A refreshing, fruity and coconut-based dessert, Mango Pomelo Sago Pudding is chilled, lightly sweet, full of mango flavour and chewy due to the presence of small tapioca or sago pearls. It’s a great way to cool down on a hot summer day.
This post first appeared on Sift & Simmer in July 2018. Updated April 2021.
We’re funny, us people on the West Coast.
We complain it’s too rainy, too cold, and the next day we say it’s too hot, too humid.
Even though we’ve been hot temperatures for the past few weeks, I don’t mind it too much.
It’s an excuse to break out the tank tops and shorts, that rarely see the light of day.
And it also means I get to indulge in various desserts like:
or this Mango Pomelo Sago Pudding.
Where did this dessert come from?
The story behind this dessert was that it was created by Lei Garden in Hong Kong, and they wanted to start up a branch in Singapore.
To cater to the tastes of Singaporeans, the head chef utilized tropical ingredients that were native to Southeast Asia.
These included mangoes, pomelo and sago — and created a dessert that would cool off people in the hot and humid weather.
What is in the dessert?
Mango Pomelo Sago Pudding is a simple dessert and consists of a few quality ingredients:
- mangoes: use fresh mangoes that are in season for the best taste
- pomelo: is a citrus fruit that looks like a large grapefruit with lots of segments and very thick peel; they can be pink or yellow and found in Asian grocery stores
- coconut milk: I prefer using canned full-fat coconut milk for a richer flavour
- sago/tapioca pearls: also used in boba/bubble tea, these are white round spheres that have a chewy texture
When it’s summer, fresh mangoes are the only way to go.
However, you can also use frozen mangoes if fresh isn’t available. Just omit the ice if you use frozen mangoes.
Pomelo is usually available all year round in Asian supermarkets, but they’re at their peak during December-February.
Feel free to omit the pomelo if you don’t have it on hand. I’ve made this without pomelo and it’s just as delicious.
How to cook the sago/tapioca pearls
Sago is difficult to find in North America, so tapioca pearls are a common substitute.
Sago comes from the sago palm whereas tapioca pearls are from cassava.
Both sago and tapioca pearls cook up in the same manner:
- Bring water up to a boil
- Add in the sago/tapioca pearls
- Cover the pot and leave to sit for about 15-20 minutes, stirring intermittently, until the pearls turn translucent
- Drain and rinse the pearls
- Add in coconut milk and sugar to the pearls
Make the mango puree
Blend together the mangoes, coconut milk, milk and ice in a high-powered blender until smooth.
Taste and adjust to your liking. Add more sugar if the mangoes aren’t as sweet.
How to assemble
Add the blended mango to a glass.
Layer with the tapioca/coconut mixture on top.
Top with diced mango, pomelo segments, and additional coconut milk if you wish.
You can also drizzle condensed milk over the top for additional sweetness.
How to serve and store
Serve the assembled Mango Pomelo Sago immediately.
You can make a big batch of it and keep all the elements separately in the fridge.
That way, when you’re ready to serve, you can whip out the ingredients and assemble.
Make this dessert vegan by omitting the milk and using any plant-based milk, or even just using straight-up coconut milk.
Use grapefruit in place of pomelo if you’re not able to find fresh pomelo.
Add some durian if you like the king of fruit!
Or try adding chewy mochi pieces to the dessert if you’re feeling decadent.
Other desserts you may like
Be sure to check out these refreshing desserts:
Thick, lightly sweetened, fruity, icy, and delicious — it’s an easy-to-make dessert that screams the flavour of summertime. What’s your favourite Asian dessert to cool you down in the summer?
Let me know if you make this recipe — tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below.
Mango Pomelo Sago Pudding 楊枝甘露
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- ½ C small tapioca pearls
- 3 C water
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar + additional to taste
- ½ can (200ml) coconut milk, divided canned
- 2 large fresh mangoes peeled and diced into small chunks, reserve some for garnish
- 1 C whole milk or evaporated milk
- 1 C ice
- a few pomelo segments
- In a small saucepan, add 3 C of water and the small tapioca pearls. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then turn off the heat.
- Cover with a lid and let it sit for 10-15 minutes, until pearls are transparent (or almost transparent), stirring intermittently.
- Once the tapioca pearls are translucent, drain the tapioca pearls in a colander and rinse under cold running water.
- Drain and transfer the tapioca pearls to a bowl and stir in 2 Tbsp of sugar along with 100ml of coconut milk.
- Add about ¾ of the diced mangoes to a blender, along with remaining 100ml coconut milk, milk, ice and blend until smooth. Taste to see if it's sweet enough to your liking. If not, add sugar to taste and blend again.
- Add the pureed mango coconut milk mixture into your serving vessel.
- Layer with the cooked tapioca pearls, diced mango, pomelo segments, and top with additional coconut milk if you wish. Repeat with the remaining.
- Serve chilled.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.