Saturday, June 22, 2013

How to Cook Sago

Sago is oftentimes confused with another tree by-product called Tapioca. They may appear quite similar in appearance when manufactured and processed to become
pearls but they both came from different sources. Tapioca came from the starch extracted from cassava roots while Sago is made from the spongy part or pith of the Metroxylun Palm Tree, a tree specie that is popular in tropical countries like the Philippines. Both ingredients have the same procedure of cooking and can be mixed with desserts for added flavor and texture. Tapioca is more famous as an additional treat on bubble teas and shakes. The humble sago is widely used locally for sago’t gulaman, taho, ginatan, buko pandan, mango float, halo-halo, etc.

 Here is how I made my own homemade cooked sago which I used in my Saba con yelo recipe. One tip, you must have a lot of patience as the sago cooks longer and constant stirring must be done to avoid sticking together in the bottom. Never soak overnight or attempt to wash it before cooking or else it will fully disintegrate, add only the sago when the water starts to have a rolling boil. Be guided below on how I came up with a fully cooked up to the core sago. The method I used guarantees a firm and soft not gooey sago. I used ordinary sago bought in the market and it did not stick together even when cooked.


1 cup sago (small variety)

3 cups water

First, bring to a rolling boil the 3 cups of water.Add sago as the water boils and lower the heat to medium.

Keep stirring well so nothing will stick to the bottom and on the sides of the pot.

After a good 15 minutes of cooking remove from the pot. Around this time you can still see white spots on its core, replace the cover and leave it covered for a good ten minutes or so. The heat will continue cooking the sago up to its core.

Open the lid after ten minutes and look closely if the sago has produced a jelly like and translucent consistency. Sago is fully cooked if you no longer see any white part up to the core.
Strain and wash under running water the cooked sago to get rid of the excess starch. After the wash and drain method pour into a bowl. Add a little water to avoid sticking together and allow to cool and drain again before finally adding to your favorite desserts.

I like when it is generously poured over sweet desserts like Saba con Yelo. In my opinion the firm and translucent quality of my cute home cooked small sago is just lovely and good to go in any kind of dessert…hhhmm, I’m thinking of making mango cream float and buko pandan right now, onward to my next dessert piece!  -hir


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