Mango Sago. A delicious popular Asian dessert bursting with sweet mango flavor with creamy coconut tapioca pudding! An easy 4-ingredient dessert. Ready in 30 minutes!
This will become your favorite summer dessert if you love mangoes!
What is Mango Sago?
Mango Sago is a Cantonese dessert that comes from Hong Kong. It's derived from the popular mango pomelo sago which contains citrusy pomelo pulp. This popular dessert is a crowd pleaser because it's sweet, creamy and packed with contrasting textures thanks to the bouncy tapioca pearls!
My mango sago recipe is simply made of juicy mangoes pureed with condensed milk and topped off with coconut milk tapioca pudding and fresh mango chunks! When mixed, the juicy chunks of mango compliment the creamy texture of the mango tapioca pudding.
It's the perfect refreshing dessert with tropical flavors for a hot summer day or if you have a sweet tooth! It will also be the best mango sago recipe you've ever had!
This delicious dessert is easy to make at home! In 30 minutes and 4 ingredients later, you'll have one of my favorite desserts in your hands ready to enjoy! The cooking process is simple as we're only boiling tapioca pearls for 10 minutes and letting them rest. The rest of the actual ingredients don't require any cooking.
If it's your first time making this recipe, I share step-by-step visuals and a video to show you have to make this wonderful dessert!
You’ll need the below simple ingredients for Mango Sago. Please scroll down to below recipe card for exact measurements.
Note: Most Asian grocers will carry these ingredients. You may find some at your select grocery store or online, like on Amazon.
- Ripe mangoes: Fresh mangoes are the key ingredient to this mango sago pudding so it's incredibly important the mangoes are fully ripe.
- Small tapioca pearls: or aka mini tapioca pearls. Cooked sago pearls become chewy and soft in texture. Chewy sago pearls need about 10 minutes of cooking time and another 10 minutes to rest in the hot boiling water covered. Sometimes, I find the package instructions for making tiny tapioca pearls to be inaccurate or a much longer cooking time. My method has been proven to be successful in my many times of making cooked tapioca.
- Condensed milk: This ingredient is a sweet tasting reduction of regular milk (cow's milk). In fact, about 60 percent of the water content has been removed. It's fantastic for making a creamy dessert. If you're vegan, substitute this with condensed coconut milk.
- Room Temperature Whole Fat Coconut Milk: aka coconut cream. It's essentially creamy coconut milk that is very thicker than the viscosity of normal dairy milk for comparison. To make a creamy coconut sago, we're going to use whole fat coconut milk.
- If you're looking to reduce your calorie intake or prefer a less creamy version of this pudding, feel free to substitute with light coconut milk but keep in mind, the mango pudding will be less creamy and runnier. Other substitutes can include fresh milk, evaporated milk, half and half cream, or coconut beverage. Note for substitutions: they will result in a less creamy version and runnier version of this coconut tapioca pudding.
- Fresh Mint Leaves: optional garnish for aesthetics
How to Make Mango Sago
To Make Coconut Sago Mixture:
In a medium size pot of water (about 5 cups of water), bring to a boil on high heat. Once the hot water reaches boiling point, add tapioca pearls. Reduce to medium high heat or to a rolling boil, boil for 10 minutes uncovered. Stir occasionally.
Then turn off the heat, cover and let it sit for another 10 minutes until the pearls have softened and are completely translucent.
If you see a small white dot in the center of the pearls, they will need another 2-3 minutes to sit in the hot boiling water covered to become translucent.
Strain the cooked pearls in a fine mesh sieve and rinse off the excess starch with cold running water or in a bowl of cold water, until cool to touch. Strain out excess water. Transfer cold tapioca to a large bowl.
Open canned coconut milk with a can opener and give it a thorough mix inside the can so the fats combine with the coconut water.
Add coconut milk into the bowl with tapioca and mix well. This is your sago mixture. Set aside.
Preparing the Mangos:
Meanwhile, peel and slice 2 large mangos (reserve the remaining mango for later).
Place mango pieces into a blender or food processor. Add condensed milk into blender.
Blend until smooth. You may need to stop the blender and move the contents around with a spatula or blender stick for a smooth mango puree.
Divide mango mixture among 4 dessert bowls or glasses.
Peel the last mango and dice it into small cubes. Set aside.
