This mango coconut sago recipe is one of our favorite tapioca recipes to make for dessert! The tropical combination of sweet ripe mango and lightly sweetened coconut sago is perfect for the summer.
Our mango coconut sago recipe is super easy to make and only needs only 4 ingredients! This mango tapioca pudding dessert is lightly sweetened to highlight the natural sweetness of mangoes and the rich, creaminess of coconut milk.
It's one of my favorite asian desserts growing and my mom would always make it every summer. Granted, she would use whatever fruits that are in season.
If you're looking for more Asian desserts, you may also like our Taiwanese castella cake, ube basque cheesecake, and matcha crème brûlée. But if you're a chocolate lover, I highly recommend our nama chocolate. It's easy to make and tastes amazing!
What is coconut sago?
Coconut sago is a Southeast Asian tapioca dessert that's especially popular during the summer. It's made with sago pearls, coconut milk, a sweetener, and optionally, fruits. The most popular version is probably this mango coconut sago, but the style will vary, depending on which culture's you try.
In Chinese, coconut sago is also known as xī mí lù (西米露). My mom would always thin out the coconut milk either with some ice or cold water and add a variety of ripe seasonal fruits like melons.
This coconut mango sago recipe is incredibly easy to make and requires only 4 ingredients!
- Sago pearls - Sometimes also labeled as tapioca pearls or have these two characters on the bag: 西米 (xī mí). Sago pearls are tiny (usually) white pearls, but sometimes you may find the rainbow colored sago pearls. Don't confuse them with boba pearls, also can be called tapioca pearls!
- Coconut milk - We recommend using full fat coconut milk for richer flavors. We are big fans of both Aroy-D brand's can and carton coconut milks.
- Sugar - We used sugar because we always have it available and it's easy to dissolve. But you can use your preferred sweetener. Other common sweeteners used for coconut sago are rock/crystal sugar, honey, and palm sugar.
- Ripe mangoes - We highly recommend getting yellow or champagne mangoes. They are very sweet when ripe and are very compatible with coconut milk.
How to make mango coconut sago
Make the sweetened coconut milk:
1. Combine the full fat coconut milk with sugar and mix until the sugar dissolves. Set aside or refrigerate until needed.
🌟 Pro tip: You can make this ahead of time and refrigerate it for a couple of hours so that your mango coconut sago is served chilled. Or you can add some ice to the coconut milk, if you don't it being slightly diluted.
Cook the sago pearls:
2. In a pot, add at least 6 cups of water to a boil. Make sure to use a pot that holds at least 2 to 3 quarts of water, or you may risk boiling over.
3. Once the water is boiling, add the sago pearls and stir immediately.
4. Reduce the heat to medium to keep the water at a high simmer and cook the pearls for about 10 to 15 or according to the package instructions. Make sure to stir the tapioca pearls frequently
5. When the sago pearls are done cooking, drain the tapioca pearls with a mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly with cold water until completely cooled. Make sure to drain the pearls well.
🌟 Pro tip: The sago pearls are done when the pearls are mostly clear with only a small dot of white in the center. Once they get rinsed, they should all become clear. This will give you sago pearls with a nice chew. If you prefer softer pearls, cook until they are completely clear before draining.
Assemble the mango coconut sago:
6. Place the cooked and rinsed sago pearls into the sweetened coconut milk and stir to combine. Also loosen up any pearls that may have clumped together.
7. Ladle the coconut sago into your serving cup/bowls and top it with mangoes. You can also drizzle some honey on top for extra sweetness if you like. Enjoy!
📝 Note: If you prefer a more pudding like consistency, refrigerate for about 2-4 hours or overnight.
How to cut mangoes for mango coconut sago
Here are couple of ways to cut mangos for your mango coconut sago. Feel free to chose the one you prefer of combine both.
1. Slice off the bottom of the mango (where the stem is) to create a flat bottom.
2. With the mango standing on the flat bottom side, cut the mango as close to the seed as possible. Repeat with the other side.
3. With the flesh side of the mango facing up, make vertical then horizontal cuts on the mango. Cut completely through the mango, but don't cut through the skin! Repeat with the other half, then use a spoon to scoop out the mango.
1. Slice off the bottom of the mango like in step one for the diced mango.
2. With the mango standing up on its flat side, trim away the skin with a knife. If you have a sharp vegetable peeler, you can peel the mango too.
