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Sago Pudding with Palm Sugar

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Sago Pudding with Palm Sugar


Total Time
Total Time
Prep 10 M / Cook 01 H 30 M

4 Servings

Grace Teo
Grace Teo   thegraceteo
Published on January 11, 2014

  Based on 1464 ratings  Watch Now


4 tbsp
930 ml
250 ml
coconut milk
0.25 tsp
70 g
palm sugar (gula melaka)
pandan leaves  


Sago gula melaka is a creamy sago pudding served with thickened palm sugar that gives off a flavour of caramelized toffee. Sago are little starchy pearls sometimes known as tapioca pearls. They are cooked until they turned almost transparent. Commonly found served in Malaysia and Singapore, this vegan tapioca pudding dessert is a must-try.

What is sago?

Sago, also known as tapioca pearls is extracted from tropical palm stems such as the sagu palm tree. Due to its starchy consistency, it is added to bread, noodles and also used as a thickening agent.

How to cook sago?

Sago pearls needs to be cooked in boiling water. Do not add sago to room temperature or lukewarm water. Water has to be brought to a rolling boil before the sago is added.

Sago pearls are starchy and expand during the cooking process. Use enough water to cook them. The ratio of sago to water should be ca. 1:10.

How long does it take to cook sago?

It usually takes about 10 minutes to cook sago until they turned translucent.

Sugar hardens as it is chilled

If too little water is used to melt the palm sugar, it may harden when it is chilled. Add hot water by the teaspoonful to the sugar mixture as too much water will result in the palm sugar becoming too fluid.

Quicken chilling process in freezer

Allow sago puddings to rest for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator or you may also place them in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Do not forget or they will be frozen!

NOTE: This recipe yields about 4 pieces of sago puddings although the coconut milk is sufficient for at least 8 to 12 pieces of puddings.

Sago Pudding with Palm Sugar is also known as: Sago Gula Melaka



Step 1/4

  • 4 tbsp sago
  • 900 ml water

Pour sago into boiling water to cook until it turns translucent. Optionally, rinse sago under running water to remove starch in order to have firmer sago puddings.


Step 2/4

Mould sago into small bowls or in a muffin pan. Keep them in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours.


Step 3/4

  • 250 ml coconut milk
  • 0.25 tsp salt
  • 70 g palm sugar (gula melaka)
  • 30 ml water
  • 2 pandan leaves  

Boil coconut milk with a dash of salt. Set aside. In a clean pot, melt palm sugar in water over low to medium heat along with pandan leaves. Mix well and set aside. Leave coconut milk and palm sugar to cool to room temperature.


Step 4/4

Once sago pudding is ready, pour some coconut milk on it and drizzle palm sugar syrup over it.

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