To Assemble Mango Sago Pudding:
Divide the coconut sago mixture into 4 equal portions and pour the portion on top of the mango layer in each of the dessert bowls. Top it off with the cubed mangos. Optional: garnish with a fresh mint leaf for aesthetics. Enjoy!
Alternatively, you can mix everything together in a large bowl and divide into small portions.
Storage for Mango Sago
To store, you can keep the components separate or mix everything altogether in a large airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. To serve, allow the mixture to soften at room temperature, specifically the coconut sago component as coconut milk tends to go hard when cold.
How do I tell if my mango is fully ripe?
To tell if your mango is ripe: you should be able to easily leave a thumbprint in the meat of the fruit. If you're pushing down too hard, it's not ripe. Also, ripe mangoes are vibrant in a yellow, orange or red color depending on the type of mango. If you spot any green color in the skin, it's most likely not fully ripe. If you use unripe mangoes, the mango sago dessert will be too tart in taste.
Do I need to use a specific type of mango?
Any kind of fully ripe large mango will work. I like using Ambika mangoes but feel free to use ataulfo mangoes or any other kind.
Can I substitute the condensed milk with a vegan substitute?
Yes, condensed coconut milk is a product that exists and tastes remarkably similar to condensed milk. You can find this online or sold at select grocery stores, like H-Mart.
Can I substitute the mango for another fruit?
Yes, feel free to substitute the mango for fresh strawberries. Follow my strawberry sago recipe for full details.
May I substitute the tapioca pearls with another ingredient?
Unfortunately, there isn't a great substitute for tapioca pearls but if you don't mind a slightly different texture, try my coconut mango chia pudding recipe using chia seeds!
Can I make this in advance to serve next day?
Yes! I would suggest keeping the finished components separate in airtight containers and storing them in the fridge. When you're ready to serve, you can divide them into serving bowls as instructed. Or mix everything together in a large bowl and serve.
What is tapioca made of?
It's an edible starch that comes from cassava plant, which is a root crop grown in South America. It's a common ingredient used in many Asian desserts in parts of Asia. Tapioca pearls have a very bouncy, chewy texture making it a fantastic ingredient. Many boba shops or bubble tea shops love using this ingredient in their beverages.
Other Asian desserts you may enjoy!
If you enjoyed this mango dessert, you may like these other mango recipes:
- Easy Mango Pudding
- Coconut Mango Jelly
- Mango Coconut Chia pudding
- Mango Sago Coconut Drink
- Mango Pancake
- Coconut Mango Pitaya Dessert
Easy 4-ingredient Mango Sago
- 3 large mangos fully ripe (about 750 grams or 1.7 lbs worth of mangos)
- ½ cup small tapioca pearls uncooked
- ⅓ cup condensed milk (for a vegan alternative, replace with condensed coconut milk)
- 13.5 floz coconut milk whole fat at room temperature
- Fresh mint leaves
- In medium pot filled halfway with water (about 5 cups of water), bring to a boil on high heat. Once the hot water reaches boiling point, add small tapioca pearls. Reduce to medium high heat or to a rolling boil, boil for 10 minutes. Do not cover and stir occasionally. Turn off the heat, cover and let it sit for another 10 minutes until the pearls have softened and are completely translucent. Note: If you see a small white dot in the center of the pearls, they will need another 2-3 minutes to sit covered in the hot water to become translucent.
- Strain the cooked pearls in a fine mesh sieve and rinse off the excess starch with cold running water or in a bowl of cold water, until cool to touch. Strain out excess water. Transfer cold tapioca to a large bowl.
- Open canned coconut milk (and remove the lid for safety measures). Give it a thorough mix inside the can so the fats combine with the coconut water. Add coconut milk into the bowl with tapioca and mix well. This is your sago mixture. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, peel and slice 2 of the mangos (reserving the third mango for later). Place mango pieces into blender or food processor. Add condensed milk into blender. Blend until smooth into a mango puree. Divide and pour mango mixture into 4 dessert bowls or glasses.
- Peel the last mango and dice it into small cubes. Set aside.
- Divide the coconut sago mixture into 4 equal portions and pour each portion on top of the mango layer in the dessert bowls. Top it off with the cubed mangos. Optional: garnish with a fresh mint leaf for aesthetics. Enjoy!
- (Alternatively, if you prefer to serve this dessert without the layers, mix everything together in a large bowl and divide into small portions.)