Mango Sago Cups
Chilled & creamy Mango Sago Cups are the definition of a refreshing summer dessert! Made with just four ingredients, these cups are incredibly quick and easy to put together.
For me, summer means mangoes. Loads of sweet, juicy mangoes! My family is found devouring them pretty much after every meal.
If you love mangoes like we do, then you know how it’s a delight in almost anything. But to stir things up a little, I decided to use them in a unique dessert: Mango Sago Cups.
The first time I was introduced to these was when a family friend invited us over, and served these individual pots of chilled mango sago for dessert.
And I fell in love with it!
It was perfect, to say the least.
Yearsss later, in 2020’s season of bountiful mangoes, I decided to recreate the recipe.
What are Mango Sago Cups?
Mango Sago is a popular Asian dessert, easily found at many Asian restaurants around the globe (especially Chinese, Singaporean, Taiwanese and Filipino).
The traditional version contains mango and tapioca pearls/sago, as well as pomelo pulp layers.
However, what we are going to make is not the traditional version of Mango Sago but instead, a recipe adapted from it.
In this Mango Sago recipe, tapioca or sago pearls are mixed with pureed ripe mangoes and then topped with whipped cream and fresh mango chunks!
We are going to add a little bit of condensed milk for sweetness.
This creamy cold mix of pureed ripe mangoes, tapioca pearls and cream is a hit with children and adults alike.
I love when desserts are not sickeningly sweet, which is why this was a winner for me; neither too heavy nor too sweet.
What is the difference between sago and tapioca?
While many people assume that sago and tapioca pearls are one and the same, they are in fact, not.
- Sago is an edible starch that is made from the pith of tropical palm trees.
- Tapioca pearls, which are most popularly used in bubble tea, are plant-based starchy balls made from the cassava roots.
These pearls both swell when cooked and have a slightly chewy, gelatinous texture. You can use sago or tapioca pearls in this recipe.
They come in different sizes and colors. Depending on how large or small the pearls are, the cooking time may differ.
I used medium sago pearls for this recipe. (You can not see them in the pictures because they are hidden in the mango mixture.)
Which type of mangoes should you use?
Now it should not come as a surprise that the type of mango you use matters the most.
Use mangoes that are ripe, sweet, and deep in color. Bonus if they smell great!
You can even use a slightly tangy variety of mangoes, if a little tartness is what you prefer.
Mangoes that have a smooth flesh, without fibers, are the ideal choice for Mango Sago Cups.
However, if it’s not mango season, you can use frozen mangoes. Frozen fruits are generally picked in peak season, so they should give you a good result.
Ingredients in Mango Sago Cups
Just 4 ingredients needed to make these heavenly cups!
Mangoes: For these Mango Sago Cups, you are going to use pureed mangoes in the bottom layer, and tiny chunks of mangoes for garnishing.
Sago OR Tapioca Pearls: Follow the instructions below to boil the pearls, before using them in the given recipe.
Heavy Whipping Cream: You need to beat the whipping cream with condensed milk just until soft peaks form. Do not over beat because the result we are looking for is light and creamy, not stiff and firm.
Sweetened Condensed Milk: I am using some condensed milk in this recipe for a little bit of sweetness. If you prefer sweeter desserts, feel free to add more condensed milk or sugar.
How to cook sago
Boiling sago or tapioca pearls is the only tricky part of the recipe. If you have made them before, then you probably don’t need to read this.
But if this is your first time, please read ahead.
Tapioca pearls and sago contain a lot of starch. It is important to cook them right, if you do not want to end up with a glue-y, mushy, unappealing texture.
Follow these steps for perfectly cooked sago:
1) Soak the sago for two hours before preparing this dessert to speed up the process.
2) In a medium pot, add 4 cups of water and let it come to a boil.
3) Once the water is boiling, add sago, cover and simmer on low heat. Occasionally, remove the lid and stir.
4) When you see that most of the pearls have turned translucent and only tiny white dot remain in the center of each ball (this can take 12 minutes or more depending on the size and brand of your tapioca pearls.). Then close flame and cover with the lid again. They will continue to cook a bit more and eventually turn completely translucent.
5) After around 5 minutes, when the dots have turned translucent too, immediately drain the sago using a fine mesh sieve.
