Sago Melaka – Tapioca dessert with coconut milk, mango, Lychee – 芒果椰子西米凍

When I was in Malaysia a year ago, I had one of the most delightful desserts in Kuala Lumpur. It was light, refreshing and with a tinkling feeling to my taste bud.  The owner/chef gave me a few of his secrets how to make this dessert and I would like to share it with everyone.

The key to the success making this dessert is cooking the tapioca properly.  The cooked tapioca should be able to separate easily and not sticking together like a glue ball. The following recipe allows you to serve between 8-10 guests.


  •  Put a few ice cubes in the cooked tapioca before you chill it in the fridge
  • Buy the right mango. See this link: How to buy Mango.
  • Chill overnight before serving.
Sago Melaka - Tapioca dessert with coconut milk, mango, Lychee
Sago Melaka – Tapioca dessert with coconut milk, mango, Lychee


Tapioca                1/2 cup (*do not wash the tapioca)

Water                   5 litters

Bring water to boil and put the tapioca in the pot.  Turn off the stove (no heat) and use a whisk to stir the tapioca quickly for two minutes.  This is to avoid the tapioca sticking to the bottom of the pot and forming a glue ball.  Cover the pot with a lid and let it sits there for three to four minutes.  Repeat the stirring action for another two minutes and cover it with a lid again.  The whole process will take about 30 minutes.  Just when you see the tapioca turns entirely translucent but still has a small white dot in the centre, drain the tapioca by use a mesh strainer.  Run cold water through it and use a spatula to turn it to avoid sticking.  Once it cools off, put the tapioca in a small container with a few pieces of ice on top. Let the ice melts in the cooked tapioca and keep it in the fridge overnight.

Making the Palm sugar syrup:

Thai palm sugar   4 pieces

Water                   1 cup

Coconut milk       1 can (unsweetened – keep in fridge)

Bring water to boil and dissolve the palm sugar. Stir well by using whisk.  Reduce the volume by keeping the stove in high heat.  Once the bubble is becoming smaller and flowing on top of the syrup, place the pot on an ice bath.  The syrup should become thicker and keep in fridge.

The fruits:

Mango                  5x (remove skin and cut to small pieces)

Lychee                 1 can (drain the syrup and cut to eight pieces)

The finish:

In a small serving bowl, place the cooked tapioca in center by using an ice cream scoop. Put in a tablespoon of mango and lychee.  Pour about six tablespoons of coconut milk on top of the fruits and drip a teaspoon of palm sugar syrup on top of the tapioca. Garnish with a mint leave.



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