This mango pomelo sago is super cooling and refreshing and packed with full mango flavors, hints of coconut, chewy sago pearls, and some tang and bitterness to help balance everything! It's the perfect summer dessert and drink that you can easily make to help you stay cool in the summer! Our version is an inspiration from Yi Fang Fruit Tea.
It's mango season and we just can't have enough mango recipes! This mango pomelo sago is a new addition to our mango recipes, and it's perfect as a dessert or drink for this summer!
It's full of mango flavors, packed with chewy little sago pearls, hints of coconut throughout, and occasional tang and bitterness from the pomelo/grapefruit. And because the mango puree is blended with ice, this is a super refreshing and cooling recipe to help combat the summer heat.
What is mango pomelo sago?
Mango pomelo sago is usually made of mango, pomelo, sago, coconut milk, and sugar. You can often find it available at Chinese restaurants and desserts stores, but recently it's been popularized as a drink as well. We tried our first mango pomelo sago drink from Yi Feng Fruit Tea and it was amazing!
In Chinese, mango pomelo sago translates to yang zhi gan lu (杨枝甘露), which literally means "sweet dew of willow branch." The name came from the willow branch tool used by one of the buddhist from the mythology, Journey to the West. The dew from her willow branch is suppose to refresh and rejuvenate you.
The dessert itself was said to be created by the former head chef, Wong Wing-Chee, of Lei Garden when the first branch was opened in Singapore. He wanted to create a new dish using local ingredients such as pomelo, mango, and sago that is refreshing and cooling.
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the ingredient quantities!
- 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!
- Pomelo or grapefruit - Pomelo is a a citrus that's similar in taste to grapefruit. Unfortunately, pomelo is not usually in season by the time late May and early June comes around. So if you can't find any at the grocery store, you can substitute with grape fruit instead.
- Ripe mango - The riper and sweet your mangoes are, the better this dessert/drink will be! So make sure to let your mangoes ripen completely.
- Coconut milk - We prefer full fat coconut milk to give the drink a bit of richness, but regular coconut milk is fine too.
- Sugar - Depending on how sweet your mangoes are, you may need more or less sugar. Also, you can adjust the sweetness to your preference.
- Ice cubes - This will keep the dessert cold and refreshing. If you don't want to use ice cubes, you can use more coconut milk or water and make sure to pre chill all of the ingredients.
How to make mango pomelo sago
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the sago pearls. Stir immediately and let the sago pearls cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, or according to your package instructions. Make sure to stir occasionally.
🌟 Pro tip: Sago pearls are done cooking when they are mostly translucent with a small dot of white in the middle. You don't have to wait until all of the pearls are translucent. As long most of them are, they are god.
2. Once the sago pearls are cooked, drain them immediately and rinse with cold water until completely cooled to remove excess starch and to keep they chewy. Set aside until needed.
3. In a high power blender, add the mango, sugar, coconut milk, and ice. Blend until everything is well blended and completely smooth.
4. Into the serving glasses, equally portion the pomelo/grapefruit pulps, cooked sago pearls, and mango smoothie.
📝 Note: We layered ours with pomelo/grapefruit on the bottom, followed by cooked sago pearls, and finished with the mango smoothie. You can also save a little bit of the pomelo pulp for garnish on top. This style is really pretty especially with red grapefruits or pink pomelo.
5. Serve the mango pomelo sago immediately and stir well to enjoy!
How to easily remove pomelo and grapefruit pulp
Pomelo and grapefruit both have thicker rind and skin compared to oranges. So you can make a few shallow cuts in the outer rind and peel it with your fingers. Then, you can remove each segments of pulp easily by separating the pulp from the skin. Break up the pulp so they can be scattered in the sago.
How to enjoy mango pomelo sago
Our mango pomelo sago recipe is an inspiration of the drink offered at Yi Fang Fruit Tea. So you can layer the components in a glass, then stir it up. Do drink with a big straw, like bubble tea straws because the pomelo/grapefruit pulps can get stuck in smaller straws.
This mango pomelo sago is also often enjoyed as a dessert in a bowl. So if you prefer, you could just portion all the components into a bowl, mix it up and enjoy.
- Don't make the mango smoothie until you are ready to serve. Because the mango smoothie is blended with ice, it is best to have the sago pearls and pomelo ready before blending. This way your sago dessert/drink stays cold and refreshing.
- Use ripe mangoes. This recipe is heavily dependent the mangoes you use. The sweeter, the riper the mangoes, the better this mango pomelo sago will taste. You can also use less sugar is your mango is super sweet.
- If your ice is crushed, you may want to use less, so that your sago dessert/drink is less diluted. We used large ice cubes.
It is best to enjoy mango pomelo sago soon after making because as it sits the ice will melt. This dessert/recipe is best enjoyed cold.
But if you should have leftover, you can just store it in an airtight container or a well wrapped container. Keep it refrigerated up to 2 days. Do note that the longer it's stored, the sago will become softer, loosing its chewiness.
We used champagne mangoes, also known as honey mangoes and ataulfo mangoes, because they were in season. But you can use any ripe, sweet mangoes of your choice.
Pomelo is a type of citrus, very similar in flavor to grapefruit but a little fruitier and a little less bitter. They are usually at least 2 to 4 times the size of an average grapefruit, with yellow and yellow green rind. The pulp can range from pale yellow to pink.
Yes! If you prefer, you can use regular milk or the milk of your choice for this recipe. Although, we do think coconut milk is the best pairing for mango.
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Mango Pomelo Sago
- Cook the sago pearls:Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the sago pearls. Stir immediately and let the sago pearls cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, or according to your package instructions. Make sure to stir occasionally.
- Once the sago pearls are cooked, drain them immediately and rinse with cold water until completely cooled to remove excess starch and to keep them chewy. Set aside until needed.
- Make the mango smoothie:In a high power blender, add the mango, sugar, coconut milk, and ice. Blend until everything is well blended and completely smooth.
- Assemble:Into the serving glasses, equally portion the pomelo/grapefruit pulps, cooked sago pearls, and mango smoothie.*We layered ours with pomelo/grapefruit on the bottom, followed by cooked sago pearls, and finished with the mango smoothie. You can also save a little bit of the pomelo pulp for garnish on top.*
- Serve:Serve the mango pomelo sago immediately and stir well to enjoy!
- Make the mango smoothie as close to when you're serving as possible. This keeps the ice from melting and keeps the dessert/drink cold.
- You can serve this mango pomelo sago either as a dessert (in a bowl) or as a drink (in a glass with a bubble tea straw).
- Mangoes - The riper and sweeter your mangoes are, the better this mango pomelo sago will taste.
- Pomelo - Unfortunately pomelo is usually out of season by early to mid summer, so if needed, use grapefruit flesh instead. It'll still tastes just as good and often times red grapefruits have redder pulp, which is prettier for presentation.
- Ice - Our ice cubes are pretty large, so if your ice cubes are small or crushed ice, you may need a little less. But also feel free to use a little less or a little more ice to your own preference.