Mango sago with grapefruit (杨枝甘露)

Smooth mango puree flavoured with coconut milk, garnished with grapefruit and accompanied by soft tapioca pearls, mango sago is such a delectable treat! 

A shot from above of mango sago dessert.

I can eat mango everyday. Seriously! Beautiful on its own, it can also be used to create numerous delectable desserts. Take Hong Kong style mango pancake for example. It has been very popular with my readers since I posted the recipe on the blog. Today I’d like to share another mango dessert which also originated from Hong Kong: Mango sago with grapefruit (杨枝甘露).

A dessert that brings you happiness

I was immediately tempted to try mango sago the first time I saw its name “杨枝甘露” printed on a menu. If you are familiar with Chinese language, you would understand how poetic and mysterious these four characters seem to be. Literally, the name refers to dropping manna from a willow branch, a well-known concept in Buddhism which brings happiness and luck to people.

Apparently, the Chinese name for mango sago doesn’t explain what this dish is all about. However, the aromatic, refreshing taste and interesting texture of this dessert does deliver happiness to your palate.

Smooth mango puree flavoured with coconut, garnished with grapefruit and accompanied by soft tapioca pearls, mango sago is such a delectable treat!

It is so simple to make!

Five ingredients, that’s all you need!

  • Ripe mangoes. Personally, I like honey mango the best for this recipe. It’s sweet and creamy and has no fibres in the flesh (Usually you don’t need to add any extra sugar to the dish). You can of course use other varieties which are in season. If you want to learn how to peel and cut mango neatly,  please refer to this link which I found helpful.
  • Tapioca pearls. They make this dish so interesting in texture. Slippery, chewy and spongy, they play magical tricks on your palate. I learnt something new when researching this recipe that tapioca pearls and sago are two different things (I thought they are just name variations)! They are very similar in many ways but have different starch sources. You are definitely free to replace one with another for this recipe.

A collage of photos showing the procedure of making mango sago.

  • Grapefruit. In fact, many places serve mango sago garnished with pomelo (a large citrus fruit which resembles grapefruit in flavour) instead. I prefer grapefruit for its more vibrant colour and its lightly acidic and bitter taste. It pairs well with the sweetness from the mango.
  • Coconut milk. A classic accompaniment for mango. It adds a nice nutty flavour to the dish.
  • Cream. It’s here to provide a richer taste. Replace it with milk if you wish.

A spoon in a bowl of mango sago, a contemporary Hong Kong dessert.

Mango sago with grapefruit (杨枝甘露)
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Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Serving Size: 4 servings

Mango sago with grapefruit (杨枝甘露)

Smooth mango puree flavoured with coconut, garnished with grapefruit and accompanied by soft tapioca pearls, mango sago is such a delectable treat!

Ingredients

  • 40g / 1/4 cup small tapioca pearls (or sago)
  • 2 ripe mangoes, about 900g / 31oz (gross weight)
  • 4 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons single cream (or milk)
  • Sugar (optional)
  • 1/4 grapefruit

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add tapioca pearls. Cover and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes or so until the pearls are transparent but still have a white spot in the middle. Remove from the heat and set aside covered for a further 10 minutes until they are completely transparent (see note 1).
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the fruit. Cut the flesh of mangoes into cubes. Set 1/4 of them aside. Put the remainder of the cubes into a blender. Add coconut milk and cream (or milk). Blend to a very fine texture. Add some sugar if you prefer it a bit sweeter.
  3. Peel grapefruit then gently separate the juice-packed sacs (see note 2).
  4. When the tapioca pearls are ready to use, rinse them under cold water. Drain well, then place into serving bowls. Pour mango puree on top then garnish with the remaining mango cubes and grapefruit.
  5. You may consume it immediately or chill in the fridge before serving.

Notes

1. Cooking time may vary depending on the size of the pearls. Please refer to the instructions on the package.

2. Based on your own taste, you may adjust the amount of grapefruit required. Many places serve mango sago garnished with pomelo (a large citrus fruit which resembles grapefruit in flavour) instead. I prefer grapefruit for its more vibrant colour and its lightly acidic and bitter taste.

https://redhousespice.com/mango-sago/

I love serving mango sago as dessert after a hearty meal since it’s so light and refreshing. Hope you are inspired by my post to make it in your own kitchen.

Have a great day!

An enthusiastic cook with a Chinese palate and a global mindset.

Smooth mango puree flavoured with coconut, garnished with grapefruit and accompanied by soft tapioca pearls, mango sago is such a delectable treat! Smooth mango puree flavoured with coconut, garnished with grapefruit and accompanied by soft tapioca pearls, mango sago is such a delectable treat!

Other desserts you don’t want to miss:

Hong Kong style mango pancake (芒果班戟)

Fail-proof ginger milk curd (姜汁撞奶)

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