Refreshing and light, creamy and sweet, Coconut Mango Sago is the ultimate summer dessert! Sweet ripe mangoes and rich coconut milk combine to create a luscious, not-too-sweet summer treat. Add plenty of sweet mango chunks and tiny tapioca pearls to add lots of satisfying chewy texture. An easy recipe that’s irresistible!
Coconut Mango Sago
Coconut Mango Sago is a chilled Asian dessert that’s popular in Asian countries like Hong Kong, Malaysia, and China. When the heat and humidity of the summer becomes unbearable, this simple dessert will definitely cool you down!
Typically, Coconut Mango Sago is served in a bowl with a spoon. Slightly soupy, think of it as a chilled coconut milk dessert with the nubby texture of tapioca pearls. Topped with plenty of fresh mango, it’s not too sweet and incredibly refreshing and cooling.
Tiny tapioca pearls, also called sago, are a key ingredient. They provide a chewy, satisfyingly nubby texture. They are often added to Asian drinks and desserts, like Peach Yakult Sago Drink and Korean Strawberry Milk with Sago.
The combination of sweet mangoes, creamy coconut milk, and chewy sago balls makes this Asian dessert irresistible. And simple!
A perfect after-dinner treat that’s so light and refreshing! Or a great snack for hot and humid summer days. Enjoy the tropical flavors of this creamy and sweet mango dessert!
Coconut Mango Sago only contains 4 ingredients:
- Sago. Sago, also known as Tapioca Pearls, are starchy little balls made from cassava roots. Dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan — these bouncy and chewy little balls are so delicious when added to desserts and drinks! When cooked, they turn clear and translucent. They have a slightly chewy, gelatinous consistency. Look for Sago in the Asian market, where they come in different sizes and colors. Sago will sometimes be labeled “Tapioca Pearls” and they will be white and very small.
- Coconut Milk. Canned, full-fat coconut milk is best.
- Sugar. Can be subbed with Agave, maple syrup, or honey.
- Mango. Choose ripe, fragrant mangos for the best flavor. I prefer Ataulfo mangoes which are smaller, sweeter, and less fibrous than Tommy Atkins mangoes. In a pinch, frozen mangoes also work.
- Cook Sago. Bring water to a boil. Add Tapioca Pearls and simmer until clear and cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. The balls should be mostly clear but it’s ok if some centers are white here and there.
- Drain and rinse. Drain completely, using a fine mesh sieve. Add cold water, stirring constantly, until pearls are cool to the touch.
- Add to coconut milk. Mix coconut milk and sugar in a large (at least 4-cup) measuring cup. Transfer sago to liquid. It will look soupy.
- Serve and enjoy. Transfer to cups or small bowls. Top with chopped, fresh mango. Serve immediately!
- Add Sago to BOILING water. Since sago contains a lot of starch, it can easily dissolve when cooked incorrectly. Add to boiling water (with big bubbles breaking the surface) to instantly seal the tiny balls and prevent soggy, gummy, overcooked tapioca pearls.
- Cook until clear and mostly translucent. The sago is done when they are soft and mostly clear. It’s ok if there are a few white centers here and there.
Sago with coconut milk works as a fantastic base for many other flavors. Make it your own and change it up with seasonal fruit and toppings.
- Other toppings: Strawberries, Blueberries, Passionfruit, Pomelo, Taro.
- To make it sweeter, add a drizzle of Sweetened Condensed Milk. YUM!
Can I make this ahead of time?
Coconut Mango Sago can be prepped ahead of time. Simply store the cooked sago, coconut milk mixture, and mango separately. When ready to serve, run Sago under cold water in a fine-mesh sieve to “loosen” and separate the balls. Add to coconut milk mixture, top with mango, and serve!
I do not recommend storing the sago and coconut milk together. At most, it can keep in the fridge for 2 hours before it gets too bloated. The sago keeps absorbing the liquid and will become quite soggy.
More Asian dessert recipes:
- Mango Bingsu (Korean Shaved Ice)
- Coffee Jello
- Easy Coconut Mochi Cake
- Matcha Coconut Pudding
- Korean Donuts (Kkwabaegi)
Coconut Mango Sago
- Fine Mesh Sieve
- 1 cup tapioca pearls (small or fine)
- 1 400 ml/ 13.5 oz can coconut milk (canned) full fat, not from a box
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2-3 mangoes peeled and diced into 1-inch chunks
- Bring at least 8 cups/2 quarts of water to boil in a large stock pot. Add tapioca pearls (sago) to the boiling water. Make sure the water is at a roiling boil to instantly seal the starchy balls and prevent overcooking them!
- Lower heat to medium and cook until the balls are cooked through and clear, about 10-12 minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon, making sure to scrape the bottom and corner of the pan to prevent sticking.
- Drain sago into a LARGE fine mesh strainer. Using a spoon, stir the tapioca pearls so that the excess liquid is drained. Rinse with cold water, stirring constantly, until the sago is cool to the touch. Drain as much excess liquid as possible.
- In a large (at least 4-cup) measuring cup or bowl, add coconut milk and sugar. Mix with a spoon until sugar dissolves.
- Transfer drained, rinsed, cool tapioca pearls to the liquid and mix well. It will look soupy.
- Transfer Coconut Sago into individual cups or bowls, making sure to fill it 3/4 full to accommodate the addition of fruit. Top with a generous spoonful (or two) of the fresh mango. Serve with additional mangoes, if you like.