Mangga Sagu Mutiara: Mango Sago Dessert

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Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk hails from Solo, the historic royal capital and cultural centre of Java, Indonesia. She has been cooking since the age of 12, and also performs and teaches traditional Javanese dance. Her dream is to eventually write her own Indonesian cookbook.

Recently, many people in my Whatsapp group chats have been sharing all kinds of mango dessert. My social media feeds are also full of mango temptations. The sweet and juicy mango. Fresh or made into delicious dessert. It took some time for my brain to realize that mango season is here! I guess I have been working from home so long, it’s turned me into a cave woman, oblivious to what is happening in the real world outside my house.

Working from home has made me live in a virtual world with no seasons, but the virtual world has also reminded me of the changing seasons and inspired me to venture out to witness it for myself – at least, as far as the neighbourhood green grocer’s. And lo and behold, an abundance of mangoes! And a few types, too! They are fully ripe, but still firm. Perfect. After choosing one bag full of mangoes, I expect to enjoy it while it lasts. 


I also bought a packet of pearl sago and evaporated milk (from an online store) the other day. After seeing many people sharing mango sago desserts, I was tempted to make one. This dessert is a local adaptation of a contemporary Hong Kong dessert, mango pomelo sago, invented by Lei Garden. In my Indonesian version, I’ve omitted pomelo because it’s not in season here and is hard to find. I’ve also substituted coconut milk for evaporated milk, partly for practical reasons.

Cooking Technique  

This dessert is really easy to make. Basically we just need to boil the pearl sago, and then mix it with mango puree, evaporated milk, condensed milk, and garnish it with fresh mango cubes. The only tricky part in this process is boiling the sago. Ideally, it should be cooked according to the instructions on the package, but mine had none.

I had to try it a few times to get it right. The first one was undercooked, the second one was overcooked and the third one just right! What I did was to boil the sago for 20 minutes, and then cover it tightly and leave it alone while I was doing other things. I think I left it for about 15-20 minutes until the pearl turned translucent and ready to use. I would still suggest to follow the instructions in the package, if there are any, on how to prepare it.

This dessert is light, creamy and fruity. It is best enjoyed when cold, so making it in advance is recommended as it needs to be chilled in the refrigerator for a few hours. You’ll really find it hard to stop once you start eating it. I actually gobbled up 3 cups in one sitting, unable to stop myself. I don’t know if it’s sinful? It’s a dessert, but it’s made of mostly fresh fruit and milk. What do you think?

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Mangga Sagu Mutiara: Mango Sago Dessert

Mangga Sagu Mutiara: Mango Sago Dessert

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This mango sago dessert is a version of a contemporary Hong Kong dessert, consisting of mango puree, fresh mango cubes, pearl sago and milk.


  • 0.5 cup pearl sago (around 50 gr)
  • 2 ripe mangoes
  • 1 can evaporated milk (around 12 oz)
  • 2 tbsp condensed milk (optional)


  1. Boil the pearl sago according to the instructions on the package, sieve the water, set aside.

    Boil and strain the sago

  2. Peel both mangoes and wash.
  3. Using a blender, puree one mango until smooth. Set aside.
  4. Cut the other mango into small cubes (around 1×1 cm), set aside.
  5. In a big bowl, mix the evaporated milk, condensed milk and mango puree. Stir until everything is well mixed.

    Mix the ingredients together

  6. Add the pearl sago. Stir well.

    Add the sago

  7. Cover the bowl and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours.
  8. Garnish with fresh mango cubes before serving.


  • Choose a fully ripe mango that’s still firm to the touch for freshness.
  • Condensed milk is optional, as the mango itself is already sweet. Feel free to omit it to reduce the sugar content.

Keywords: Quick & Easy

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