6) Run cold water over it for four minutes. This helps to wash off excess starch and stop the cooking process of the pearls. Stir very gently.
7) Submerge the sieve with the cooked tapioca into a bowl of water till you are ready to use. This helps to prevent the pearls from drying and sticking to each other.
At this stage, in the traditional Asian Mango Sago, people like to soak the cooked tapioca pearls/sago in coconut milk.
They then either serve immediately for a soupy, traditional coconut mango sago, or they refrigerate for a couple of hours (so the pearls soak up some of the milk) for a pudding like consistency.
However, since this recipe isn’t the traditional version, what we are going to do is different.
How to make Mango Sago Cups
Let me quickly walk you through the steps:
1) Boil Tapioca Pearls or Sago
2) Peel mango and cut the flesh from pits. Roughly chop the mango flesh into chunks.
3) In a blender, combine the mango chunks, water, condensed milk and vanilla and blend till smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness if needed. Combine the boiled sago pearls and mango mixture. Keep aside.
4) In a small bowl, beat heavy whipping cream, condensed milk and vanilla till soft peaks form. Set aside.
5) To assemble, divide the mango mixture into serving cups, then put the whipped cream mixture. Dice another mango into small chunks and use that as garnish on the top.
6) Chill the desserts in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.
1) Sago or tapioca pearls should still be slightly chewy when boiled, having a little bit of a bite to them. If over boiled, they will become too soft and mushy.
2) Do NOT try to layer the tapioca pearls and mango mixture separately. They would stick together, and the texture would be ruined.
How can I serve Mango Sago Cups?
Mango sago cups are great for tea parties, or wherever you prefer individual servings of dessert.
They can be made ahead in time, so are great to serve crowds. They even make a good low-cost item for small home businesses.
I like to have them chilled so I pop them in the freezer for 30 minutes before serving.
So now that you know how to boil tapioca pearls perfectly, you are all set to try these delightful Mango Sago Cups 🙂
Mango Sago Cups
MANGO TAPIOCA MIXTURE
- ½ cup tapioca/sago washed and soaked for 2 hours
- 4 cups water to boil sago
- 1 large ripe mango cut into chunks
- 3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
- 2-3 drops vanilla essence
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
- 2 drops vanilla essence
- 1 mango cut into tiny chunks
- Soak the sago for two hours before preparing this dessert to speed up the process. In a medium pot, add 4 cups of water and let it come to a boil. Then, add sago, cover and simmer on low heat. Occasionally, remove the lid and stir.
- When you see that most of the pearls have turned translucent and only tiny white dot remain in the center of each ball (this can take 12 minutes or more depending on the size and brand of your tapioca pearls.). Then close flame and cover with the lid again. They will continue to cook a bit more and eventually turn completely translucent.
- After around 5 minutes, when the dots have turned translucent too, immediately drain the sago using a fine mesh sieve. Run cold water over it for four minutes. This helps to wash off excess starch and stop the cooking process of the pearls. Stir very gently. Submerge the sieve with the cooked tapioca into a bowl of water till you are ready to use. This helps to prevent the pearls from drying and sticking to each other.
PREPARE MANGO MIXTURE
- Peel 1 mango and cut the flesh from pits. Roughly chop the mango flesh into chunks. In a blender, combine the mango chunks, 2 tablespoons of water, 3 tablespoons of condensed milk and 2-3 drops of vanilla essence and blend till smooth.
- If your mango wasn’t a good orange color, you can add a drop of orange food color. Taste and adjust sweetness if needed.
- Combine the boiled sago pearls and mango mixture. Keep aside
- In a small bowl, beat 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, 3 tablespoons of condensed milk and 2 drops of vanilla essence till soft peaks forms. Don’t beat any further, you want a creamy consistency and it will set in the fridge. Set aside.
- To assemble, divide the mango mixture into serving cups, then put the whipped cream mixture. I used around 2 tablespoons of mango mixture and whipped cream in each serving cup.
- Dice another mango into small chunks and use that as garnish on the top
- Chill the desserts in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.
- The flavor depends on your mango. Choose a ripe sweet mango that has a good deep color.
- You can add more condensed milk if you prefer sweeter desserts.
- I was able to make 11 small serving cups using this recipe. If you use smaller or large cups, this may differ.
Did you try this recipe?
I would love to know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below or post a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #theovenist.