3. After the mango is peeled, cut the mango as close to the seed as possible on both sides.
4. Thinly slice the mango halves then shingle them. Then, roll it up for form a rose. You can also open up the "petals" a bit. Repeat with the other half.
🌟 Pro tip: To make a mango rose, we highly recommend using a ripe mango that isn't soft. If the mango is too soft, it'll become mushy while you're handling it.
- Cook the sago pearls until the center is just a small dot of white. Each brand of sago pearls are a little different, which means cooking times will be different as well. So cook by package instruction or until the centers are just a small dot of white.
- This will cook the tapioca pearls and give it a slight chewy texture. If you prefer the tapioca pearls softer, cook them until completely clear before draining.
- Cook the sago pearls in hot, boiling water. If you wet the tapioca pearls with room temperature or cold water, the pearls will simply disintegrate.
- If need be, add more hot water to the sago pearls while they are boiling. Some brands will require more water to boil the tapioca pearls than others. The brand we usually use needs 6 to 1 ratio, water to tapioca pearls. So if you find the water for the tapioca pearls becoming too thick, you can always add more HOT water to the pot.
- If you prefer a looser mango coconut sago, you can use more coconut milk. You can also add water and ice to thin out the coconut sago, if you like it less rich. Do adjust the sweetness too! Likewise if you prefer the sago thicker.
This mango coconut sago is best enjoyed within a couple of hours after making. As the coconut sago sits, it'll become thicker and the sago pearls will become softer as well. But if you prefer a thicker, pudding-like coconut sago, then you can refrigerate it overnight.
So cook the sago pearls when you want to enjoy this mango tapioca dessert. You could prepare the sweetened coconut milk and keep it refrigerated until needed. up to 3 days ahead of time.
Sago pearls, sometimes also known as tapioca pearls, are tiny white balls made of tapioca starch. But don't confuse these with boba pearls, which are much larger and used for boba tea. They are sometimes also called tapioca pearls.
Different brands of sago pearls can differ in cooking time. Usually, they take 10 to 15 minutes to cook. You'll know that they are cooked when the pearls only have a small dot of white in the centers of each pearl.
Because sago pearls are much smaller than boba pearls, they are not ideal replacement for boba pearls because you won't get the same chew.
If you made this recipe or any recipe from our blog, please tag us on Instagram @twoplaidparons! We would love to see your creations! It absolutely makes our day! 🥰
Mango Coconut Sago Recipe
- In a pot, bring at least 6 cups of water to a boil. Make sure to use a pot that can accommodate at least 2 to 3 quarts of liquid.
- While the water is heating, combine the full fat coconut milk and sugar in a bowl or large measuring cup. Mix until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside or refrigerate until needed.
- Once the water is at a boil, add the sago pearls and stir immediately. Reduce the heat to medium to keep the water at a high simmer. Cook the sago according to package instructions, about 10 to 15 mintues, depending on the brand. Make sure to stir the sago frequently.
- Once the sago is cooked, strain the sago pearls using a mesh strainer. Thoroughly rinse the sago with cold water until completely cooled. Drain well.*You'll know the sagos are done when the sago pearls have only a tiny dot of white in the center. Cook time will differ depending on the brands. Once the pearls get rinsed, they will turn completely clear.
- Add the sago pearls to the prepared sweetened coconut milk and stir until the pearls are loosened up and well combined with the coconut milk.
- Portion the coconut sago into 4 serving cups or bowls and top with the diced mango. Enjoy!*You could also let it sit overnight if you prefer a more pudding-like consistency.*
- Please use a large enough pot to cook the sago pearls. As the sago pearls are cook, the water will thicken. If the pot is too small or just right, it'll most likely boil over.
- Adjust the amount of coconut milk used to your preference. Depending on if you prefer a looser or thicker consistency, you can use more or less coconut milk.
- If you prefer a thicker, pudding-like consistency for the next day, use about 1 ¾ cups to 2 cups of coconut milk instead.
- Sweeten to your preference. The sweetness of this tapioca dessert is very customizable. The measurement in this recipe is for lightly sweetened sago pudding. Feel free to also use the sweetener of your choice.
- Yellow/champaign mangos are highly recommended. These two types of mangos are very sweet when ripe and are very compatible with coconut milk.