White Sago or “White Sago Pearls” are very small hard opaque yellowish-white to cream colored pearls that turn light brown to white translucent slightly chewy pearls once cooked. You can typically find these added in drinks like sago’t gulaman, coconut milk or cream-based desserts like the popular mango sago, ginataan, a decor over fruit puddings, yogurt, and or taho.
A Short History
White Sago goes by many names, sometimes just as “small sago”, or “sago pearls”. These are not to be confused with “Tapioca sago (Tapioca pearls)” that are made from the tuber of a cassava plant, and are more commonly used in drinks and pudding. Sago is made from the edible starch of a tropical palm tree’s pith and can be found added into sweet and very rarely savory dishes. Sago has a variety of opaque yellowish-white to dark or light cream color small circular beads. That turn transplant once cooked, with the size almost doubling, it has no flavor at all aside from the dessert it’ll be placed in, these pearls are found more so in Asian dishes compared to the West.
Sold unbranded at dry markets, fruit markets, or Asian grocery stores in grams, packed in white plastic bags or already weighed and sealed. Though you can also find the popular brand “Bulacan white sago” at bigger grocery stores. Used in a popular Hong Kong style dessert called “Snow White sago” which is a bowl filled with glutinous rice, seasonal fruits, sometimes ice cream, a choice of canned fruits, and the sago pearls, mixed in a sweet sauce combination of evaporated milk and coconut milk. Filipino desserts like Ginataan, Mango Jelly, Sago’t gulaman and more. Plus, you can also find them in more modern dishes that many still love like the enhanced version of Mango Sago that has a lot more fruit combinations available today. Check out our Yummy Recipes below:
- How to cook small sago tapioca pearls?
- Bring to a boil a pot full of water-around 5 to 7 cups.
- Add in ⅔ to 1 cup of the white sago.
- Let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, mixing it often.
- Cook till the pearls look translucent. But in case you’ve bought a brand with a mix of big and small sago, if you find just 1 ⁄ 8 of the pearls looking like it still has a white dot in the middle then give it a try. If it feels chewy then these are ready.
- Ready a bowl of cold water with some ice before straining the sago.
- Strain and let it cool down in the cold bowl before using.
- How to cook sago fast?
How to cook white sago pearls faster? The water should already be boiling at medium heat before adding the pearls. Also make sure that there is enough water in the pot.
- How to cook sago with milk?
While you can cook the pearls with any liquid. It is still best to boil it in water to get a nice translucent coloring. Unlike most liquids, water is also not thick which helps cook the pearls better.
- White sago calories
100 grams of cooked sago can have around 358 calories as these are starchy, eating a lot might make you gain weight. While these should be eaten in moderation and are not that recommended to diabetic patients.
How to cook White Sago?
How to eat white sago? The best way to enjoy these small chewy pearls are to add them into drink based recipes or creamy desserts. Here are some White Sago Recipes we recommend:
- Mango Sago (Mango Tapioca) – a simple favorite loved by kids and adults alike. This dessert is easy to make. Just needing 3 to 5 ingredients depending on how much you’d like to add.
- Gintaang Halo-Halo – a Filipino specialty, a warm hearty dessert filled made of bananas, sweet potatoes, glutinous rice balls, sago sometimes with the addition of jackfruit and ube, simmered in coconut cream.
- Bibingkoy, a Cavite specialty. A rice cake made of glutinous rice flour, mung beans, oil, and sugar doused in a sweet coconut milk base sauce topped with sago or tapioca pearls.
- Saging with Latik – bananas sweetened with coconut milk dark brown sugar garnished with sago pearls.
- Buko Pandan Jelly Dessert – a Filipino dessert that highlights the natural flavor and coloring of pandan leaves. This recipe is filled with the pandan’s aromatic and delightful warm almost vanilla like taste.
- White Buko Salad – similar to Buko Pandan salad but has more emphasis in ingredients made out of coconut like kaong, coconut milk, nata de coco and more.
- Minatamis na Saging with Gata (Sweetened Bananas stewed in coconut milk) or this Sweet potato version called “Minatamis na Saging a Kamote”.
- Fruit Jelly salad
- Milo Jelly Sago Salad
- Corn Jelly Dessert
- Homemade Strawberry Jelly Drink or this refreshing Mango Jelly Drink