starch made from the pulp of some tropical palms. Tapioca pearls, on the other hand, are made from tapioca or starch from cassava, a root plant.

How do you know when to cook sago?

Check that the shells are completely transparent. In most cases, they should be well cooked and transparent. Otherwise, continue cooking over high heat for a few more minutes until cooked through. Filter and rinse with cold water to remove residual starch.

How long does sago keep in the fridge?

Close the container and refrigerate the cooked sago. It may take about 3 days. If your sago is cooked in brown sugar syrup, you can store it with the syrup and refrigerate it for up to a week.

what is saga in english?

In English, sago (pronounced “say-goh”) refers to a palm tree from which one gets strength. When we say sagó (“sah-go”) in the Philippines, the first thing that comes to mind is what the tapioca pearls used in boba drinks look like in the United States.

What is the difference between white and black tapioca pearls?

Clear tapioca pearls are made from starch obtained from the cassava root. Because they appear more visible and often taste sweeter, black tapioca pearls are often used to make bubble tea.

Are Tapioca Pearls Bad For You?

The main ingredients of bubble tea are tea, milk and tapioca pearls, as well as an incredibly high sugar content. Tapioca pearls — popular for their chewy, sweet texture and often referred to by their Chinese name, Boba — are just as unhealthy as real candy.

What are tapioca pearls made of?

Tapioca pearls are usually black and are made from cassava starch, sweet potatoes, and brown sugar. Sometimes white tapioca pearls are used – they are made from cassava starch, caramel and chamomile root and taste different.

Can I soak Sabudana for 2 hours?

Put the sabudana in a bowl and wash well. I usually wash it three times to remove the starch. Drain the water. Add half a cup of water and let it soak for two hours.

Which Sabudana is the best?

When buying Sabudana, choose the ones that are the same size and white in color. The pearls must be whole and not crushed. If the beads are normal size, make khichdi. Large nylon beads are good for vadas and mini beads are good for making kheers and payasams.

How much water should I soak Sabudana in?

Always use a 1:1 ratio of sabudana and water. So for 1 cup of Sabudana, use 1 cup of water for soaking. This is the biggest mistake you can make, resulting in a lumpy khichdi. You want the pearls to look just as good when submerged in water.