Mango sago is a refreshing dessert you’ll want to make all summer long. Made of fresh sweet mangoes, sago or tapioca, milk and cream, it’s easy to make and so good. Perfect in this summer heat!
(If you love mangoes, you will love this mango float or mango graham cake recipe. Easy to make, even easier to eat!)
Wikipedia will tell you that the OG mango sago dessert actually originated from Hong Kong (mango pomelo sago). When it eventually found its way to Philippine kitchens though, it lost the pomelo and became a much simpler dish.
Some recipes call for coconut milk but we usually just make ours with evaporated milk, table cream and a little condensed milk. You can cook the sago or use pre-cooked ones; what’s more important is you use sweet, ripe mangoes.
Philippine carabao mangoes are the best but any variety works. We get ataulfo mangoes here and they’re awesome for this recipe too. Let’s get cooking!
Ingredients for mango sago recipe
To make mango sago, you’ll need:
- Ripe mangoes — one you’ll puree and the others you’ll dice
- Sago or tapioca pearls
- Evaporated milk
- Table cream*
- Condensed milk
*Ideally, you’ll want to put Nestle cream, which is a kind of thick, sweetened cream that Filipinos put on buko salads and other cold desserts. It’s not easily available here though so I always use table cream and it works just fine.
How to make mango sago dessert
For the detailed recipe, please scroll to the bottom of the page for a printer-friendly recipe card including estimated nutrition information.
Making mango sago is so easy you’d want to make it all summer!
1. COOK SAGO. First thing you’ll want to do is to cook your sago. This would depend on the kind of sago you have — some require almost an hour of cooking while others are done in 5 minutes. I provide more sago cooking tips below. Once your sago is done, put it aside in a bowl of cold water while you work on the rest of your ingredients.
2. MIX MILK AND MANGO PUREE. In a large bowl, combine evaporated milk, table cream and mango puree. Stir until fully incorporated.
3. SWEETEN. At this point you’ll want to sweeten your mixture with condensed milk. How much condensed milk you put largely depends on how sweet your mango puree is. Careful not to put too much though; we don’t want the condensed milk to overpower the mango flavour. I usually put 1-2 tablespoons.
4. ASSEMBLE. Now it’s time to assemble! Add your cooked sago and diced mangoes into your milk mixture and stir. That’s it! Chill and serve cold.
Is sago and tapioca the same?
Although the terms “sago” and “tapioca” are often used interchangeably, they are two different things.
According to The Spruce Eats: Sago is an edible starch that is made from the pith of an array of tropical palm trees. Tapioca pearls, on the other hand, are made with tapioca or the starch from cassava, a root crop.
They look similar, taste similar, have a similar chewy texture when cooked, and cooked the same way. They’re often substitutes of each other in recipes too, though not always.
In this recipe, you can use either one.
How to cook sago or tapioca pearls
How you cook sago depends on the kind of sago or tapioca pearls you have. I like the quick-cooking ones (it would say right on the package); plus, those usually have English cooking instructions on the back.
If you can’t find those, you probably have the kind that needs about an hour to fully cook.
If you google how to cook sago, you’ll find 101 ways to do it; this is how I do it:
- Bring a big pot of water to a rolling boil. I don’t bother to measure how many cups of water; I just make sure it’s enough to fully cover the sago or tapioca.
- Add the sago slowly and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally so the sago don’t stick to one another.
- Switch off the stove and cover the pot.
- Wait another 10 minutes before draining the water and catching the sago in a mesh sieve.
- Rinse the sago in cold running water for 15-20 seconds.
- Place the sago back in the pot, add water and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.
- Repeat 3 to 6 until your sago is fully translucent and chewy but still al dente.
I’ve found that how long this process takes largely depends on the brand of sago or tapioca you have. So I really make it a point to look for and buy the quick-cooking ones. They taste the same and perfect for lazy cooks like me.
If you have the quick cooking sago, all you’ll need is to follow the package instructions. It’s usually done in 15 minutes or less.
You also have the option to buy pre-cooked sago usually sold in bottles (like the one I use for making buko pandan). Most brands package the sago in sweet, flavoured syrup so you’ll need to rinse the sago to get that flavour out.
What does sago taste like?
Sago on its own has no flavour. It takes on the flavour that you add to it. For example, some people like to soak it in brown sugar syrup to give it a bit of sweetness.
How long does sago stay fresh?
Home-cooked sago becomes hard and rubbery the longer it sits. They’re best eaten the day they’re cooked but still okay to serve the next day.
Uncooked sago is good for a few months; just make sure to seal the package tightly once opened.
Mango sago is such an easy, simple, refreshing dessert or merienda/snack. Sweet, creamy, cold and full of tropical, summery mango flavour. Enjoy!
Other mango recipes
Love mangoes but tired of the same old? Here are some mango recipes that’s not a mango shake!
Mango chia pudding is similar to mango sago but made with superfood chia seeds. It’s just as light, refreshing and easy to make.
You only need 2 ingredients for this delicious fresh mango mousse!
And be sure to check this out for a list of delicious, must-try Filipino dessert recipes.
Mango Sago Recipe
- First thing you’ll want to do is to cook your sago. This would depend on the kind of sago you have — some require almost an hour of cooking while others are done in 5 minutes. I provide more sago cooking tips in the post. Once your sago is done, put it aside in a bowl of cold water while you work on the rest of your ingredients.
- In a large bowl, combine 1 can of evaporated milk, 1/2 cup table cream and mango puree from 1 mango. Stir until fully incorporated.
- At this point you’ll want to sweeten your mixture with condensed milk. How much condensed milk you put largely depends on how sweet your mango puree is. Careful not to put too much though; we don’t want the condensed milk to overpower the mango flavour. I usually put 1-2 tablespoons.
- Now it’s time to assemble! Add your cooked sago and diced mangoes into your milk mixture and stir. That’s it! Chill and serve cold.
- The number of servings depends on how small or big your serving bowls or glasses are.
- The cook time here is based on me using quick-cooking sago. Your cook time may vary depending on the kind of sago you have. See post for tips on how to cook sago.
- Cook 2/3 cup if you’re using small sago or tapioca pearls.
Nutritional information are estimates only.
Did you make mango sago? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.